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Beckhoff offers scalable control solutions for operating and monitoring: from device management and cloud-based services to condition monitoring © Beckhoff
© Beckhoff

PC-based control for operating and monitoring

Control, operation and monitoring on one multitasking platform

The ability to monitor the status of equipment and access control systems – anytime and anywhere in the world if desired – is becoming more important with each passing day. Operators and service engineers in a control center can check anytime whether devices installed in the field are operating properly. The support for standard interfaces as well as all vendor-specific protocols of relevance for a specific industry makes the Beckhoff control system an open platform that offers users maximum flexibility to realize their applications. A single platform can be used to monitor the status of various third-party systems, for example, an array of monitors or various different physical parameters.

The Beckhoff control system can be flexibly expanded thanks to its inherent modularity. If, for example, new functions like energy are to be extended, this can be solved by placing a decentral I/O terminal to the network and with a simple software update, for instance. Beckhoff also offers a wide variety of elegantly designed multi-touch Control Panels and Panel PCs for operator interface and monitoring. Display sizes ranging from 7 to 24 inches allow users to choose the ideal device for their application.

System overview

The Beckhoff control platform supports all standard interfaces and all industry-specific as well as vendor-specific protocols in the area of operating and monitoring.
The Beckhoff control platform supports all standard interfaces and all industry-specific as well as vendor-specific protocols in the area of operating and monitoring.

Beckhoff technology highlights for operating and monitoring

The intelligent networking of all systems, from heating, ventilation and air conditioning to room automation, media technology, operation and monitoring, makes PC-based control the optimal control platform for implementing energy-efficient buildings.
The intelligent networking of all systems, from heating, ventilation and air conditioning to room automation, media technology, operation and monitoring, makes PC-based control the optimal control platform for implementing energy-efficient buildings.

The PC-based control principle

The PC-based control technology from Beckhoff has proven itself worldwide since 1980 in the widest variety of industries and applications, from the machine controller and the automation of wind turbines to building automation and AV and media technology. What was regarded 40 years ago as an outsider position has developed very quickly into a standard in the automation industry. Innovative product developments that underscored Beckhoff's PC-based control philosophy followed continuously and are regarded today as milestones in automation technology, such as the modular Bus Terminal system, the high-speed fieldbus EtherCAT or the Embedded PC. The basis for the universal usability of the Beckhoff control solution is its modularity, its scalability in terms of power and its openness toward other systems and tools. The PC-based control platform enables the integral and complete automation of all trades: from heating, ventilation, and air conditioning to room automation, including lighting, solar protection and window control, and from remote maintenance and energy data acquisition to operation and monitoring. For this purpose, Beckhoff offers an extensive toolkit of hardware and software components, which can be used both in individual trades and across systems. Sturdy Industrial PCs or Embedded Controllers with TwinCAT as the universal automation software virtually form the heart of the controller and integrate PLC, visualization, motion control, safety technology and measurement tasks. The Beckhoff I/O systems log data from all sensors and actuators: from daylight-dependent lighting to facade control, and from the control of heating, ventilation and air conditioning to the control of show lights, sound and projection. EtherCAT, the real-time fieldbus system, provides for the necessary communication speed. Through support for all common protocols and interfaces of media and building technology, the Beckhoff automation platform is able to address all industry-typical devices and systems. Due to the modularity of the system, only a new I/O signal has to be integrated into the terminal segment in the case of a function extension. The programming and configuration of the various trades and their functionalities is carried out with TwinCAT via a uniform software. Various software blocks are available for diagnostic functions and configuration, which greatly simplifies engineering.

Your advantage with PC-based control:

  • Cost-effectiveness: from investment to implementation to usage
  • Sustainability: with today's technologies for tomorrow's requirements
  • Simple networking: all information is available on one platform
  • Flexibility: in order to react to users' individual needs, even during use
  • High availability: through the use of open standards

With around 100 signal types, users have an extensive EtherCAT I/O Terminal portfolio at their disposal.
With around 100 signal types, users have an extensive EtherCAT I/O Terminal portfolio at their disposal.

