Beckhoff Set to Bring New Automation Solutions to MODEX 2020February 07, 2020 by Robin Mitchell
Beckhoff Automation is planning to debut new automation solutions in a few weeks at MODEX 2020.
MODEX 2020 is set to take off in just a few weeks. The show will be demonstrating over 30,000 professionals from all aspects of the supply chain, manufacturing, and distribution industries.
In this article, we'll discuss the major products and platforms Beckhoff will be highlighting at this event.
Beckhoff Brings Focuses on Open Automation and Controls Technology in the Showroom
Beckhoff will be demonstrating how its range of automation and intelligent industrial solutions can help with intralogistics users to respond to market trends and optimize processes.
According to Beckhoff, this system is only possible if features such as standardized hardware and software make up the foundation of an industrial process. This allows for devices to easily cross-communicate without the need for specialized APIs.
Beckhoff’s control solution covers the main areas of automation including IoT integration, control software, safety integration, drive technology, and control panels.
Image used courtesy of MODEX.
New TwinCAT Tools for Intralogistics Solutions
Several of Beckhoff's announcements are tied to their existing TwinCAT software platform which focuses on making controls accessible from PCs, oftentimes replacing the need for PLC controllers. In December, Beckhoff announced TwinCAT Engineering, a platform for cloud connectivity and web-based collaboration and data monitoring for industrial systems.
At MODEX 2020, Beckhoff will emphasize several other TwinCAT tools.
This tool is a complete data logging system that can be used on mobile devices for viewing real-time data from industrial control processes. The tool can be used with the TwinCAT Scope View charting tool which allows for the graphical representation of sensory data.
All data streamed via the TwinCAT Analytics tool is encrypted to ensure security and integrity of potentially private data and the transmission of data is done using the MQTT protocol.
TwinCAT IoT 4.0
This tool standardizes industrial communication using protocols such as OPC UA over networks. This allows for multiple systems to communicate with a single platform that can be run on platforms such as Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and TwinCAT services.
The openness of the architecture provides maximum control and choice to the designer and user and with all aspects of a control process networked monitoring of all stages can be done remotely with ease.
Beckhoff will be demonstrating its PC-based software TwinCAT Vision which adds vision processing to its universal control platform. Since their unified control platform also includes other components such as PLCs, motor controls, sensors, and HMI the inclusion of vision helps to simplify the engineering steps needed to incorporate a vision system.
A rendering of a TwinCAT Vision system inspection stage.Image used courtesy of Beckhoff
The image processing algorithm can also be synchronized in real-time with industrial processes making it work fluidly with other systems.
Smaller, Faster, Smarter, More Flexible: New Industrial Products for Industry 4.0
Beckhoff is also using MODEX 2020 as a springboard to talk about several other products, including a linear drive solution for space-conscientious applications, an embedded PC, and a new ethernet system for high-speed communications.
The CX7000 Embedded PC
Automating and controlling processes require some form of computational device, which is where PLCs often come in. However, some applications require a more powerful processor than those found on a PLC, which is where Beckhoff has positioned their CX7000, an embedded industrial computer with an ideal price-to-performance ratio.
The CX7000 has an integrated ARM Cortex M7 processor clocked at 400MHz, as well as a microSD card slot, ethernet interface, and a range of I/O including 8 integrated multifunctional inputs and four integrated multifunctional outputs.
XTS (Extended Transport System) for Motor Systems
Linear motors are becoming incredibly important in automation due to their ability to move platforms with high accuracy, speed, and virtual immunity to wear. Beckhoff's linear drive solution, called XTS, combines two motor systems into one to provide the best of both worlds; linear motors and rotary motors.
The reduction of mechanical components reduces the footprint consumed of the XTS system by up to 50% and is compatible with the TwinCAT software system allows for remote monitoring and control of the linear drive system.
Image used courtesy of Beckhoff Automation.
High-speed communication is essential in an automation environment which is why Beckhoff will be demonstrating its EtherCAT G ethernet system. The solution allows for data rates of up to 10Gbps and is aimed at data-intensive solutions including video streaming, complex motion control, and data monitoring.
First introduced in July of 2019, EtherCAT G retains all capabilities that EtherCAT offers as well as being able to ensure synchronization of distributed clocks to 100ns.
MODEX 2020 will be filled with manufacturers demonstrating their solutions for the next generation of industrial processes. Beckhoff is one of these companies whose drive towards unification and standardized practices can shape the industrial world of tomorrow.
Will you be at MODEX 2020 to see this technology up-close? Tell us about your plans in the comments below.