Beckhoff's "Print Mark Demo" illustrates the implementation of an actual industrial application for the purpose of evaluating the new functions offered by Windows Embedded Compact 7. The most interesting innovation for industrial automation is the kernel with multi-core CPU support and higher RAM limits, in line with industry trends. Another highlight is the further development of Silverlight® for Windows Embedded: User interfaces can be designed with the powerful Silverlight technology, while the native C code enables high-performance processing.
“As independent hardware vendors, our customers also benefit from early and more intensive access to new Microsoft technologies.”
"Print Mark Demo"
Advanced printing technology operates with high web speeds of more than 10 m/s. Despite this, the print quality must meet stringent requirements, and the print pixels must be set with a precision of less than 1/10 mm. This requires fast technology for controlling the print quality during production. For example, a point density of 200 dpi (approx. 0.1 mm per dot) at a web speed of 10 m/s requires 100,000 dots per second to be controlled.
To identify the position of print colours, special patterns referred to as print marks are printed on the paper and generally cut off after completion. Since the fast moving print marks cannot be detected by humans, stroboscopes tend to be used for visual inspections to give observers the impression of a stationary pattern. Beckhoff has modelled such an application with realistic speeds.
In this configuration versatile input and output modules for detecting print marks and controlling the stroboscope are used. The electrical signals of the sensors and actuators are converted to binary signals in the input/output modules. The fast EtherCAT fieldbus is used for data exchange and module synchronisation with a precision of better than 100 ns. At full drum speed the calculation time available between detection of the print mark and triggering of the flash is only a few µs.
The CP6201 Panel PC controls the whole demo application. It is equipped with an Intel® Core™ Duo 2.0 GHz and 2 GB of RAM and takes full advantage of the new Embedded Compact 7. In addition to offering an intuitive HMI, it meets the requirements of high-precision, real-time tasks. Windows Embedded Compact 7 enables the time-critical real-time part to run on one core, while the extensive "Silverlight for Embedded" user interface and the OPC-UA (Unified Architecture) communication for external data exchange runs in parallel on the second core.
The basic principle of the "Print Mark Demo“ is transferable to numerous other industrial automation applications, including forming, filling, pressing and labelling, which also require very fast responses to events.
Beckhoff has been a Microsoft Windows Embedded Gold Partner since 2006 and has already won the Excellence Award for continuous valuable technological feedback and collaboration in the Microsoft Community three times since then.