By supporting all communication standards for building automation – from operating and monitoring, lighting, HVAC and facade control through to energy data collection – all functions can be integrated into the automation platform from Beckhoff. The universal, coordinated control system increases comfort levels for building users. In addition, the system-integrated nature of the platform delivers energy savings and reductions in investment and operating costs.
TwinCAT function blocks for building automation enable the automation of shade control, lighting, ventilation, in addition to heating and cooling according to the time of day and presence of occupants. This enables energy-saving room automation and enhanced comfort at the same time. Therefore, lighting correlates directly with facade control. An effective interconnection of the two disciplines is the optimal way to reduce energy consumption of lighting. The end goal is to use as much natural daylight as possible without glare, while still providing constant light intensity.
A building can be regulated on a time-dependent basis via integrated room automation in a variety of different operating modes. This especially reduces heating and cooling energy consumption during longer periods of absence. Nevertheless, the system must reach a comfortable temperature quickly during core occupancy hours and ensure good air quality at the same time.
Beckhoff technology highlights for integrated automation
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 developed very quickly into a standard in the automation industry. Innovative product developments that underlined 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 EtherCAT fieldbus 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 towards other systems and tools.
PC-based control from Beckhoff represents a modularly constructed control solution that is fully scalable in all components and maps all automation functions in software: safety technology, measurement technology, condition monitoring and robotics are also integrated into the control platform along with sequential control, motion control and visualization. The basic principle of PC-based control is very simple: it is based on a powerful Industrial PC, a high-performance fieldbus connection with the connected peripheral devices for sensors and actuators as well as TwinCAT, the real-time-capable automation software for motion control and logic. The consistent use of mainstream technologies from the world of IT and their convergence to principles of automation technology have led to a continuous increase in performance and function as well as a considerable reduction in costs. The Beckhoff control platform is supplemented by an extensive portfolio of drive components.
With PC-based control, an extensive component construction kit is available to the system integrator for the automation of the various technical systems in the field of AV and media technology, such as audio and video control, building automation, digital signage control as well as operation and monitoring. Worldwide references from the areas of meeting and conference, control centers, building automation and entertainment technology prove that PC-based control technology is ideally suited for the implementation of technically demanding media productions.
Your advantage with PC-based control:
- High performance for the high-precision control of processes and applications:
- Industrial PCs with powerful processors of the latest generation
- TwinCAT, the software for engineering and real-time control
- EtherCAT, the high-speed fieldbus
- Consistency: one controller for all technical systems of a media application
- Openness: simple use of third-party software (audio players, C#, C++, graphic tools, etc.)
- Use of standard components, programming standards and networks
- Modularity: enables the extension and modification of controller functions at any time
- Scalability: components in all performance categories and designs
- Extensive connectivity: from the horizontal communication of the devices with one another to the cloud connection
- High availability: due to advanced diagnostics and predictive maintenance functions
- Beckhoff is a full system supplier with a deep understanding of technology
High-speed communication with EtherCAT
EtherCAT was launched by Beckhoff in 2003 and made available as an open automation technology standard. With cycle times well below 1 ms, outstanding synchronization accuracy, flexible topology selection, extensive diagnostics and simple configuration, EtherCAT is also ideal for use in AV and media technology. More than 6,000 companies worldwide have joined forces in the EtherCAT Technology Group (ETG), the world's largest industrial fieldbus user organization.
Beckhoff supplies the largest number of EtherCAT-compatible automation modules for both I/Os and drive technology. Due to worldwide support for EtherCAT, a large number of EtherCAT-compatible sensors and actuators are also available on the market, ensuring a high level of investment security. The performance of EtherCAT also supports creatives and engineers in the field of AV and media technology in the realization of unique applications. For example, a customer application such as , a dynamic art installation in which 1,216 axes are synchronized, can only be realized on the basis of EtherCAT. With EtherCAT, almost any event in a show, , theater or amusement park can be synchronized, which is usually not possible with dedicated "black box" hardware, as it is normally used. The development of the DMX terminal, which requires 512 bytes of process data, is also based on EtherCAT; because as of today this is not possible with any other fieldbus system.
