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Headquarters Switzerland
Beckhoff Automation AG

Rheinweg 7
8200 Schaffhausen, Switzerland

+41 52 633 40 40
info@beckhoff.ch
www.beckhoff.ch

Technical Support Schaffhausen Switzerland (German)

+41 52 633 40 40
support@beckhoff.ch
Modulo di contatto

Technical Support Arbon Switzerland (German)

+41 71 447 10 80
support@beckhoff.ch

Technical Support Lyssach Switzerland (German)

+41 34 447 44 88
support@beckhoff.ch

Technical Support Switzerland (French)

+41 24 447 27 00
support@beckhoff.ch

Technical Support Switzerland (Italian)

+41 91 792 24 40
support@beckhoff.ch

Create ultimate guest experience: with PC-based control from Beckhoff

The entertainment industry is a booming market. Entertainment is seen as a basic human need: People all over the world want to be transported to a dream land where they can unwind and enjoy relaxing moments. Guests are willing to spend large amounts of money for unique experiences, such as a live concert or theme park. The key economic factor in the entertainment industry is the ultimate guest experience. Here, the goal is to meet the high expectations of the public, or even exceed them. Aspects such as competition and the search for new attractions play a similarly important role. To truly capture the audience not only the creativity of artists and designers is required, but also the control and automation technology that sets no technical limits in terms of implementation. Regardless of whether a subproject, a series product for entertainment functions, complex theatrical machinery, or a complete theme park: PC-based control from Beckhoff offers you technology that is proven in applications around the globe, which you can use to master any creative challenge. Read on to discover more about the Beckhoff system for realizing ultimate visitor experiences and enjoy increased competitiveness as a result!

The Beckhoff automation platform provides system integrators with a tool that places no technical limits on
The Beckhoff automation platform provides system integrators with a tool that places no technical limits on "enabling your creativity".
© Ralph Larmann

Creative solutions need innovative technology

Projects implemented globally in the entertainment industry using Beckhoff technology prove that PC-based control is ideally suited to an industry that strives to constantly surpass itself – or the competition – in order to be able to offer new attractions. Translating creative ideas into technical solutions has to be just as fast and flexible. As a "creativity to technology translator", the system integrator becomes the interface between art or idea and technology thanks to support from Beckhoff. The performance of PC and EtherCAT-based control technology and its extensive connectivity to the individual technical functions places no limits on the control tasks that can be realized in the entertainment industry. On the contrary, the performance of Beckhoff technology has even inspired many customer applications.

Convince yourself of our worldwide reference and the success of hundreds of applications implemented with Beckhoff technology!

"Kinetic Rain" is a kinetic sculpture created at Singapore Changi Airport consisting of 1,216 glossy, copper-plated aluminum raindrops, which are moved in unison to form elaborate moving shapes.

We redefine performance!

Thanks to the performance of modern processors, the TwinCAT automation software, and EtherCAT, the extremely fast communication system, applications can be realized in a way that is only possible with Beckhoff technology:

  • control of up to 250 motion axes on one controller
  • Several controllers can also be combined to synchronously control a large number of motion axes.
  • up to 80 DMX masters can be operated on one controller.
  • Audio problems can be detected precisely thanks to the extreme controller performance.
  • Beckhoff offers LED drivers, which can dim precisely to 0%.
  • Thanks to the high speed of EtherCAT, SMPTE Timecode can be integrated via standard products.
  • high performance for ultra-precise control of processes and applications

Comprehensive connectivity: Beckhoff supports all common industry standards.
Comprehensive connectivity: Beckhoff supports all common industry standards.

All technical functions on one platform: Beckhoff supports all relevant interfaces

Besides integrating DMX, sACN, Art-Net™, PosiStageNet, DALI, KNX/EIB, dimmers, and LED for lighting control systems, system integrators also have all typical interfaces at their disposal for connecting AV and multimedia systems. With support for SMPTE Timecode, PJLink, AES 70 (OCA), OSC, Crestron, and QSC, Beckhoff speaks the unique "languages" of this industry, ensuring that the most varied devices and applications in the entertainment industry can be controlled on the basis of standard control components. In addition, suitable communication options such as ADS, EAP, OPC-UA, and a further 25 fieldbuses are also available within the Beckhoff world to establish connections to other systems of relevance for the entertainment industry. The comprehensive connectivity means that all technical functions can be linked together – from stage technology through audio/video control, lighting technology, and control of show effects to device management and condition monitoring. Moreover, the consistency of the control offers the advantage that all system information is made available to the user on one platform.

