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Seamless connectivity from the workpiece to the Cloud

14 January 2019

As well as being an expert in mechanics and pneumatic motion technology, Festo offers a range of electric automation solutions, including its most recent launch of the latest motion controller technology with seamless integration into leading host environments. Eberhard Klotz, head of the Festo Industry 4.0 campaign explains.

Festo’s Automation Platform – which will be a highlight on the company’s booth at SPS/IPC/Drives this year – offers seamless connectivity from the mechanics up to the Cloud with electric and pneumatic drive technology. Festo users are now supported by intelligent software and world-class selection and dimensioning tools. Automation Suite incorporates project engineering and collaboration tools for global teams and, via the Cloud, provides easy access to IoT connectivity and smart maintenance tools. 

Select + Dimension: mechanical integration – Festo software tools, such as ‘Positioning Drives’ allow perfect dimensioning  of drives to meet the specific requirements of an application. It makes it possible to get it right first time with no over-dimensioning and providing a perfect fit between axes, motors and servo drives. 

Using the ‘Handling Guide Online’ tool it is possible to design handling and gantry systems within 15 mins, including system optimisation and all accessories.  The tool will then provide a single part-number for the custom-designed gantry system, offering a reliable, risk free and convenient design solution.

Simulate + Connect: electric integration – Using the Festo software tools all drive combinations can be simulated to find out whether the result will meet expectations. It is also possible to specify the safety factors required for the servo and the mechanics solution to ensure the best option is selected, which helps to reduce risk and offers cost savings. Finally, the software provides CAD drawings in 45 native formats and Eplan macros. All resulting data can be easily integrated into Industry 4.0 host environments by the digital twin. 

Program + Service: intelligent integration – The successful integration of individual elements of a system are critical to ensure optimal machine performance. Festo offers a choice between three major options to achieve this:

• Option 1 – Direct integration: This provides seamless connectivity into leading host environments including  Siemens, Rockwell, Beckhoff, Omron, Bosch. These are supported by function blocks that look and behave like the native drive package. It is a unique single source solution for all mechanics and electrics including drives. 

• Option 2 – Decentralised motion control systems: With its new Festo CPX-E PLC, including EtherCAT master, Festo offers solutions for complex gantry or handling system to all PROFINET and EtherNet/IP users with complete motion control functionality. All motion is programmed in the subsystem with Codesys and then integrated in the host system as a slave.
The major benefit of this solution is faster selection, set-up and commissioning that is offered with Festo’s free of charge software selection tools. Further, easy programming inside the new Festo Automation Suite ensures that electric axes are integrated into the subsystem with just two clicks and systems can up and running in less than five minutes. 

• Option 3 – the Festo Automation Platform, a complete and perfect solution: Automation Platform offers a complete, single source solution. Risks are eliminated as the system offers seamless integration into all leading host environments.  It offers seamless connectivity and first-class technology and software from a single source.

This powerful connectivity package includes MyProjects engineering software hosted in the Festo cloud for global team collaboration. It opens the door to cloud connectivity and system performance visualisation, because the CPX-IOT gateway provides the easiest technology for on-boarding to the cloud including dashboards for Festo smart devices. Industry 4.0 applications include smart maintenance, full Eplan integration and much more. 

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