EtherCAT I/O Terminals automate any functionality in building services

In 1995, Beckhoff launched the Bus Terminal, which has since become one of the most important technology standards in automation technology. That was followed in 2003 by the development of the fast EtherCAT communication system. Launched by Beckhoff as an open system, it became a global standard in automation within a few years. With around 100 signal types, an extensive EtherCAT I/O Terminal portfolio is available to users that is extremely well suited for automating every functionality in building applications in terms of both its performance and variance. The Bus Terminals enable a variety of simple building bus systems such as KNX/EIB, DALI-2, DMX, M-Bus, BACnet MSTP and others to be integrated into the controller. This ensures compatibility and continuity with the existing system. Existing and future investments are protected.

In contrast to the Bus Terminals, in which the fieldbus signal is converted in the Bus Coupler to the internal, fieldbus-neutral terminal bus, the EtherCAT protocol is completely preserved up to the individual terminal with EtherCAT Terminals. The EtherCAT I/Os enable DMX and SMPTE-Timecode to be integrated into the controller. EtherCAT Terminals are used in almost every building automation application.

The Beckhoff I/O system supports around 1000 Bus Terminals and is thus probably the most comprehensive system on the market. The components enable users to operate mixed signal configurations without restriction at each station. This means that a single non-central input/output node can map all of the necessary signals.
The Beckhoff I/O system supports around 1000 Bus Terminals and is thus probably the most comprehensive system on the market. The components enable users to operate mixed signal configurations without restriction at each station. This means that a single non-central input/output node can map all of the necessary signals.

The universal basic function block for automation

The I/O signals are wired decentralized to fieldbus devices or centrally to the controller. The available vendor-specific fieldbus devices with fixed input/output configurations and design often make it necessary to use an entire group of devices with similar functions. This complex signal acquisition results in high material, installation, design and documentation expenditures as well as high costs for later changes or extensions. Inventory management and service staff are put under unnecessary strain.

The Beckhoff Bus Terminal is an open and fieldbus-neutral I/O system consisting of electronic terminal blocks. The head of an electronic terminal block is the Bus Coupler with the interface to the fieldbus. Bus Couplers are available for all leading fieldbus systems. With the master terminals, fieldbus functionalities are also available in the form of a standard Bus Terminal. This is particularly advantageous for bus systems that are integrated as subsystems into a higher-level system. It means that only one system is required for the subsystem and for the higher-level bus interface. The master terminals are available for the following building bus systems: BACnet MSTP, KNX/EIB, LON, DALI/DALI-2, DMX, MP-bus, M-bus, SMI, EnOcean, Modbus and others.

Beckhoff product highlights for operating and monitoring

With TwinCAT 3 Building Automation, Beckhoff offers an extremely flexible and extensive construction kit consisting of hardware and software components for building automation. All components are coordinated in such a way that they make the consistent and efficient engineering of all trades possible for the system integrator – from the PLC to the integration of the communication protocol to the creation of the system visualization – and reduce the development costs.
With TwinCAT 3 Building Automation, Beckhoff offers an extremely flexible and extensive construction kit consisting of hardware and software components for building automation. All components are coordinated in such a way that they make the consistent and efficient engineering of all trades possible for the system integrator – from the PLC to the integration of the communication protocol to the creation of the system visualization – and reduce the development costs.

TwinCAT 3 Building Automation: the comprehensive software package for building automation

In order to make the engineering of applications in building automation as efficient and simple as possible, Beckhoff has developed an extensive construction kit of software tools, libraries and application samples. The basic tool is the free programming environment TwinCAT Engineering (TE1000). It allows free programming according to IEC 61131-3 and gives the system user maximum flexibility in solving tasks.

