Balance between latest PC technology and long-term availability of control components
Together with the software employed, Control Panels in the most diverse form factors act as the centerpiece of a variety of automation tasks, such as the control of machines, processes and logistic systems, the networking of plant parts, the data acquisition or image processing. For classic control tasks, PC-based control technology offers excellent scalability and flexibility and is therefore increasingly being used in place of hardware PLCs.
Single-touch technology with guaranteed long-term availability
Even though advanced have become indispensable in industrial applications as a result of general digitization, there is still a large market for single-touch applications. These applications are frequently realized with the help of resistive touch technology. Beckhoff has been using this technology successfully in a large number of single-touch Control Panels for over 20 years.
The CP6906/CP6900 device series are used in particular for price-sensitive applications. A comprehensive range of Control Panels in a wide variety of versions is available to Beckhoff customers:
- diagonals from 7 to 19 inches
- 4:3/5:4 or widescreen format
- various connection techniques: DVI/USB for distances up to 5 meters between PC and Control Panel; DVI/USB-Extended for distances up to 50 meters
- built-in or mounting arm models
- standard version or customized
To meet the high demands with regard to mechanical stability, the harsh environmental conditions in industry, precise operation and an elegant design, Beckhoff uses only selected single-touch screens with long-term availability for its CP6xxx and CP7xxx Control Panel series. This guarantees the user a high degree of investment protection: even today, he can still use classic 4:3 formats when retrofitting his machine or for new installations. All necessary controller boards are developed by Beckhoff and manufactured in-house. This results in a very robust overall system, which enables reliable operation even in harsh machine environments.
Sturdy housing technology in a modern and high-class design
As a pioneer in PC-based automation, Beckhoff places the highest demands on the quality of its products and on their contemporary design. In order to harmonize the two, Beckhoff has been using solid aluminum as the raw material for the housings of its Control Panels since the 1990s. Aluminum offers very good mechanical, electrical and thermal properties. The simplicity of its processing also allows the manufacture of small series and enables customer-specific adaptations. Anodization produces a high-quality and durable surface. In addition to aluminum, stainless steel is also used as a basic material for some industries.
Perfectly matched PC hardware
Irrespective of the application as a display device (HMI) or as a complete Control Panel PC, Beckhoff relies on its own know-how with self-developed and manufactured motherboards. In this way, the user benefits from flexible, high-performance hardware platforms with guaranteed long-term availability. Different product families address different applications, for example:
- as an "Economy" built-in Control Panel
- as built-in device with a wide range of variants
- in an IP 65 version and a variety of button layouts on the front of the Control Panel
The digital visual interface (DVI) defined as successor to analog VGA connections digitally transfers the PC image to the display. The universal serial bus (USB) enables connection of input devices and drives to the PC. With DVI/USB-Extended, "economy" Control Panels can be operated at distances of up to 50 meters from the PC. Apart from a graphics card or a motherboard with DVI output and the USB port available with every motherboard no additional plug-in card is required in the PC.
The CP69xx Built-in Control Panels are connected via standard USB and DVI plug connectors and have an industrial pin contact strip for the 24 V power supply. A 2-port USB socket on the rear panel enables the connection of keyboard, mouse, USB stick or CD/DVD drive. USB-Extended transmits data at 12 Mbit/s according to USB 1.1.
The CP79xx IP 65 Control Panels are equipped with IP 65 round connectors for the connection of the USB and DVI signals and the 24 V power supply. With the DVI/USB-Extended technology, the distance between Control Panel and Industrial PC can be up to 50 m. The DVI graphic signal is transmitted directly from the PC by a DVI-E cable.