At Pack Expo 2004 in Chicago, an exhibit demonstrated how controllers and servodrives of five different manufacturers could interface seamlessly to exchange data on the same network. The products all conformed to the Sercos interface Pack Profile, a subset of the Sercos interface functions defined specifically for packaging machinery. (Sercos stands for Serial Real-time Communication System, a high-speed serial communication link for transferring standardized data in real-time over a noise-immune fiberoptic cable.) The pack profile was developed by Sercos N.A. in response to an OMAC Packaging Workgroup vision of a standard interface for all motion control products.
The demonstration used the Sercos interface (IEC 61491) and Pack Profile along with the PLCopen (IEC 61131-3) international standards and OMAC guidelines for interoperability called PackML. PackML is a standard method for packaging machines to communicate data and commands to one another and to high-level factory computer systems.