One control system for all technical functions in entertainment and building technology.
One control system for all technical functions in entertainment and building technology.

Centralized or decentralized control approach? PC-based control masters both!

When opting for a centralized or decentralized control approach, the sole determining factor is the application – Beckhoff control technology enables both. Thanks to its modularity and open software and hardware interfaces, Beckhoff's control platform is ideal for centralized or decentralized control of individual or all applications involved in stage, show, and concert technology, such as movable objects, lighting technology, AV and media technology, and building automation. The only critical factor when choosing a control approach is the application or the requirements of the customer. Individual technical functions implemented with Beckhoff technology, such as stage machinery, animated figures, lighting control, or the stage manager's desk, can be integrated effortlessly in existing control environments. The variety of interfaces in the Beckhoff system also means, however, that overall control can also be established at an overarching level, allowing all technical functions to be controlled centrally.

Beckhoff supports the integration of lighting control solutions with DMX, sACN, PosiStageNet, and OSC.
Beckhoff supports the integration of lighting control solutions with DMX, sACN, PosiStageNet, and OSC.

Flexibility: PC-based control offers diverse operating options

Beckhoff's control system offers a variety of multi-touch displays as well as TwinCAT HMI as a HTML-5-based visualization solution for realizing modern operating functions. However, operators and creative professionals are often not willing to relinquish "their" console as a control element. Beckhoff's control platform has the answer here, allowing consoles and other tools to be used effortlessly thanks to the large variety of communication interfaces – a unique feature of Beckhoff’s industrial controllers. Moreover, the openness of PC-based control technology from Beckhoff also allows the control or data transfer to be handled by a variety of other systems, such as Brainsalt Conductor, motion sensors, QSC, Crestron, and more.

The logic can be programmed freely within the Beckhoff platform and performed according to

  • fixed steps (cues, presets, scenes)
  • time
  • events
  • or based on the analysis of creative input, such as images

Beckhoff's safety components – covering everything from safety I/O modules to drives – offer you a general and scalable safety solution up to SIL3 for virtually all applications in the area of movable objects.
Beckhoff's safety components – covering everything from safety I/O modules to drives – offer you a general and scalable safety solution up to SIL3 for virtually all applications in the area of movable objects.

We get things moving – safely and surely!

Beckhoff supplies a broad range of scalable drive technology components – fitted optionally with Beckhoff's safety technology TwinSAFE, up to SIL 3/PL e – for motion control applications such as for scenery or point hoists, show elements, or kinetic installations, for example.

Control solutions from Beckhoff are scalabale to the task: All product lines can be scaled precisely in terms of price, performance, and design, according to the application requirements. The range of Industrial PCs thus extends from the ultra-compact C6015 with dimensions of 82 x 82 x 40 mm to the manycore processor with up to 40 cores.
Control solutions from Beckhoff are scalabale to the task: All product lines can be scaled precisely in terms of price, performance, and design, according to the application requirements. The range of Industrial PCs thus extends from the ultra-compact C6015 with dimensions of 82 x 82 x 40 mm to the manycore processor with up to 40 cores.

Benefit from the flexibility of a modular and scalable control system

The scalability and modularity of the Beckhoff components enable universal use in the entertainment industry, from small and medium-sized applications through to highly complex venues and theme park attractions. System integrators can assemble their control system in a modular way according to the performance, available installation space, and budget of the application. Functional enhancements and changes to the control system are possible at any time thanks to the modularity of the solution – even during operation – thus providing a guarantee of excellent flexibility.

  • All technical functions in small or medium-sized applications can be executed, for example, on the ultra-compact C6015 Industrial PC with the TwinCAT automation software. It provides adequate processing power to control movable objects, lighting technology, AV and media technology, as well as building automation.
  • The system simply has to be extended or scaled upward for highly complex applications. This means that every technical function gets a separate controller, for example an Embedded PC in the CX series, with the controllers working in perfect harmony.