The basic functions for the automation of all technical finishing systems of building automation – from simple logic blocks and PID controllers to the tracking of the blind slats in relation to the sun's position – are included in the TC3 Building Automation library (TF8040). With the function blocks from the TC3 Building Automation library, system integrators have an extensive portfolio of ready-to-use applications, the so-called templates, at their disposal. These are tried-and-tested and well-documented program blocks, ranging from applications in heating, ventilation and air conditioning technology to the room automation functions of solar protection and lighting control. They simplify the system integrator's familiarization with the system and ensure a high level of system functionality. This increases the quality of the execution as well as the reusability and maintainability of the programs created. For the integration of the Beckhoff automation stations into a management and control level, communication via BACnet and OPC UA is integrated directly into the templates.

The system operation and parameterization can be carried out on site on the control cabinet via touch PC or remotely by means of an integrated HTML5 web visualization. The web-based visualization solution TwinCAT HMI (TF2000) is ideal for support with commissioning, system parameterization and maintenance. TwinCAT HMI supports all basic operating and monitoring functions of building automation, such as system graphics, alarm and event lists, scheduling and trends.

In TwinCAT BACnet, Beckhoff offers a complete product line that is characterized by its high scalability: From the compact ARM-based CX8191 controller, which supports up to 750 BACnet objects, to Panel PCs in various screen sizes to the CX51xx or the Industrial PCs from the C60xx series, on which several thousand BACnet objects can be collected and processed centrally, the devices can be used without restriction as BACnet Building Controllers (B-BC). With the EL6861 terminal, devices can be easily and securely connected via BACnet MS/TP (master-slave/token passing) and integrated into the BACnet network.
In TwinCAT BACnet, Beckhoff offers a complete product line that is characterized by its high scalability: From the compact ARM-based CX8191 controller, which supports up to 750 BACnet objects, to Panel PCs in various screen sizes to the CX51xx or the Industrial PCs from the C60xx series, on which several thousand BACnet objects can be collected and processed centrally, the devices can be used without restriction as BACnet Building Controllers (B-BC). With the EL6861 terminal, devices can be easily and securely connected via BACnet MS/TP (master-slave/token passing) and integrated into the BACnet network.

The BACnet solution from Beckhoff: scalable performance and wide range of functions

The international BACnet standard, which guarantees interoperability in building automation between devices from different manufacturers, is becoming increasingly important and is constantly being supplemented with new functions. TwinCAT BACnet can be used as a universal Ethernet protocol on all PC-based hardware platforms from Beckhoff, right down to the field level. The DIN rail-mountable Embedded PC series CX8191, CX9020, CX51xx the Industrial PCs of the C60xx series and Panel PCs in different display sizes are certified according to the BACnet standard ISO 16484-5 Protocol, Revision 14, and offer a control platform that is precisely scalable in terms of performance. In accordance with AMEV BACnet 2017, the AS-B application profile (extended BACnet functionality) meets the stringent requirements of public and private building operators for the supported BACnet functionality.

With the integration of the BACnet protocol into the TwinCAT System Manager it is possible to efficiently configure I/O Bus Terminals and BACnet devices with a single tool. BACnet servers and clients can be created in a structured manner from the PLC; BACnet properties can be accessed directly from the PLC. These capabilities also enable the efficient implementation of visualisation components. Another function is the dynamic creation of BACnet objects, which can be used to create and configure time schedules and trend objects. Distributed clocks can be synchronised with the aid of the supported client and master functions. Also, adjustments to summer and winter time can be carried out automatically by the integrated operating system functionality. Hardware status monitoring has been integrated and is available for BACnet applications without additional effort. Extended alarm and event services, additional "primitive value" object types, improved equipment management and the increased execution performance available with BACnet Revision 14 have been implemented in TwinCAT BACnet and offer further advantages for users. The Beckhoff solution was developed completely in-house, drawing on the profound knowledge of our industry experts.

