The right Control Panel for every application
Beckhoff is one of the pioneers of PC-based automation: The first PC Control system was delivered as early as 1986. So-called stand-alone Control Panels, also known as HMI, followed at the end of the 1990s. Thanks to the profound technological expertise that has developed over the past decades, Beckhoff Industrial PC products are characterized by the highest quality and are used successfully worldwide.
An important feature of the Beckhoff product philosophy is the use of latest, high-performance components and procedure, without dispensing with a long service life and an industrially compatible execution. As a result, Beckhoff Control Panels tend to include the latest offerings of the technology market. Every new technology, whether from the industrial or consumer segment, is tested by Beckhoff for its potential industrial application, adapted and optimized as appropriate and integrated. An outstanding example is the integration of modern multi-touch technology in the CP2xxx and CP3xxx device series. Modern touch technology has been gaining ground in the consumer market since 2007, and since 2012, Beckhoff has consistently been taking advantage of it in its Panel PCs to offer advanced and intuitive machine and system operation options. Beckhoff made the functional principle of capacitive touch technology suitable for industrial use in terms of availability, electromagnetic compatibility, mechanical stability and external dimensions through integration of corresponding basic technologies. The CP2xxx and CP3xxx product families convincingly demonstrate how state-of-the-art consumer technology can also be successfully used in industrial environments.
Balance between latest PC technology and long-term availability of control components
Modern Control Panel technology doesn't stop with the selection of the touch technology, which forms the basis of the operation of a machine or plant. The transmission of the image and touch signals, combined with the power supply or other digital signals, must work perfectly and continuously, both mechanically and electrically, and over long distances in the industrial environment. In order to reliably ensure this, Beckhoff installs Panel electronics that it develops and manufactures itself at the production location in Verl.
Advanced multi-touch operating scenarios
In the course of general digitalization, advanced multi-touch operating scenarios have become indispensable in industrial applications. Machine operators rightly expect the same level of user-friendliness in their machine or systems they are used to from smartphones and tablets. At the end of 2012 Beckhoff was one of the first automation companies to perfect advanced multi-touch technologies for use in harsh industrial environments and fitted them in its Panel PCs and Control Panels of the CP2xxx and CP3xxx series. Today, Beckhoff customers have a comprehensive range of different equipment variants at their disposal:
- diagonals from 7 to 24 inches
- 4:3, 5:4 or widescreen format
- various connection techniques: DVI/USB for distances of up to 50 meters between PC and Control Panel; CP-Link 4 and One Cable Technology for distances of up to 100 meters
- installation in the front of a control cabinet or on mounting arms
- standard or customized version
Beckhoff uses exclusively manufactured multi-touch sensors in order to meet the high demands with regard to mechanical stability, harsh industrial environmental conditions, precise operation and elegant design. In addition to modern widescreen formats, classic diagonals in 4:3 format are also available on a long-term basis. This ensures a high degree of investment protection for the user. All necessary controller boards are developed by Beckhoff and manufactured in-house. The result is a very robust overall system, which enables state-of-the-art operating comfort even in harsh machine environments.
Sturdy housing technology in a modern and high-class design
As a pioneer in PC-based automation, Beckhoff places the highest demands on the quality of its products and on their contemporary design. In order to harmonize the two, Beckhoff has been using solid aluminum as the raw material for the housings of its Control Panels since the 1990s. Aluminum offers very good mechanical, electrical and thermal properties. The simplicity of its processing also allows the manufacture of small series and enables customer-specific adaptations. Anodization produces a high-quality and durable surface. In addition to aluminum, stainless steel is also used as a basic material for some industries.
Perfectly matched Control Panel hardware
Irrespective of the application as a display device (HMI) or as a complete Control Panel PC, Beckhoff relies on its own expertise, with motherboards developed and manufactured in-house. In this way, the user benefits from flexible, high-performance hardware platforms with guaranteed long-term availability. The in-house hardware development is rounded off by in-house BIOS development, comprehensive expertise in the area of Microsoft operating systems and the ultra-compact Beckhoff TwinCAT/BSD operating system.
The Control Panel portfolio is supplemented by TwinCAT HMI. The visualization software is integrated optimally in the TwinCAT environment and supports the technical possibilities of the Beckhoff Control Panels through modern programming and parameterization for the most diverse use cases.
The multi-touch Control Panels are available in eight different screen sizes, from 7 to 24-inch, in the classic formats 4:3/5:4 or in the modern widescreen format 16:9, as well as in different execution variants:
- CP29xx as a built-in device
- CPX29xx as a built-in device for use in potentially explosive atmospheres
- CP39xx in an IP65 version
- CPX39xx in an IP65 execution for use in potentially explosive atmospheres
In addition, customer-specific adaptations are possible for all versions and screen diagonals.