As an event organizer not only will you benefit from the cost efficiency of the control solution, rather ultimately also your customers for whom you create a unique guest experience. © anja koehler andereart.de
As an event organizer not only will you benefit from the cost efficiency of the control solution, rather ultimately also your customers for whom you create a unique guest experience.
© anja koehler andereart.de

Ensure your success with an economical and sustainable control solution

PC-based control offers you an economical solution – from investment through implementation to use:

  • performance and cost-driven control system design
  • optimum price-to-performance ratio
  • lower total cost due to shorter engineering times
  • good service and maintenance options

With state-of-the-art Beckhoff technologies, you are also equipped for the demands of the future. Are you planning to upgrade the control system later on, as more or different functions are needed? This is not a problem thanks to Beckhoff's modularly expandable control platform: The I/O system can be extended as desired and the existing software part reused. You are therefore always optimally equipped to create the ultimate guest experience of the future!

PC-based control from Beckhoff stands for innovative, industry-neutral automation solutions backed by PC-based control technology, which are successfully used around the globe in the most varied applications and industries.
PC-based control from Beckhoff stands for innovative, industry-neutral automation solutions backed by PC-based control technology, which are successfully used around the globe in the most varied applications and industries.

Protect your investment with an industry-proven control system "Made in Germany"

When you choose Beckhoff, you are choosing industry-proven, reliable, and durable control technology "Made in Germany". As a pioneer of PC-based control technology and inventor of EtherCAT, Beckhoff has been implementing open automation systems for more than 35 years, which are used in the most varied applications, from machine controllers to the process industry through building control to entertainment applications. Machines equipped with Beckhoff technology are used in their hundreds of thousands today by world-leading end customers in the machine tool, packaging and plastics industry, as well as the automotive industry.

Beckhoff has established a large international customer base in the entertainment industry over the course of the last twenty years, and has been exhibiting at leading trade fairs for entertainment and media technology since 2011.
You too can benefit from the advantages of PC-based control technology!

PC-based control protects your investment through:

  • industry-proven components for reliable 24/7 operation
  • compliance with open standards such as EtherCAT and IEC 61131-3
  • long-term availability of products
  • Germany as a production location vouches for the high quality of all Beckhoff components.
  • Extraordinary production depth and high production capacities guarantee long-term availability and delivery reliability.
  • continuous economic growth and long-term stability of the family-run business

With a presence in more than 75 countries, Beckhoff provides globally active customers with rapid service worldwide and technical support in the local language.
With a presence in more than 75 countries, Beckhoff provides globally active customers with rapid service worldwide and technical support in the local language.

Working locally on a global scale: with Beckhoff as an experienced automation partner

Beckhoff is a system provider with a deep understanding of technology in a variety of industries and supports you in realizing your application. You can benefit from our extensive expertise in entertainment technology, AV and media technology, building automation, and general machine control. Beckhoff is represented in over 75 countries around the globe with its own subsidiaries and distributors. We have local teams in place at numerous locations in the hot spots of the entertainment world – in the United States and China – so that we can offer you expert application support and fast service on the ground. Nothing more should therefore stand in the way of your international projects.

Since Beckhoff's foundation in 1980, the consistent development of innovative products and solutions on the basis of PC-based automation technology has been the foundation of the company's continued success.
Since Beckhoff's foundation in 1980, the consistent development of innovative products and solutions on the basis of PC-based automation technology has been the foundation of the company's continued success.

Maximum availability of the control system ensures seamless (show) performance

  • As an industry-proven solution, PC-based automation technology from Beckhoff is exceptionally reliable and durable.
  • Use of standards: Some 95 percent of all application solutions are covered by Beckhoff standard components and technologies.
  • The advantages for you:
    • availability from stock
    • mature products
    • fast and efficient service
  • exceptionally long service times for components of up to 20 years or more
  • extensive diagnostic options via TwinCAT and EtherCAT
  • Predictive maintenance functions: in the cloud or locally on the control system. With TwinCAT Analytics, Beckhoff offers excellent possibilities to collect and analyze data.
  • PC-based control from Beckhoff has built-in remote maintenance options.
  • If a device fails, the Beckhoff components can be exchanged really easily, whether I/O system or servo drive series with quick-change function.
  • maximum availability of control components also under the most adverse environmental conditions

A compact overview of the Beckhoff solutions for the entertainment industry can also be found in our brochure, which you can download here:

Applications

Stage industry

PC-based control offers automation solutions for all stationary performances.

PC-based control from Beckhoff integrates all systems for mobile performances.

Show industry

PC-based control integrates all systems for mobile performances.

PC-based control from Beckhoff automates unique installations involving light, water and kinetics.

Unique applications

PC-based control automates unique installations involving light, water and kinetics.