The TwinCAT 3 Lighting Solution, which can be configured easily and conveniently using Excel, focuses on simplifying all work steps – from engineering to maintenance. All typical lighting controllers are integrated in the system and the number of DALI lines is unlimited. Fast function changes, addressing and extensions are possible during operation, as are groupings that are independent of the DALI line and human centric lighting concepts related to the course of the day.
The TwinCAT 3 Lighting Solution, which can be configured easily and conveniently using Excel, focuses on simplifying all work steps – from engineering to maintenance. All typical lighting controllers are integrated in the system and the number of DALI lines is unlimited. Fast function changes, addressing and extensions are possible during operation, as are groupings that are independent of the DALI line and human centric lighting concepts related to the course of the day.

The efficient way to a DALI-2 lighting solution with simple configuration

With the TF8050 TwinCAT 3 Lighting Solution, Beckhoff has introduced an Excel-configurable lighting solution that focuses on simplifying all work steps from engineering to maintenance. All typical lighting controllers are integrated and the number of DALI lines is unlimited. Beckhoff bus couplers installed decentrally in the network can be used with extensive lighting systems, which significantly reduces the cabling work. TF8050 also supports features such as remote control via web, the import and export of Excel data or simple maintenance. The Beckhoff lighting solution also includes functions for Human Centric Lighting (HCL) as well as the integration of DALI-2 sensors. All these functions are simple to configure, even without programming knowledge.

The Lighting Solution is fully web and HTML-capable, decentrally scalable and can be operated directly via a multi-touch panel. Fast function changes, addressing and extensions or groupings across DALI lines are directly possible during operation. Daylight-dependent human centric lighting concepts can also be implemented.

The advantages at a glance:

  • greatest possible simplification of all work steps for electricians, system integrators, and operators
  • easy to configure; also available as a fully configured plug-and-play solution
  • easy to expand and maintain
  • unlimited number of DALI lines
  • grouping across DALI lines
  • fully web and HTML-capable
  • hardware-independent
  • locally scalable
  • includes all typical lighting controls

In the CX51xx Embedded PCs, Beckhoff has launched a series of devices that also makes multi-core technology available for controllers in mid-range performance class.
In the CX51xx Embedded PCs, Beckhoff has launched a series of devices that also makes multi-core technology available for controllers in mid-range performance class.

CX51xx as a high-performance building controller

The high-performance CX51xx Embedded PC – in conjunction with the TwinCAT 3 Building Automation software (TF8040) – is the optimal control platform for the automation of buildings with many data points. With the CX51xx series, the user obtains a very high-performance BACnet controller, which can easily process more than 2000 BACnet objects. Of course, the CX also has all the other connection options, such as OPC UA, MQTT and Modbus TCP at the IP level, as well as a wide range of interfaces for the integration of subsystems such as BACnet MSTP, KNX/EIB, LON, DALI/DALI-2, DMX, MP-Bus, M-Bus, SMI, EnOcean and Modbus at the Bus Terminal level.

A DVI-I interface allows the CX51xx to be connected to a Beckhoff panel for operation and monitoring. The performance class of the CX51xx allows an HMI to run in addition to the PLC. The media world can also be integrated superbly with the common protocols via TwinCAT 3. This gives the user a controller that covers the entire spectrum in the building, from the control of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning to room automation and from energy measurement to the cloud connection.

The CX7000 Embedded PC can be used as a high-performance and cost-effective small controller with the TwinCAT 3 software generation and can be extended as desired by Bus Terminals or EtherCAT Terminals.
The CX7000 Embedded PC can be used as a high-performance and cost-effective small controller with the TwinCAT 3 software generation and can be extended as desired by Bus Terminals or EtherCAT Terminals.

CX7000: the variably usable small controller in the building

The CX70xx Embedded PC is ideal for implementing small stand-alone solutions in the building, such as a small ventilation system. The CX7000 is also ideally suited for room automation. With its eight integrated multifunction inputs and four multifunction outputs, it is a very inexpensive compact controller. Of course, the CX7000 can be flexibly extended by all Bus and EtherCAT Terminals, so that subsidiary bus systems such as KNX/EIB, LON, DALI/DALI-2, DMX, MP-Bus, M-Bus, SMI, EnOcean and Modbus can also be connected.

