PC-based Control for Water Management

Intelligent automation of water and waste water treatment systems

Beckhoff can realise open automation systems on the basis of PC-based control technology for almost all industry sectors. With innovative automation solutions Beckhoff sets new standards for the automation of water and waste water treatment and transport systems.

In addition to the I/O components for recording all data points and the TwinCAT automation software, the product range comprises an integrated, scalable, modular control system that offers the right solution for any task in terms of computing capacity, complexity and cost: from high-performance Industrial PC as main computer for controlling sewage works to small local controllers for “intelligent external stations” that pick up and process signals directly on site.

The Beckhoff range comprises the following controller categories:

Industrial PCs – high-end controllers for large and complex applications
Embedded PCs – robust DIN rail PCs for the medium control level
Bus Terminal Controllers – small controllers with fieldbus interface and connection to the modular Bus Terminal system


The special challenge in water engineering applications is dealing with the complex requirements in terms of adaptation to different communication routes, controllers and devices. In most cases, systems consist of an inhomogeneous conglomeration of devices for solving special problems that have been assembled over the years.In addition, the system will usually have been adapted to various software packages such as local visualisation, local data loggers or central control and operation management systems.

Continuity through PC-based technology
In response to the wide range of requirements from different industries, Beckhoff has adopted a standardised approach in the form of PC-based controllers. This led to the development of a uniform, fully scalable and, most importantly, open system. This openness, both in terms of the software and the hardware interfaces, helps operators to adapt their systems to diverse and changing requirements without repeatedly incurring high implementation costs and effort.

The Windows operating system is the basis for this flexibility. Due to its scalability, Windows can now be used on almost any hardware platform, from large servers in control rooms to small external stations located at storm water basins. The TwinCAT automation software from Beckhoff controls the overall treatment plant and local stations. The system is programmed according to the international IEC 61131-3 standard.

Depending on the requirements in terms of automation components, in addition to TwinCAT, Windows enables further software components to be installed on the same hardware as required. The result is a uniform platform that facilitates communication between the individual components.

Safety through standards
Reliability of the automation devices and guarantee of maximum availability of process signals and reachability of external structures are crucial. These requirements are met through:

PC-based control: communication options via standard communication routes
(ISDN, analog, GSM, dedicated line, etc.)
standard software interfaces (OPC, IEC 60870-5-101/-102/-103/-104, Modbus)
use of standard fieldbus systems (e.g. Ethernet, PROFIBUS, DeviceNet etc.)
Beckhoff Bus Terminals for logging a wide range of I/O signals with a granularity between 1 and 64 channels


The Beckhoff Bus Terminal system for interfacing of data points not only supports all common sensors and actuators, but also integrates all main fieldbus systems via corresponding Bus Coupler types. The Bus Terminals enable bit-precise configuration of the required I/O channels. With over 300 different Bus Terminals, Beckhoff offers the right technology for all data points and for all signal types. The Bus Terminals make retrofitting of functionalities significantly simpler and faster.

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