PC-based control from Beckhoff supports entertainment technology – from leisure parks to TV studios.

Attractions

PC-based control supports entertainment technology – from amusement parks to TV studios.

Systems

Beckhoff control components for movable objects

Movable objects

Beckhoff control components for movable objects

Beckhoff control components for lighting technology

Lighting technology

Beckhoff control components for lighting technology

Beckhoff control components for AV and media technology

AV and media technology

Beckhoff control components for AV and media technology

Beckhoff control components for building automation

Building automation

Beckhoff control components for building automation

Beckhoff technoloy highlights for the entertainment industry

Due to the system integration of all systems, from moving objects, lighting technology, AV and media technology to building automation, the PC-based control platform is suitable for all fields of application in the entertainment industry.
Due to the system integration of all systems, from moving objects, lighting technology, AV and media technology to building automation, the PC-based control platform is suitable for all fields of application in the entertainment industry.

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 machine control and the automation of wind turbines to the entertainment industry. What was regarded 40 years ago as an outsider position has developed very quickly into a standard in the automation industry. Innovative product developments that underscored 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 fieldbus EtherCAT 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 systems in the entertainment industry, such as moving objects, lighting technology, AV and media technology and building automation. Worldwide references from mobile and stationary stage and show technology, from unique applications and entertainment technology prove that PC-based control technology is ideally suited to the implementation of technically sophisticated stage and media shows.

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 systems of an entertainment 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

Beckhoff supplies the largest number of EtherCAT-compatible automation modules for both I/Os and drive technology.
Beckhoff supplies the largest number of EtherCAT-compatible automation modules for both I/Os and drive 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 the entertainment industry. More than 6,000 companies worldwide have joined forces in the EtherCAT Technology Group (ETG), the world's largest industrial fieldbus user organization. More than twenty of the most renowned companies in the field of entertainment are also members of the ETG.

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 creative people and engineers in the field of entertainment technology in the realization of unique applications. For example, a customer application such as "Kinetic Rain", which features 1,216 precisely synchronized axes, can only be realized on the basis of EtherCAT. With EtherCAT, almost any event in a show, theatre or amusement park can be synchronized, which is usually not possible with "black box" hardware in the way they are normally used. The development of the DMX terminal, which requires 512 bytes of process data, is also based on EtherCAT; as of today, this is not possible with any other fieldbus system.

The general advantages of EtherCAT are:

  • high speed
  • simple diagnostics
  • control of up to 65,535 devices
  • EtherCAT allows the transmission of up to 64 kbit per slave
  • perfect synchronization

The development of the fast control technology XFC was also a prerequisite for the support of the SMPTE-Timecode standard by the Beckhoff controller.
The development of the fast control technology XFC was also a prerequisite for the support of the SMPTE-Timecode standard by the Beckhoff controller.

High-performance for the entertainment technology supports SMPTE-Timecode

The eXtreme Fast Control (XFC) technology enables leading-edge, high-speed automation 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 the 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 SMPTE (Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers) 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.

With around 100 signal types, users have an extensive EtherCAT I/O terminal portfolio at their disposal.
With around 100 signal types, users have an extensive EtherCAT I/O terminal portfolio at their disposal.

EtherCAT I/O Terminals automate any functionality in the entertainment industry

In 1995, Beckhoff launched the Bus Terminal, which has since become one of the most important technology standards in automation technology. That was followed in 2003 by the development of the fast EtherCAT 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 stage and show technology 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.

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 to be integrated into the controller. EtherCAT Terminals are used in almost every entertainment application.

Due to their modularity and versatility, the TwinSAFE components fit seamlessly into the Beckhoff control system.
Due to their modularity and versatility, the TwinSAFE components fit seamlessly into the Beckhoff control system.

