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Headquarters Singapore
Beckhoff Automation Pte. Ltd.

#05-07/08 Nordic European Centre 3 International Business Park
Singapore 609927, Singapore

+65 6697 6220
info@beckhoff.com.sg
www.beckhoff.com.sg

40 years of Beckhoff control solutions for window production machines

40 years ago, Beckhoff started in the window production industry by automating simple double mitre saws. Through the decades the demand for automation integration towards fully automated production plants became essential in the market, and PC-based control from Beckhoff enabled manufacturers to follow the growing demands on machine contruction. Even though a window appears to be a fairly simple end product, its production requires a highly complex manufacturing process with a multitude of machining operations. One of the special features of this industry sector is that there is virtually no series production. In other words, a lot size of 1 has been a standard requirement since the beginning of window production in general. In addition, window production machines must be able to process a wide range of profiles and different base materials (wood, plastic, aluminum or a mix of different materials), each of which requires special processing operations and tools. Flexible automation technology is the key.

Beckhoff has been developing and supplying innovative control solutions for window production machines since the early 1980s. Due to the special requirements of the industry, the microprocessor controllers used initially were consistently replaced in the early 1990s by PC-based control technology developed by Beckhoff. Thanks to its many years of experience in this industry, Beckhoff now benefits from comprehensive control expertise for all the machines involved in the window production process: PC-based control technology facilitates control and monitoring of individual machines and complete window production lines. This includes profile cutting and optimization of the cutting process, bar processing (drilling, milling and inserting reinforcements, adding locking parts), welding, trimming, pressing and connecting frame corners, inserting seals, adding fittings, installing window elements and bonding glass panes. PC-based control technology from Beckhoff offers an integrated hardware and software platform for all process steps.

Automation in the manufacture of windows, doors and facades is subject to the highest requirements with regard to both the processing of different materials to make complex end products and the individualization of the manufacturing processes. Industrie 4.0 concepts promise potential for optimization: flexibility, efficiency, sustainability and competitiveness are improved by networked, intelligent production on the basis of integrated horizontal and vertical communication. The PC-based controller from Beckhoff, with open hardware and software interfaces as well as continuous communication from the sensor into the cloud, offers everything that is required for the networked "Smart Factory".

Beckhoff technology highlights for window production machines

The broad, scalable product range from Beckhoff in the areas of IPC, I/O terminals, drive technology and automation software facilitates the development of cost- and performance-optimized automation solutions for all applications involved in window and door production, including mid-size to high-end CNC solutions and control of individual machines or complete production lines.
The broad, scalable product range from Beckhoff in the areas of IPC, I/O terminals, drive technology and automation software facilitates the development of cost- and performance-optimized automation solutions for all applications involved in window and door production, including mid-size to high-end CNC solutions and control of individual machines or complete production lines.

PC-based control, the integrated control system for window production machines

PC- and EtherCAT-based control systems from Beckhoff enable machine and system manufacturers to master the balancing act between maximum performance and cost reduction. The integrated software and hardware platform for controlling all process steps includes high-performance Beckhoff Industrial PCs, EtherCAT, a fast communication system, distributed I/Os, an extensive drive technology portfolio and TwinCAT automation software. Modular in design and precisely scalable in terms of performance requirements, PC-based Control is suitable both for controlling individual machines and for complete factory automation.

Thanks to high-performance processors, all machine and system functions, including PLC, motion control, CNC, robotics, HMI, vision, safety, measurement technology, cloud communication and analytics, can be mapped in software on a single platform. The open hardware and software interfaces offer a high degree of freedom for machine design and construction and enable machine manufacturers to integrate a wide range of different devices, including equipment from third-party manufacturers. On the one hand, this ensures the efficient interaction of all system components and thus maximum productivity. In addition, the consistent implementation of all functionalities in the form of software modules means that there is no need for additional controllers, which significantly reduces the hardware costs and the engineering effort. Support for all common fieldbus systems and software protocols guarantees consistent horizontal and vertical communication, from networking of individual machines with each other to the IT level and into the cloud.

