At the Intel Germany System Builder Summit, which took place in Berlin at the end of 2022, Andreas Thome, Senior Product Manager PC Control at Beckhoff, received the System Builder Award for 35 years of Innovation with Intel. In the award speech, Beckhoff was recognized as a pioneer of PC-based automation that has been using Intel technology to control and develop innovative products for 35 years. The following were named as significant milestones in recent decades: real-time control with a Windows PC (TwinCAT, 1996), real-time Ethernet communication (EtherCAT, 2003), many-core IPCs (including C6670, 2014) and an AI-based contactless transport system (XPlanar, 2018).
Andreas Thome stated on the award, "I am delighted that Beckhoff has received the Intel System Builder Award, as it reflects over 35 years of successful cooperation with Intel. The foundations for this were laid in the mid-1980s, when Beckhoff recognized the advantages of PC-based control technology early on and consistently set its course in that direction. It quickly became clear that the real-time-critical application field for industrial control technology could also benefit from the flexibility and increasingly powerful PC architecture as well as the well-developed software ecosystem consisting of the operating system and tools. Initially, Beckhoff's objective was to incorporate the rapidly developing x86 architecture into its own innovations with the help of Intel and adapt it to meet industrial requirements. While this is still the case today, an important aspect has been added over time: bidirectional exchange. Intel actively researches the requirements and characteristics for the industrial environment and takes these into account in CPU product development wherever possible. Examples include real-time optimization in the architecture, TSN support, functional safety, and commercial aspects such as long-term availability of a large number of Intel products and integration of the FPGA category into the company. Intel has played a key role in our joint success as a reliable supplier and partner, and I am optimistic about our continued collaboration."