Highly scalable, highly modular: safe automation with TwinSAFE

So that the system integrator can ensure the safety of stage equipment, Beckhoff provides TwinSAFE, a certified safety solution that is scalable in terms of both software and hardware. Due to their modularity and versatility, the TwinSAFE components fit seamlessly into the Beckhoff control system. The I/O components are available in Bus Terminal, EtherCAT Terminal, EtherCAT plug-in module and EtherCAT Box Module form and can be used for applications up to SIL 3 according to EN 61508:2010 and Cat 4, PL e according to EN ISO 13849-1:2016-06. The possibility to transmit the safety-relevant signals over a standard bus system gives rise to substantial advantages in terms of planning, installation, operation, maintenance, diagnostics and costs. The safety application is configured or programmed in the TwinCAT software and then transferred via the fieldbus to a TwinSAFE logic component. It forms the core of the TwinSAFE system. All safety devices in the system communicate with the logic component. Through the fieldbus-neutral safety protocol (FSoE/Safety-over-EtherCAT), TwinSAFE devices can be integrated into any fieldbus system. For this purpose, they are integrated into existing networks with K-bus or EtherCAT or can be used - as an IP 67 module - directly in the machine or plant. These safety I/Os form the interfaces to the safety-relevant sensors and actuators. In the field of drive technology, too, solutions without safety functionality are hardly conceivable anymore. Beckhoff therefore started integrating safety functions into its drive systems at an early stage – in both standard and compact drive technology.

Beckhoff product highlights for the entertainment industry

The servo terminals for the Beckhoff EtherCAT Terminal system integrate a complete servo drive for highly dynamic positioning tasks in a standard terminal housing.
The servo terminals for the Beckhoff EtherCAT Terminal system integrate a complete servo drive for highly dynamic positioning tasks in a standard terminal housing.

Connection of motors directly in the I/O system

Beckhoff focuses on modularity and scalable power in compact drive technology: Various connections in the format of a K-bus or EtherCAT Terminal (IP 20) support the connection of AC and DC motors as well as stepper and servomotors of different performance classes. The Beckhoff EtherCAT Box Modules in IP 67 for stepper and DC motors are available for use without a control cabinet. The compact drive technology is used in particular in amusement parks, for example for animated figures as well as in kinetic applications; smaller auxiliary axes are used in almost all entertainment areas.

  • The servo terminals from the EL72xx series for the EtherCAT I/O system integrate a complete servo drive for motors up to 200 W in the standard HD terminal housing and are ideally suited for applications with a small mounting space.
  • The EtherCAT Terminals from the EL70xx series are intended for the direct connection of stepper motors in the low and medium power range. The terminal can be adapted to the motor and the application with a few parameters.
  • The EL7411 BLDC motor terminal with an incremental encoder offers high control performance in a very compact design for the medium power range of BLDC motors. Due to the fast control technology and the connection of an incremental encoder, both very high-speed profiles and dynamic positioning tasks can be realized. Numerous monitoring functions provide the highest level of operational reliability. With the EL7411 EtherCAT Terminal, the control of third-party motors is also possible without any problems.

Fanless Intel® Core™-i-Power for the ultra-compact Industrial PC generation
Fanless Intel® Core™-i-Power for the ultra-compact Industrial PC generation

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 the entertainment industry. The interfaces for transferring electrical signals, IP, image and audio signals, which are available by default, make the C6015 suitable for cost-effective control of media walls, for example.

  • The C6017 multi-core computer, which measures just 82 mm x 82 mm 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 entertainment application and requirement profile.

With the DMX master terminal for lighting and stage technology, Beckhoff integrates DMX into the PC-based control platform.
With the DMX master terminal for lighting and stage technology, Beckhoff integrates DMX into the PC-based control platform.

Control of DMX devices via the DMX terminal

DMX is the standard protocol for controlling professional stage and effect lighting equipment. This is used, for example, for the dynamic lighting of showrooms and salesrooms as well as for exclusive plays of light and color in prestigious buildings, such as hotels and event centers. Color mixing and brightness values are transmitted to DMX devices that are static light sources, while moving sources of light also receive spatial coordinates. EtherCAT’s high data transfer rate enables light settings to be updated at a higher rate, with the result that changes of light and color are perceived by the eye as being more harmonious. With the EL6851 DMX devices with three axes such as scanners, moving heads or spotlights, can be controlled. In addition, the EL6851 can also be used to drive the RDM (Remote Device Management) protocol. RDM is an extension of the DMX protocol and enables addressing and parameterization of devices. TwinCAT offers associated libraries.

Beckhoff supports the integration of lighting control solutions via DMX, sACN, PosiStageNet and OSC.
Beckhoff supports the integration of lighting control solutions via DMX, sACN, PosiStageNet and OSC.