The general advantages of EtherCAT are:
- high speed
- simple diagnostics
- control of more than 65,000 devices
- EtherCAT allows the transmission of up to 64 kbit per slave
- perfect synchronization
High-performance for AV and media technology supports SMPTE-Timecode
The XFC (eXtreme Fast Control) technology is an extremely fast control solution based on an optimized control and communication architecture. It consists of a modern Industrial PC, ultra-fast I/O terminals with advanced real-time features, the EtherCAT high-speed Ethernet system and TwinCAT automation software. With XFC it is possible to realize I/O response times < 100 µs. Due to its speed, XFC technology is used by almost all Beckhoff customers in the entertainment industry.
The development of this fast control technology was also a prerequisite for the support of the SMPTE-Timecode standard by the Beckhoff controller. The SMPTE-Timecode is a standard defined by the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) for absolute time data that are transmitted with media metadata. The SMPTE-Timecode is mainly used to synchronize the various tracks (sound/noise, language, special effects, texts, etc.) in a media production.
EtherCAT I/O terminals automate any functionality in AV and media technology
In 1995, Beckhoff launched the Bus Terminal, which has since become one of the most important technology standards in automation technology. This was followed in 2003 by the development of the EtherCAT fast 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 media applications in terms of both its performance and variance. The Bus Terminals allow a variety of simple building bus systems to be integrated into the controller, for example: KNX/EIB, DALI, M-Bus and MP-Bus. 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 application of AV and media technology.
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: KNX/EIB, LON, DALI, MP-Bus, M-Bus.
Simple panel connection in the field
CP-Link 4, the one cable solution for transmitting video signal, USB 2.0 and power supply via a commercially available Cat. 6A cable allows the Control Panel to operate up to 100 meters away from the PC. Cable and assembly costs are reduced with the one cable solution. A further benefit is the use of purely passive displays. The CP-Link-4 technology is supported by the Beckhoff multi-touch Panel series (built-in variant) and (mounting arm variant) and is interesting for many media applications.
Beckhoff product highlights for integrated automation
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 (). It allows free programming according to IEC 61131-3 and provides the system user with 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 tracking of the blind slats in relation to the sun's position – are included in the TC3 Building Automation library (). With the function blocks from the TC3 Building Automation library, system integrators have an extensive portfolio of ready-to-use applications, 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 panel or remotely by means of an integrated HTML5 web visualization. The web-based visualization solution TwinCAT HMI () 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.
The efficient way to a DALI-2 lighting solution with simple configuration
With the 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
- locally scalable
- includes all typical lighting controls
Embedded Controller certified for BACnet/IP
BACnet (Building Automation Control Network) is a standardized, manufacturer-independent communication protocol for building automation. Areas of application include HVAC, lighting control, safety and fire alarm technology.
The is a compact DIN rail-mountable Ethernet control system with an ARM Cortex™-A9, with 800 MHz CPU. The BACnet or OPC UA protocols can be operated via the switched Ethernet fieldbus interface. Alternatively, K-bus or E-bus terminals can be series-connected; the CX automatically detects which system is connected during the start-up phase. The controller is programmed with TwinCAT 3 via the Ethernet interface.
In conjunction with the BACnet-MS/TP terminal , the CX8191 can also act as a router to MS/TP networks. Several MS/TP networks are possible. Moreover, additional protocols and services such as OPC UA, MQTT or Modbus TCP/RTU can be operated. The CX8191 is therefore an almost universal device that can be used very flexibly from control tasks to gateway functions.
Powerful, reliable and flexibly extendable: the Embedded PC series for control tasks in the entertainment industry
The compact DIN-rail-mounted PCs from the CX series with directly connectable I/O level offer a space-saving industrial controller in the control cabinet. Beckhoff's extensive range of embedded controllers includes a device tailored to the budget, performance class and complexity of the control task for each application. In addition to the CPU, the individual devices from the CX series differ by the available system interfaces and power supply variants and can be plugged together and extended as a modular control system depending on the task in the entertainment sector.
The CX family includes several basic CPU modules with different processors for adaption of the performance to suit the respective control task. As a result, different applications can be implemented on the same hardware, such as a PLC and motion control system with a DVI/USB interface or a multimedia system with an audio interface. The most powerful devices from the CX series are the , which are equipped with Intel® Xeon® processors and a separate graphic unit. They can be used to realize even sophisticated visualizations.
Maximum flexibility for proven and new operating concepts with multi-touch
The Beckhoff Panel generation with industry-standard multi-touch displays offers the right solution for any application. For single-touch users, the new panel generation also offers excellent value for money and a smart alternative to other systems.