Fanless Intel®-Core™-i-power for the ultra-compact Industrial PC generation.
Fanless Intel®-Core™-i-power for the ultra-compact Industrial PC generation.
The C6015 is also ideal as an edge device for aggregating and collecting data and makes building control IoT-capable.
The C6015 is also ideal as an edge device for aggregating and collecting data and makes building control IoT-capable.

Extremely space-saving, flexibly expandable and sturdy: the new generation of ultra-compact Industrial PCs

Launched with the C6015, the series of ultra-compact Industrial PCs has positioned itself extremely successfully on the market due to its flexible application possibilities. As a sturdy control cabinet IPC with an Intel® Atom™ CPU with up to four cores and a clock speed of 1.91 GHz, the C6015 is suitable for automation, visualization and communication tasks. Its small dimensions of 82 x 82 x 40 mm and the flexible mounting options make the fanless multi-core PC the ideal controller for applications with high performance requirements and minimal mounting space in almost all areas of building automation. The C6015 is certified for BACNet/IP and is a powerful controller for HVAC systems. It is also ideal for use as an edge device for compressing and collecting data and makes the building controller IoT-capable.

The C6017 multi-core computer, which measures just 82 mm x 82 mm x 66 mm, adds a variant to the family with additional optional interfaces. Due to its high computing power and fanless design, the C6025 is particularly suitable for demanding control applications that also take into account the aspect of green IT. The basis for this is the Intel® Core™ i U processor, which consumes significantly less power. The C6030 offers advantages such as low space requirements, universal usability and flexible mounting, even for complex applications with the highest performance requirements. The C6032 has a further board level for modular interface and function extensions. The use of compact PCIe modules allows it to be perfectly adapted to the respective application and requirement profile in the building automation.

Beckhoff offers an extensive portfolio of energy and power measurement terminals for maintenance, power measurement and performance monitoring.
Beckhoff offers an extensive portfolio of energy and power measurement terminals for maintenance, power measurement and performance monitoring.

Integrated energy consumption measurement in building automation

Energy efficiency plays an important role in building automation. In order to save costs, energy consumption must be reduced and processes optimized. For the energy management of buildings and plants, it is necessary to record the consumptions of water, electricity and heat at the shortest possible intervals. For the support of cost-optimizing energy management systems, Beckhoff's PC-based control offers the possibility to monitor, measure and analyze energy data via a monitoring system that is completely integrated in the standard controller. Specific I/O components allow the high-precision and transparent acquisition of all energy data in a building. The data are processed and analyzed by the TwinCAT control software. Saving potential can be fully exploited, thereby creating the basis for DIN EN ISO 50001 compliance. With a broad portfolio of Bus Terminals and EtherCAT Terminals for energy management, Beckhoff provides suitable technology for the ongoing monitoring of power consumption as well as for the detailed consumption analysis.

Beckhoff terminals for direct current measurement:

  • EL3403 and KL3403 3-phase power measurement 500 V AC
  • EL3413 3-phase power measurement 690 V AC
  • EL3773 high-end grid analysis

Terminals for the indirect measurement (metering) of heat, gas, and water:

Beckhoff is bringing a compact solution for energy data acquisition onto the market in the KL6781 M-Bus Master Terminal: heating, water or gas meters with an M-Bus interface are simply integrated into the fieldbus-independent Bus Terminal system and eliminate the need for external M-Bus gateways. The energy consumption of a building can be significantly optimized on the basis of the exact acquisition of energy consumption data.
Beckhoff is bringing a compact solution for energy data acquisition onto the market in the KL6781 M-Bus Master Terminal: heating, water or gas meters with an M-Bus interface are simply integrated into the fieldbus-independent Bus Terminal system and eliminate the need for external M-Bus gateways. The energy consumption of a building can be significantly optimized on the basis of the exact acquisition of energy consumption data.