Connection of DMX controls

DMX is the standard protocol for controlling professional stage and event equipment, such as that used for the dynamic lighting of showrooms and salesrooms, as well as for exclusive plays of light and color in prestigious buildings such as hotels and event centers. In addition to the EL6851 DMX Master Terminal for controlling DMX slaves, Beckhoff offers a way to connect DMX consoles (or other DMX master forms) with the EL6851-0010 DMX slave terminal. In this way, any DMX console can be integrated as an operating unit for the Beckhoff controller. The control via a DMX console can also be connected with other forms of controllers, such as an HMI or control panels.

The EL6851-0010 DMX slave terminal allows the input data of the DMX console to be linked to any other signals in the control system by the Beckhoff controller. Non-DMX-capable devices, such as DALI lamps or Bus Terminals, can also be addressed via the DMX console. In addition to the EL6851-0010 DMX Slave Terminal, Beckhoff also offers the integration of light consoles via sACN, Art-Net, PosiStageNet or OSC.

The TC3 AES70 (OCA) communication library provides functions for operating a system as an Open Control Architecture (OCA) controller in an OCA network.
The TC3 AES70 (OCA) communication library provides functions for operating a system as an Open Control Architecture (OCA) controller in an OCA network.

Integration of OCA-capable audio systems into the PC controller

The AES70 standard was published by the Audio Engineering Society, which is based in New York. It defines a scalable control protocol for professional audio devices and describes monitoring and control of such devices, but not the transfer of media data. The function blocks of the TwinCAT 3 AES70 (OCA) Communication PLC library can be used to establish data exchange between a TwinCAT PLC and an (audio) device that supports the AES70 (OCA) standard. The user can query or set properties of different objects in a device (OCA device). Function blocks such as Gain, Mute and Switch are available for this purpose. They implement any OCA structure and map any OCA device. Beckhoff offers prefabricated function blocks for devices from d&b audiotechnik.

With TF8810, OCA-capable audio systems can be integrated into Beckhoff's PC-based control platform and combined with components from the wide range of Control Panels and I/Os. TF8810 includes a license for TF6310.

Many-core computing power is available from DIN-rail-mounted CX20x2 Embedded PCs.
Many-core computing power is available from DIN-rail-mounted CX20x2 Embedded PCs.

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 CX20x2s, which are equipped with Intel® Xeon® processors and a separate graphic unit. They can be used to realize even sophisticated visualizations.

The multi-touch panel series offers maximum flexibility for the realization of ergonomic operating concepts.
The multi-touch panel series offers maximum flexibility for the realization of ergonomic operating concepts.

Maximum flexibility for proven and new operating concepts with multi-touch

The Beckhoff Panel generation with industry-standard multi-touch display offers the right solution for any application. The wide model variety ranges from different display sizes and formats to custom models. For single-touch users, the new panel generation also offers excellent value for money and a smart alternative to other systems.

Highlights

  • 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

Beckhoff offers an extensive portfolio of energy and power measuring terminals for maintenance, power measurement and performance monitoring.
Beckhoff offers an extensive portfolio of energy and power measuring terminals for maintenance, power measurement and performance monitoring.

Continuous power measurement in entertainment technology due to integrated power measurement

Energy efficiency is also playing an increasingly important role in the entertainment industry. To save costs, peaks must be prevented, power consumption reduced and processes optimized. Complete, transparent acquisition and processing of all energy data is necessary to make the right cost-lowering decisions.

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.

Beckhoff offers highly dynamic drive technology for driving backdrop or point hoists, e.g., for stage scenery, stage parts and show elements, or for lighting movements.
Beckhoff offers highly dynamic drive technology for driving backdrop or point hoists, e.g., for stage scenery, stage parts and show elements, or for lighting movements.
Xesa Systems uses the compact AX8000 multi-axis servo system in the latest generation of its driving simulators.
Xesa Systems uses the compact AX8000 multi-axis servo system in the latest generation of its driving simulators.

Scalable drive technology - dynamic and high-precision

In combination with the motion control solutions of the TwinCAT automation software, Beckhoff Drive Technology represents a complete drive system for positioning tasks in almost every application in the entertainment industry. The AX5000 and AX8000 servo drive series offer maximum performance and dynamics with powerful EtherCAT system communication. Both drive systems can be equipped with safety technology up to SIL 3/PLe and are suitable for the realization of stage applications with outputs of up to 120 kW. For example, the servo drives from the Beckhoff AX5000 series are used to control the movement of the spectacular stage effects in the Broadway musical "Hamilton".