The expertise acquired through decades of collaboration with machine manufacturers and end customers in the woodworking industry makes Beckhoff a reliable partner with exceptionally high solution competence. With PC-based control technology, Beckhoff provides complete automation solutions for plant and mechanical engineering – for new systems and for machine retrofits alike.

Our engineering department offers comprehensive application support:

  • application project planning and documentation
  • electrical engineering design with ECAD software
  • PLC application programming
  • visualization
  • complete switchgear cabinet assembly according to customer specifications and standards, including
    • configuration and location of components in the control cabinet
    • EMC-compliant design
    • air conditioning and ventilation
    • equipment labelling
    • logistics
  • assembly and on-site commissioning
  • complete process documentation
  • implementation of special applications
  • integration with supervisory control and MES systems
  • integration into enterprise IT infrastructures

Through its high speed and bandwidth, EtherCAT is ideally suited for mastering the complex processes in window production machines and for linking production systems.
Through its high speed and bandwidth, EtherCAT is ideally suited for mastering the complex processes in window production machines and for linking production systems.

EtherCAT optimizes process communication in window production machines

Due to its outstanding performance and topological characteristics, the EtherCAT industrial Ethernet system is the ideal solution for ultra-fast process communication in window production machines. The real-time fieldbus handles the entire process communication and also combines the I/O, security and drive bus systems in one. Beckhoff offers an integrated product spectrum for EtherCAT – ranging from control to secure servo drives. The fast response times enabled by EtherCAT result in better control accuracy and more precise synchronization of I/Os and drives. This serves to improve quality and enhance productivity. The flexibility of EtherCAT with regard to control topologies enables users to configure the ideal communication structure for their specific application. High-precision data acquisition and output is possible with the support of specific system functions such as distributed clocks.

TwinSAFE enables machine manufacturers to implement a wide variety of architectures in different designs, including stand-alone or distributed control with pre-processing of data directly through I/O terminals and system-integrated software control for highly complex safety applications.
TwinSAFE enables machine manufacturers to implement a wide variety of architectures in different designs, including stand-alone or distributed control with pre-processing of data directly through I/O terminals and system-integrated software control for highly complex safety applications.

Consistent modularization, scaling and distribution of safety applications

TwinSAFE from Beckhoff provides a universal safety concept that integrates safety functionalities into the standard control platform: from the PLC via I/Os to the drive technology. All safety functions such as emergency stop, safety door monitoring, two-hand operation, safety mat evaluation and muting, safe position, safely limited speed, and more can be programmed and configured on the integrated TwinCAT engineering platform. Safety technology is seamlessly integrated into the terminal segment via the TwinSAFE I/O modules, whereby safe signals can be mixed with standard signals as required.

With the aid of the TwinSAFE SC technology it is possible to make use of standard signals for safety tasks in any network or fieldbus. Corresponding EtherCAT Terminals are available for the acquisition and secure transport of the signals via EtherCAT. The typical safety functions can be programmed and configured on the EL6900, EL6910 TwinSAFE Logic or the compact EK1960 safety controller, based on standard safety function blocks according to the safety requirements. All safety controllers are suitable for applications up to SIL 3 according to IEC 61508 and Performance Level e (PLe) of ISO 13849-1.

Beckhoff product highlights for window production machines

In combination with the motion control solutions of the TwinCAT automation software, the Beckhoff drive technology represents a complete drive system for all applications in window production machines. Due to its scalability, it enables machine manufacturers to design their drive solution to suit the required performance.
In combination with the motion control solutions of the TwinCAT automation software, the Beckhoff drive technology represents a complete drive system for all applications in window production machines. Due to its scalability, it enables machine manufacturers to design their drive solution to suit the required performance.

Highly dynamic, modular and precisely scalable: the Beckhoff drive technology portfolio

Window production requires a high degree of precision: CNC, milling and drilling processes, the sawing and cutting, the screws and locking procedures have to be carried out with a high degree of precision in order to achieve high quality windows. Any deviation has an impact on quality and may necessitate costly reworking or even rejection of bad parts, causing a negative effect on throughput and the logistics chain.

