Company Adapts COVID-19 Testing Production Lines By Utilizing Beckhoff PC Control and Automation Technology

June 11, 2020 by Robin Mitchell

Industrial automation company, Ginolis, is producing COVID-19 testing kits using automation technology from Beckhoff.

Who is Ginolis?

Established in 2010, Ginolis is an industrial automation company that specializes in modular production equipment. Since the medical field is one of their main industries, their automation equipment is designed to offer precision while being compact.

The use of modular production units also makes their product line ideal for situations when a change in production is required with minimal to no change in the physical hardware.

The modules offered by Ginolos sit side-by-side and include a wide range of different capabilities including testing, RFID tags, printing, labeling, ultrasonic welding, cap assembly, and pouching.  


COVID-19 Testing and Industrial PCs

The COVID-19 pandemic has shaken the world with a high number of cases and has affected many industries globally. During the start of the pandemic, there were no quick testing methods such as those that look for antibodies.


Test cartridges being used for COVID-19 testing. Image used courtesy of Ginolis Ltd and Beckhoff Automation


Now that antibody tests have been developed, there is a massive need for them to be produced in millions so that large portions of the population can be tested. 

Ginolis has been working to develop such tests. The rapid manufacturing capabilities of the Ginolis system combined with its modular ability has allowed

Ginolis to move its focus into producing COVID-19 antibody tests. With hundreds of axis, sensors, and outputs, the Ginolis modular production system is only possible thanks to the use of an Industrial PC.


Beckhoff Technology Comes Into Play

The Ginolis modular system utilizes the Beckoff CX2040 embedded PC for use with control and data processing. The industrial system has an Intel 2.1GHz quad-core i7 processor and utilizes TwinCAT3 NC I software for control, while a range of terminals is used to control hardware systems which include the EL72xx servomotor terminals, EL70xx stepper motor terminals, and EL7411 BLDC motor terminals.

The embedded PC also includes 4GB RAM, fan utilizing ball-bearings with speed monitoring, and 128kB NOVRAM for use in situations where a UPS is unavailable.


Ginolis's fully automated line for manufacturing diagnostic test cartridges. Image used courtesy of Ginolis Ltd./Beckhoff Automation.


The use of embedded PC systems also allows for a compact system to be constructed in a short amount of time thanks to the ability to support software packages such as TwinCAT vision for real-time image processing.

Beckoff systems are also advantageous in medical engineering thanks to their quality and reliability; a factor that is essential in antibody tests. 

Ginolis has demonstrated that modular production techniques are incredibly advantageous when reacting to sudden demands in a market. The use of embedded PCs allows for highly advanced software systems to run while the modular design allows for changes in a production setup with minimal downtime.