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The ‘PC in a drive’

07 July 2009

The APC820 is a high-performance Core™2 Duo processor based industrial PC in the form factor of an industrial drive. The ‘Duo’ processor allows Windows XP and a real-time operating system to run parallel to each other on separate processor cores. The computer user can reserve one processor core exclusively for real-time operation or he may optionally release it for Windows XP use.

B&R APC820
B&R APC820

The automation project is developed using B&R Automation Studio software. Completely new options and complex automation tasks that were previously distributed over a number of system platforms (e.g. controller, Windows computer, etc.) are now brought together in a single device.

With the integrated Smart Display Link in APC820, up to four automation panels can be connected over a distance of up to 160 m. Complex processes on physically separated machines can be controlled on site, which is a distinct advantage for commissioning, operation and service.

There is a wide range of onboard interfaces to allow the APC820 to be integrated in an automation system. For real-time communication between APC820, I/Os and drives, the computer has an onboard Ethernet POWERLINK interface, which is a standard feature. This helps achieve cycle times down to 200 µs and ultra-precise timing < 1 µs.

There are in addition two Gigabit Ethernet interfaces to provide machine level communication that is completely separate from the connection to the company network.

There is an additional CAN interface available for the connection of additional devices.

The APC820 was designed for the toughest environments. For example, there are no internal cable connections so there is no possibility that cables will become loose inside the cabinet. This has made it possible to achieve maximum vibration resistance and operational safety. There are no rotating disks. CompactFlash cards are the storage medium used, which are also optimal for use in Windows XP professional as well as Windows XP embedded.

Bernecker + Rainer Industrie-Elektronik Ges.m.b.H.

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