Compact M-Bus solution makes special hardware unnecessary

Beckhoff is expanding its range of power measurement terminals with the KL6781 M-Bus master terminal: electricity, water, gas or energy meters with M-Bus interface are simply integrated in the fieldbus-independent Bus Terminal system, making external M-Bus gateways unnecessary. The KL6781 M-Bus master terminal in a compact 12 mm housing allows the direct connection of up to 40 M-Bus devices, each with a current consumption of 1.5 mA. To connect additional devices, another KL6781 can simply be introduced in the Bus Terminal segment. The M-Bus master terminal converts the data from the internal terminal bus into M-Bus-compliant physics. 24 bytes of data per terminal are available for this purpose. The TwinCAT PLC M-Bus software library, which is available free of charge, simplifies the integration of M-Bus devices from numerous manufacturers through predefined profiles.

Integration of the KNX/EIB building bus system into the Beckhoff controller

The KNX/EIB Bus Terminal KL6301 connects the KNX/EIB bus system to the Beckhoff Bus Terminal system. The KL6301 offers the possibility to exchange any data with KNX/EIB devices. The ETS software is not required for configuring the KL6301. It is configured and parameterized via TwinCAT function blocks (IEC 61131-3).

BACnet MS/TP interface for connecting up to 64 BACnet field devices
BACnet MS/TP interface for connecting up to 64 BACnet field devices

1-channel BACnet MS/TP Interface

The EL6861 serial interface enables the connection of BACnet MS/TP devices (Master-Slave/Token-Passing) via an RS485 interface. Up to 32 MS/TP devices can be connected – and up to 64 if using ultra-low power transceivers. Use the EL6861 interface only in combination with TwinCAT and CX9020 as a minimum, since the BACnet MS/TP driver integrated in TwinCAT implements the communication via the MS/TP protocol (BACnet revision 12). The configuration is also done in TwinCAT.

The following devices are typically connected to the EL6861:

  • frequency converters
  • pumps
  • drives (especially valve drives)
  • room control units
  • compact controllers (e.g., volume flow regulators)

The EnOcean master terminal receives signals from battery-less sensors or sends data to actuators. With a radio signal range of at least 30 m, the wiring of buildings can be simplified significantly. The KL6581 EnOcean master terminal is the link between the KL6583 EnOcean transmitter and receiver modules and the application. Up to eight KL6583 EnOcean transmitters and receivers may be connected to one KL6581 EnOcean master terminal. The EnOcean data are transmitted via the corresponding fieldbus system or the controller. The KL6583 modules are connected to the KL6581 via two wires for the power supply and two wires for the data bus that transmits the EnOcean telegrams. The maximum total length of the data bus is 500 m.

The multi-touch panel series offers maximum flexibility for the realization of ergonomic operating concepts.
The multi-touch panel series offers maximum flexibility for the realization of ergonomic operating concepts.

Maximum flexibility for proven and new operating concepts with multi-touch

The new Beckhoff Panel generation with industry-standard multi-touch display offers the right solution for any application. The wide model variety ranges from different display sizes and formats to custom models. For single-touch users, the new panel generation also offers excellent value for money and a smart alternative to other systems.

Highlights:

  • display sizes from 7-inch to 24-inch (16:9, 5:4, 4:3)
  • landscape and portrait mode
  • multi-touch (PCT): e.g., for 5-finger or 2-hand touch operation
  • high touch-point density for safe operation
  • high-quality aluminum housing, milled from a solid block
  • metal perimeter protection for the display front
  • built-in or mounting arm models
  • Control Panel with CP-Link 4 or DVI/USB-Extended technology
  • Panel PCs with CPUs from Intel® Atom™ to Core™ i7
  • optional electromechanical push-button extension

The CP6606 Panel PC enables the control and visualization of all building functions.
The CP6606 Panel PC enables the control and visualization of all building functions.

