Beckhoff gets ready for FachPack 2010

17 August 2010

Beckhoff is gearing up for German packaging trade fair, FachPack, where it will demonstrate its PC- and EtherCAT-based control technology for control and supervision of individual packaging machines and complete packaging lines.

The international exhibition takes place September 28 to 30 in Nuremberg. Beckhoff claims it has developed a versatile new Control Panel with stainless steel housing as well as new washdown motors for use in food processing, packaging and numerous other areas of application.

TwinCAT 3, the latest software generation from Beckhoff, is designed to extend the world of packaging automation with advanced programming enhancements and a wealth of time- and cost-saving functions.

With the new stainless steel Control Panel and Panel PC series, Beckhoff is bringing control and operating units to the market that meet the strict hygiene requirements for packaging, especially that of food and pharmaceutical manufacturing. Meeting protection class IP 65, these stainless steel panels are characterised by a gapless housing design and a flush-fitting 12 or 15-inch touch panel.

In addition, the new AM3000 synchronous servomotor series with FDA-compliant, white “washdown” surface coating represents an inexpensive solution for all applications within the sensitive area of food packaging. The coating is suitable for use with food products and is resistant to aggressive cleaning agents.

On the basis of “Scientific Automation,” Beckhoff integrates not only Motion Control but also robotics into the centralised control platform. Before Scientific Automation, the employment of robots with simple bar kinematics, as used frequently in the packaging industry, has required a dedicated CPU and a special software package. With the “TwinCAT Kinematic Transformation” solution from Beckhoff, the user now has a software tool at their disposal that integrates the robot controller into the Beckhoff world and allows the highly precise synchronisation of Motion Control and the robot. In this way, a part located on a conveyor belt driven with standard Motion Control can be seized and set aside by the robot “on the fly.”

TwinCAT 3 is the latest PC-based control software with which Beckhoff has extended the standard automation world considerably. In addition to the object-oriented IEC 61131-3 extensions, the languages of the IT world are also available in C and C++. The integration of Matlab/Simulink enables easier application into scientific fields. The modules are executable in the different languages with a common runtime under hard real-time conditions, using multi-core technology and with 32- or 64-bit operating systems.

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