In combination with the TwinCAT Motion Control software, the Beckhoff drive system meets the high requirements of window production machines. The integrated, fast control technology of the AX8000 and AX5000 Servo Drives series supports fast and highly dynamic positioning tasks. The servo terminals represent an inexpensive and highly compact alternative in the lower performance range.

The extensive range of linear and rotary servomotors from the Beckhoff motor factory in Marktheidenfeld, Germany, is optimally matched to the Beckhoff Servo Drives. The AM8000 motor series is characterized by One Cable Technology (OCT), where power and feedback systems are combined in a single standard cable. For applications with simple positioning drives Beckhoff offers a full range of drives as well, including stepper motors, DC motors, or compact servomotors.

TwinCAT is a tool chain that is optimized for mechanical engineering, simplifying the implementation of all control applications. HMI, IoT communication and analytical functions can be implemented.
TwinCAT is a tool chain that is optimized for mechanical engineering, simplifying the implementation of all control applications. HMI, IoT communication and analytical functions can be implemented.

Controlling all machine functions with TwinCAT

TwinCAT is a tool chain that is optimized for mechanical engineering, simplifying the implementation of all control applications. HMI, IoT communication and analytical functions can be implemented. The TwinCAT automation software consists of runtime systems for real-time execution of PLC, HMI, NC, CNC and robotics applications and provides the ideal engineering environment for programming, diagnostics and configuration. All relevant IEC 61131-3 programming languages are available for real-time applications. The object-oriented extensions of IEC 61131-3 enable the modularization of programming code, the software encapsulation of machine functions and, in conjunction with that, improved structuring, simpler maintenance, re-usability and expandability of the software. C/C++ and MATLAB®/Simulink® modules can be integrated into the IEC context via existing interfaces or else be operated independently in the TwinCAT real-time environment.

A wide range of software modules for different tasks such as cam plates, synchronization and interpolating movements of several axes are available. Due to the high flexibility in terms of combination options for master and slave axes and the high-performance and diverse motion functions, solutions for practically any application in the window manufacturing industry can be implemented. High-performance tools such as the TwinCAT CAM Design Editor and TwinCAT Scope support system simplify design and commissioning. PLC libraries with function blocks according to the PLCopen Motion Control standard facilitate programming. Moreover, open interfaces as well as the use of the latest technological standards based on Windows operating systems open up a wide range of options for the user, such as integration in existing visualization, higher-level control and database systems. Extensive software function blocks and libraries for industry-specific applications facilitate the engineering and implementation of specific machine functions. The TwinCAT Automation Interface supports the user with automatic code generation for machine configuration.

TwinCAT IoT supports standardized protocols for cloud communication as well as for sending push messages from Smart Devices. Based on comprehensive and cycle-synchronous data logging TwinCAT Analytics enables seamless online and offline analysis of machine and production data.
TwinCAT IoT supports standardized protocols for cloud communication as well as for sending push messages from Smart Devices. Based on comprehensive and cycle-synchronous data logging TwinCAT Analytics enables seamless online and offline analysis of machine and production data.

Industrie 4.0 applications: realized with TwinCAT IoT and Analytics

Beckhoff has developed the TwinCAT IoT software library to simplify the communication between machine controllers and cloud-based services. It offers support for standardized protocols such as OPC UA, AMQP and MQTT to enable communication with common cloud systems, such as Microsoft Azure™, Amazon Web Services as well as private cloud systems in company networks. Built-in security mechanisms prevent unauthorized access and misuse of confidential data in order to protect a company‘s intellectual property.

By means of TwinCAT Analytics, process data are recorded and analyzed synchronously with the machine cycle and can be used, among other things, as a basis for predictive maintenance and machine optimization. Using appropriate analysis tools, all required information can be derived from the acquired data in order to optimize a machine e.g. with regard to energy efficiency or the process sequence. Post-mortem analysis, diagnosis of sporadic errors or early detection of quality losses as well as production bottlenecks, will increase the reliability and uptime of production lines. Data analysis also provides machine builders with extensive information about the performance of their machines, which can be leveraged in future design and manufacturing processes in order to reduce costs and optimize machine specifications.

