Beckhoff Automation

Beckhoff Automation

Beckhoff Automation provides advanced, open automation products based upon proven industrial technologies. Manufacturers can implement high performance Beckhoff control systems more efficiently and at a lower overall cost than traditional PLC and motion control systems.

The new ELX series EtherCAT Terminals from Beckhoff, with intrinsically safe inputs/outputs and compact design, enable direct connection of field devices located in hazardous areas – classified Zones 0, 1 and 2. PC-based control from Beckhoff now seamlessly combines industrial automation and process technology, including all the benefits of integrated and comprehensive diagnostics from the EtherCAT system.  A broad range of explosion-proof components from Beckhoff facilitate the implementation of barrier-free solutions across hazardous areas up to Zone 0/20.

With new I/O terminals that feature explosion protection, the ELX series expands the comprehensive Beckhoff EtherCAT Terminal system, which already offered more than 100 different signal types. With upcoming certification in compliance with ATEX and IECEx, the ELX series meets all industry-specific guidelines for explosion protection and can be used in nearly all markets worldwide.

The combination of remarkably compact I/O modules and integrated safety barrier functionality results in high-performance EtherCAT Terminals for connecting intrinsically safe field devices. The I/O terminals have either 12 mm housings with up to four intrinsically safe inputs or 24 mm housings with up to eight similar inputs. The slim terminals reduce space requirements in control cabinets by up to 50 percent. This solution offers clear advantages, particularly in hazardous areas with confined spaces that typically require elaborate and expensive enclosure technology. Eliminating the need for these external barriers significantly reduces installation effort and costs.

With the ELX terminals, users with explosion protection requirements can benefit from ultra-fast and sophisticated EtherCAT technology. These benefits include time stamp functionality, which ensures high measurement accuracy and highly precise synchronization − even in widely distributed process applications. In addition, integrated EtherCAT diagnostics capabilities with 100 Mbit data rates enable fast and convenient error identification. In this way, downtime can be minimized, maintenance simplified and system availability increased.

In addition to the ELX series EtherCAT Terminals with intrinsically safe interfaces, the Beckhoff portfolio of solutions for the process industries has grown in other areas. This includes Control Panels and Panel PCs in the new CPX series, suitable for use in Ex Zone 2/22, and TwinCAT control software with an expanded range of interfaces specific to process technology.

Modern smart factory concepts tailored to Industrie 4.0 or the Internet of Things (IoT) offer numerous advantages for increasing process efficiency and quality while lowering costs. The ultra-compact C6015 Industrial PC (IPC) from Beckhoff is the ideal space-saving, high-performance IoT edge device that fully utilizes these advantages for new and legacy systems in the process industries.

By integrating comprehensive IoT and analytics functionality, Beckhoff PC-based control technology opens up a wealth of options to optimize production processes. System consistency in the control platform ensures simple implementation and high transparency:

A universal portfolio of components for explosion protection, including the ELX series EtherCAT Terminals, enables end-to-end automation of even large and complex processing plants.

The TwinCAT software platform offers specific interfaces and libraries for process technology, and enables convenient cloud integration via TwinCAT IoT and data analysis via TwinCAT Analytics, synchronizing perfectly with control cycles.

A high-performance IoT edge device in the form of the C6015 ultra-compact IPC, which can simultaneously run all kinds of automation and control tasks.

Measuring just 82 x 82 x 40 mm, the exceptionally compact C6015 IPC with multi-core technology can be flexibly installed even in highly confined spaces. Equipped with an Intel® Atom™ processor that offers up to four CPU cores, the C6015 provides sufficient processing power for simple collection, processing and provision of process data and for the more complex tasks required of a modern IoT gateway. The Microsoft Azure™ certification of the C6015 underscores that the device is ideal for state-of-the-art Industrie 4.0 applications.

The C6015 is predestined for such communication tasks, especially when retrofitting and connecting legacy systems. Existing process technology systems can be easily equipped with additional IoT capabilities using this IoT edge device, or they can be readied to meet future communication requirements. In this way, operators of process technology systems gain access to the full wealth of IoT and analytics solutions supported by Beckhoff technology, regardless of the automation technology used – be it PC-based control or third-party control platforms. This reduces production costs, optimizes product quality and improves the transparency of all process workflows. In addition, system availability and productivity can be increased and cloud-based services used, for example, to implement predictive maintenance.

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