Inexpensive and powerful: the Panel PC for the control and visualization of buildings

The CP6606 Panel PC enables the control and visualization of all building functions. As a cost-saving but high-performance built-in Panel PC from the "Economy" series, the CP6606 takes over both the control of HVAC systems and the visualization. The display size of 7 and 10.1 inches is large enough for the local operation and monitoring of the systems. EtherCAT support can be used to connect the required I/O terminals and subsidiary bus systems to the Panel PC. The second Ethernet port can be used to connect the Panel PC to other systems and the BMS, such as BACnet/IP or the OPC UA protocol.

The fast way to a platform-independent user interface: TwinCAT HMI.
The fast way to a platform-independent user interface: TwinCAT HMI.

The fast way to an individual HMI

TwinCAT HMI makes consistent use of widely used IT standards such as HTML5, JavaScript and CSS. Through the integration of a fully graphical editor with an extensive toolbox in the familiar TwinCAT 3 engineering environment, it is possible to create extensive visualisations with little effort. Customer-specific functions that are not part of the visualisation toolkit can be implemented using the IT standards mentioned above or via higher-level programming languages. The visualisations created are platform-independent and responsive on the client side. The powerful underlying architecture makes numerous application scenarios possible: from local panel solutions to multi-client, multi-server and multi-runtime configurations.

Instead of using proprietary systems, Beckhoff relies on IT standards:

  • Visual Studio® for engineering
  • HTML5 for design
  • TLS for secure communications
  • the user interface runs on any HTML5-enabled browser – regardless of operating system, resolution or display

Beckhoff supplies the hardware and software components for IoT, big data and analytics applications as well as secure cloud communication.
Beckhoff supplies the hardware and software components for IoT, big data and analytics applications as well as secure cloud communication.

Easy engineering: easily and securely into the cloud with Beckhoff IoT

The integration of IoT into the standard controller via TwinCAT IoT is just as suitable for new projects as it is for retrofit tasks. The IoT connection can be done either via the Beckhoff controller or to a third-party controller – or even without a controller at all via the Beckhoff IoT coupler. Standardized protocols such as AMQP, MQTT and OPC UA are available for simple and secure communication with the cloud. The TwinCAT IoT Communicator app allows direct mobile access to TwinCAT process data. The complete data acquisition in synchronization with the cycle takes place via TwinCAT Analytics and enables, for example, the predictive maintenance of plants. With the cross-subsection PC-based building controller from Beckhoff, system integrators can shorten the engineering process, react more quickly to changes of plan and integrate or retrofit the connection of a private or public cloud directly into the standard controller via TwinCAT IoT. The integration of a cloud connection into the controller gives building operators fast, flexible access to all recorded energy consumption data from any location and at any time. Clear trend recordings form the basis for improved energy management in the smart building. Buildings of a similar size and type of use can be compared with one another in a performance benchmark. With the help of any end device, such as a smartphone, tablet, notebook or desktop PC, the systems can be accessed from anywhere in the world. Unusual events in the operating sequence, such as a sharp increase in water consumption, can be reported to the operator as an alarm. In this way, a pipe breakage can be detected at an early stage and consequential damage can be avoided.

Beckhoff supports the OPC UA as an integrated communication platform

OPC UA is gaining in importance at all levels of the automation pyramid: scalability ranges from the small 15 KB footprint in embedded sensors to the ERP level in the case of SAP and the cloud. OPC UA has its origins in automation technology, but is neutral and is therefore increasingly used as a universal communication platform in the areas of building automation and smart metering. OPC UA provides platform independence from the operating system and the language as well as scalability from the sensor to the ERP/cloud level. Security-by-Design provides security concepts with user authentication, message signing and the encryption of transferred user data already in the OPC UA stack. It is precisely the specification of information models that makes OPC UA interesting for other organizations. They can organize their existing objects in the UA namespace, i.e. defining "What is being communicated?", while OPC UA regulates the secure transport and access rights in terms of "How will communication take place?"