The SERCOS trade organizations have completed an I/O profile for SERCOS III, the Ethernet-based version of the SERCOS interface. This specifies a powerful device profile for decentralized I/O modules, which can be used for block I/Os as well as modular I/Os. It also supports hybrid devices that combine several functionalities in one single device. With this profile specification, SERCOS III can be used as a drive interface and also as a universal real-time Ethernet solution for automation applications.

The I/O device profile is based on the SERCOS device model and uses the SERCOS III protocol structure. An XML-based device and profile description language is specified for I/O device configuration. SDDML (SERCOS Device Description Markup Language) describes which profiles are supported by a certain device. SPDML (SERCOS Profile Description Markup Language) is used to specify the different profiles on the basis of the SERCOS parameter model. Existing standard parameters can be used and manufacturer-specific parameters can also be defined.

This development gives users an I/O profile and safety protocol without any restrictions on the real-time behavior of drive functions. Therefore, a single SERCOS fieldbus is sufficient to implement challenging motion control applications. Operation of SERCOS III results in shorter development, installation, and commissioning times, as well as reduced costs and a higher level of product throughput.