The AMP8000 servomotor with directly integrated servo drive paves the way for the minimization of the control cabinet. The performance values of the motor remain unchanged with a virtually identical size. Reduction to a single coupling module, which supplies several servomotors via a single cable, saves material, space, costs and mounting effort.
The AMP8000 servomotor with directly integrated servo drive paves the way for the minimization of the control cabinet. The performance values of the motor remain unchanged with a virtually identical size. Reduction to a single coupling module, which supplies several servomotors via a single cable, saves material, space, costs and mounting effort.

Modular design concept for maximum flexibility and space savings

The AMP8000 distributed servo drive system opens up new options for modular window production machine concepts: the AMP8000 integrates the servo drive directly into the servomotor in a very compact design. By relocating the power electronics into the machine, the space requirement in the control cabinet is reduced to a single coupling module, which supplies several distributed servo drives with only one cable via a distribution module. A further expansion stage completely eliminates the control cabinet space required for the drive technology. Whereas the connection of the drives to the control cabinet is reduced to only one cable with the coupling modules, it is completely eliminated when using the AMP8620 power supply module.

Together with the AM8100 motor series, the EL72xx servo terminals or the EP72xx series EtherCAT Box modules form an extremely small, highly dynamic servo axis that is suitable for precise positioning applications with OCT and multiturn absolute value encoder.
Together with the AM8100 motor series, the EL72xx servo terminals or the EP72xx series EtherCAT Box modules form an extremely small, highly dynamic servo axis that is suitable for precise positioning applications with OCT and multiturn absolute value encoder.
Stepper motors are synchronous motors with a very high number of poles; they are characterized by high holding torque and very good positioning capability.
Stepper motors are synchronous motors with a very high number of poles; they are characterized by high holding torque and very good positioning capability.
The integrated servo drive AMI812x combines servo motor, servo amplifier and fieldbus connection in a space-saving design for all motion requirements in the power range up to 400 W.
The integrated servo drive AMI812x combines servo motor, servo amplifier and fieldbus connection in a space-saving design for all motion requirements in the power range up to 400 W.

Compact drive technology from Beckhoff: the ideal solution for format adjustments

In window machine construction, electromotive positioning systems are increasingly used instead of conventional manual or pneumatic systems. Such systems offer fully automatic and infinitely variable configuration of the required production formats for different profile types. Format changeovers can be carried out quickly and in a time-saving manner during non-productive times, which is a decisive advantage for commissioned production with batch size 1.

The compact drive technology from Beckhoff is ideally suited for such format adjustments. In combination with the wide range of motors and gear units the Beckhoff I/O system makes inexpensive drive solutions possible. The modularly expandable motion terminals support servo, stepper and DC motors of different performance classes. The EtherCAT Box modules are available in IP 67 for servo, stepper and DC Motors for use without control cabinets.

Together with the AM8100 motor series, the EL72xx servo terminals or the EP72xx series EtherCAT Box modules form an extremely small, highly dynamic servo axis that is suitable for precise positioning applications with OCT and multi-turn absolute value encoder.

In conjunction with IP 20 stepper motor terminals or IP 67 EtherCAT Box modules, the AS2000 and AS1000 stepper motors can be operated with or without feedback. The AS2000 is characterized by a high protection class and integrated connection technology.

The AMI8100 series combines the servomotor with an integrated high-efficiency servo drive. As an EtherCAT slave, the AMI8100 can be placed directly at the machine without a control cabinet or an upstream I/O level.

The AA1000 linear actuators are equipped with an integrated 48 V servo drive and can be installed decentralized in the machine. The shaft is equipped as standard with an M8 x 1.25 external thread in order to accept commercially available adapters such as ball heads or clamping hooks from the pneumatic/hydraulic range. The integrated absolute encoder eliminates the need for additional limit switches or external measuring systems for operation, making integration even easier.