One of the key purposes of modern automation technology is to improve the efficiency of production processes: In view of increasingly scarce resources it is imperative to use raw materials and energy more efficiently. The challenge is to control machines intelligently in order to increase machine output, so that more products can be produced with less raw material. PC-based control from Beckhoff provides the automation technology prerequisites for achieving this. The fast control technology is able to control processes with very short reaction times in the order of 100 µs. For packaging equipment, for example, in practice this means that less packaging material is used without affecting the functionality of the packaging. In many cases, reduced raw material consumption is the key factor for reducing the ecological footprint of a production process. The integration of high-quality measurement technology in automation offers further optimisation options: important and critical process data are available to the controller in parallel with the process control. For example, integrated system Condition Monitoring can allow to run processes closer to their limits and therefore more efficiently.
With growing processor power PC-based control offers adequate capacity reserves for local machine intelligence for running additional control tasks such as high-precision measurement technology or robotics on a central CPU.
Performance boost with multi-core technology
High-performance Industrial PCs with multi-core processors and efficient utilisation of the processor cores in the software will be key features at Hannover Messe 2012. The industrial, PC-based control technology from Beckhoff has been extended with the new Intel® processors from the 32 nm range, Intel® Core™ i3, Core™ i5 and Core™ i7 from the second generation. The processors are equipped with improved on-board graphics and a new CPU architecture to offer optimum computing power.
With the new CX2000 Embedded PC, multi-core technology has also entered the world of compact DIN rail PCs to cover capacity ranges that were previously limited to Industrial PCs. The Embedded PCs with up to four cores are suitable for versatile PLC, NC and CNC applications. The CX9020 complements the new generation of Embedded PCs with a PC controller from the medium performance class. The compact device is equipped with a 1 GHz ARM Cortex™ A8 processor and is also suitable for Motion Control applications.
On the software side, TwinCAT 3 enables optimum utilisation of modern PC architectures. Multi-core support through TwinCAT 3 enables the performance of the cores to be fully utilised. This has significant benefits, since the machine program can simply be allocated to different cores. TwinCAT multi-core support enables performance increases in line with the number of CPU cores.
Engineering advantage through TwinCAT 3
In addition to active multi-core support TwinCAT offers significant potential for saving engineering costs and for developing control tasks more efficiently with the optimum programming language for the task in hand. TwinCAT integrates all key programming languages in its development environment: IEC 61131-3 and CFC, including object-oriented extensions, the high-level languages C/C++, and Matlab®/Simulink® for scientific applications.
Multi-touch panels offer maximum flexibility
Further innovations which Beckhoff will present in Hanover include the new CP2xxx and CP3xxx Control Panel and Panel PC series. The panels are characterised by a modern operating concept with multi-touch display and advanced, elegant device design. In the execution as built-in or mounting arm devices, the aluminium and stainless steel panels are extremely robust and are designed for use under harsh industrial conditions. Widescreen panels in various sizes and resolutions are available in addition to the classic display sizes in 4:3 format. For single-touch users the new panel generation also offers a number of benefits, including an optimised price/performance ratio with savings of up to 28 % compared with the existing devices.
AM8000 servomotor integrates the feedback system into the standard motor cable
With the new AM8000 series Beckhoff will present servomotors that were developed in-house and produced in Germany. In addition to high availability and flexibility, this also guarantees consistently high quality. The rotary synchronous servomotors, which are available in standard and in stainless steel designs, are characterised by high dynamics, energy efficiency and low costs. One of the highlights is the new single-cable technology, with which the power and feedback system are combined in the standard motor cable. The sophisticated rotor and stator technology represents the actual basis for the new servomotors. Through the optimised motor design and the use of high-quality materials it has been possible to increase the energy efficiency by more than 10 % compared to conventional servomotors.
New Automation Technology Live!
The trade show presentation at the main booth in Hall 9 will be accompanied by a series of lectures on current topics, such as TwinCAT 3, safety and drive technology. “TectoYou” is a nationwide initiative by Hannover Messe in cooperation with associations and companies, and aims to inspire young people to take up technical professions and to give them a better understanding of future technologies. Within the context of “TectoYou”, Beckhoff sponsors the visit to Hanover of over 800 school pupils from eastern Westphalia together with their teachers. Trained guides and Beckhoff experts accompany the pupils from nine schools, who are able to experience automation technology live at Hannover Messe.
Beckhoff main booth:
- Hall 9, Booth F06
Beckhoff at partner booths:
- EtherCAT Technology Group: Hall 9, Booth D18
- PLCopen: Hall 9, Booth A27
- PROFIBUS user organisation: Hall 9, Booth D05/2
- OPC Foundation: Hall 9, Booth A15
- OWL Maschinenbau: Hall 16
Beckhoff Automation core data (as of 12/2011):
- Headquarters: Verl, Germany
- Turnover development:
- 2010: 346 million EUR (+46 %)
- Staff worldwide: 2130 (+29 %)
- Branch Offices in Germany: 9
- Subsidiaries/Branch Offices worldwide: 28
- Distributors worldwide: 62