The Hermes Standard: Viscom Working on First Field Tests

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In November, when the electronics trade fair productronica takes place in Munich, Germany, Viscom AG will be ready to conduct the first field tests with the new protocol "The Hermes Standard". Implementation is already being discussed with operators of suitable production lines. Additional interested users are welcome.

One of Viscom's foremost goals is to collect relevant actual experiences with the Hermes Standard and ensure its practicability. In order to test the new manufacturer-independent protocol for inter-machine communication, production lines of interested customers will be equipped with the protocol.

"Of course, the implementation does not depend on Viscom machines alone, but also involves the handling components to their left and right,” states Detlef Beer, Senior Manager Product Engineering at Viscom. “These components must also understand this specification.” Beer promoted rapid practical implementation through individual discussions at last June's Viscom Technology Forum in Hanover, Germany. The Hermes Standard was one of the pivotal presentation topics at this event.

The Hermes Standard was launched in March by 16 production suppliers, including Viscom. The website for the initiative, where Version 1.0 of the specification can be downloaded at no cost, has since gone online. The new interface – based on TCP/IP and XML – could replace the outmoded SMEMA over the long-term. Then, it should be possible to seamlessly pass printed circuit boards through all the single stations of an automated production line, accompanied by information like dimensions or transport speed.

"The protocol is flexibly expandable,” explains Beer. “More functions can be added later.” The individual machines will use the data to perform their tasks without the need for repetitive central queries at every step. No special solution is needed for this intelligent networking. All it takes is Ethernet ports and corresponding standard cables. This results in very favorable framework conditions and, compared to other approaches, decisive advantages in time and cost outlays for implementation.

One important benefit of the implementation: There is no need to convert the entire production line to the new specification in a single step. Beer explains: "The electronics manufacturer could equip only partial segments of the line with the new standard. The protocol also can be run completely in parallel. This means users can choose to use either Hermes or SMEMA."  

About Viscom

Viscom AG develops, manufactures and sells high-quality inspection systems. The portfolio encompasses the complete bandwidth of optical and X-ray inspections. In the area of assembly inspection for electronics manufacturing, the company is among the leading suppliers worldwide. Viscom systems can be configured specifically to the customer and can be interlinked. The company headquarters and manufacturing location is in Hanover, Germany. With a wide network of branches, applications centers, service support points and representatives, Viscom is represented internationally. Founded in 1984, Viscom has been listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (ISIN: DE0007846867) since 2006. For additional information, click here.


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