- 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
Connection of up to 64 DALI control gears and DALI-2 sensors (input devices)
The Digital Addressable Lighting Interface (DALI) is a simple bus system for building automation that transmits the signals for the digital operation of lighting devices. The lighting, sensor, button and switching elements are wired in parallel, and are linked through the controller. Other actuators, such as heating control valves or the motors for operating blinds are increasingly being put under digital control.
DALI offers the following advantages:
- an inexpensive interface with simple installation
- fully digital switching of lamps and similar equipment
- all well-known electronic control gear manufacturers support DALI and DALI-2
The DALI/DALI-2 multi-master and power supply terminal allows the connection of up to 64 DALI/DALI-2 slaves and 64 DALI-2 sensors (input devices). The KL6821 is integrated into the Beckhoff Bus Terminal system as a normal Bus Terminal and is therefore fieldbus-independent. The higher-level Bus Coupler transfers the data from the DALI master terminal to the controller. The DALI power supply unit integrated in the supplies the DALI bus. No further components are required for the operation of the DALI line.
BC9191 room controller: covers all standard functions
The BC9191 room controller integrates various automation functions in a single module and thus represents a compact and efficient solution in the price-sensitive field of room control. Pre-installed standard functionalities cover all necessary functions for room control, thus simplifying commissioning. In addition to integrated I/O signals and a sub bus connection for room control units, the BC9191 has a K-bus interface and thus enables modular extension using Beckhoff Bus Terminals. Changes to room automation functions are possible in the TwinCAT development environment and save complex rewiring, as would be the case with wired controllers. As a freely programmable Ethernet controller the BC9191 can also be used as decentralized intelligence and thus offers the user the greatest possible flexibility in the construction of system-spanning, energy-efficient room automation.
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 Industrial PC 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. The 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 x 82 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 multimedia application and requirement profile.
Continuous power measurement in building services through integrated power measurement
Energy efficiency is also playing an increasingly important role in building automation. To save costs, peaks must be prevented, power consumption reduced and processes optimized. The requirement for being able to make the right cost-lowering decisions is a complete, transparent acquisition and processing of all energy data.
With a broad portfolio of EtherCAT Terminals for energy management, Beckhoff provides suitable technology for the ongoing monitoring of power consumption as well as for the detailed consumption analysis.
Universal dimmer with integrated diagnostics
The dimmer Bus Terminals with a rated power of up to 300 VA (W) () and 600 VA (W) () are designed for the direct connection of various lighting devices, such as incandescent lamps as well as inductive and electronic control gears. The lighting devices are detected and controlled in the correct operation mode. Integrated diagnostics indicate the operating states by means of LEDs and make the status data available via the bus system. The electronic dimmer is extremely compact and is equipped with automatic load detection.
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).
SMI Master Terminals for direct connection to the standard motor interface (SMI)
The and SMI Master Terminals allow direct connection to the SMI bus system, simplifying the automation of blinds and solar protection devices. In combination with intelligent energy and lighting management, the slats can be positioned to the precise degree and tracked according to the position of the sun. The SMI drives can return actual positions, error messages and service information to the SMI master terminal.
Up to 16 drives can be connected to an SMI master terminal. The KL6831 is suitable for LoVo SMI devices. The KL6841 is used to connect 230 V AC SMI 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
- drives (especially valve drives)
- room control units
- compact controllers (e.g., volume flow regulators)
The fast way to an individual HMI
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
Relay output terminal for the switching of LED lamps
The output terminal has two relays each of which has a single contact. The relay terminal switches at the zero voltage crossing to protect the contacts and is particularly suitable for capacitive loads such as LED lamps. A practical test was able to show that an EL2622-0010 remained fully functional at a capacitive continuous current load of 4 A after 200,000 switching cycles (for details see documentation).
BACnet (Building Automation Control Network) is a standardized, manufacturer-independent communication protocol for building automation. Areas of application include HVAC, lighting control, safety and fire alarm technology. This protocol is implemented in TwinCAT both as a server and as a client and is capable of running on all Beckhoff Industrial PCs and Embedded PCs. All services of a B-BC (BACnet Building Controller) are supported such as for example, data sharing (DS), alarm and event processing (AE), schedule (SCHED), trend recording (T) as well as device and network management (DM).
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