The AX5000 is designed for optimum functionality and cost-effectiveness. The integrated, fast control technology supports highly dynamic positioning tasks. EtherCAT delivers high-performance system communication that enables ideal interfacing with PC-based control technology and supports coupling with other communication systems. The two-channel servo drive with variable motor output allocation optimizes both the form factor considerations and the costs per drive channel.

The AX8000 multi-axis servo system, based on EtherCAT, enables high-precision positioning and machining operations with extremely short control cycles. Its compact size reduces the space required in the control cabinet. The multi-axis servo system can be easily expanded into multi-channel drive solutions by connecting the required number of single or two-channel axis modules to the central power supply module. The AX8000 supports OCT, the One Cable Technology for power and feedback from Beckhoff, and pairs with the AM8000 (standard) and AM8500 (increased inertia) servomotors.

The synchronous servomotors from the AM8000 series are characterized by high dynamics and energy efficiency. Due to their low rotor moment of inertia and a very high overload capacity, they are suitable for the realization of highly dynamic applications. The seven flange sizes with up to four lengths cover a wide torque range from 0.2 to 129 Nm. They are equipped with One Cable Technology to reduce material and commissioning costs.

The AM8500 series expands the Beckhoff servomotor range by a complete series with increased rotor moment of inertia and covers a wide power range with four sizes, each with three lengths, with standstill torques from 1.37 to 41 Nm. Due to the high rotor inertia, the AM8500 is suitable for areas with high external inertia. It tends to oscillate less quickly and is much simpler to adjust to the application on the servo controller.

TwinCAT, the universal software platform for engineering, runtime and modeling, simplifies the automation of complex processes.
TwinCAT, the universal software platform for engineering, runtime and modeling, simplifies the automation of complex processes.

Open, PC-based control technology

TwinCAT automation software integrates real-time control with PLC, NC and CNC functions in a single package. All Beckhoff controllers are programmed using TwinCAT in accordance with the IEC 61131-3 programming standard. In addition to IEC 61131-3, TwinCAT 3 also offers C/C++ and Matlab®/Simulink® as programming languages.

TwinCAT 3 Highlights:

  • Only one software for programming and configuration
  • Visual Studio® integration
  • More freedom in the choice of programming language
  • Support for the object oriented extension of IEC 61131-3
  • Use of C/C++ as a programming language for real-time applications
  • Link to Matlab®/Simulink®
  • Open interfaces for expandability and adaptation to existing tool landscape
  • Flexible runtime environment
  • Active support for multi-core and 64-bit operating systems
  • Migration of TwinCAT 2 projects
  • Automatic code generation and project creation with the TwinCAT Automation Interface

Integration in Microsoft Visual Studio® makes it possible to program automation objects in parallel with the aid of the 3rd edition of IEC 61131-3 and the C or C++ languages. The objects generated (modules) can exchange data with each other and call each other independently of the language they were written in. The TwinCAT System Manager has been integrated into the development environment. Hence, only one software is required to configure, parameterize, program and, if necessary, to diagnose automation devices.

 TwinCAT integrates the Human Machine Interface directly in the familiar environment of Visual Studio®. Programming is unnecessary; configuration is done comfortably via the graphical editor. As simple as the configuration is, the handling is equally adaptable: this web-based solution, which is based on HTML5 and JavaScript, acts responsively, regardless of the operating system, browser and device.
TwinCAT integrates the Human Machine Interface directly in the familiar environment of Visual Studio®. Programming is unnecessary; configuration is done comfortably via the graphical editor. As simple as the configuration is, the handling is equally adaptable: this web-based solution, which is based on HTML5 and JavaScript, acts responsively, regardless of the operating system, browser and device.

The quick way to individual user interfaces

TwinCAT HMI consistently relies on widely used IT standards such as HTML5, JavaScript and CSS. The integration of a full graphical editor with an extensive toolbox into the familiar TwinCAT engineering environment makes it possible to create extensive visualization pages for entertainment applications with little effort. Customer-specific functions that are not part of the visualization toolbox can be implemented via the above-mentioned IT standards or higher-level programming languages. The visualizations created are independent of the client's platform and responsive. The powerful basic architecture makes numerous application scenarios possible: from the local panel solution to multi-client, multi-server and multi-runtime concepts.

Beckhoff relies on IT standards:

  • Visual Studio® for engineering
  • HTML5 for design
  • TLS for secure communication
  • Execution of the user interface on any HTML-capable browser, regardless of operating system, resolution and display

TwinCAT TCP/IP is used to implement and realize one or more TCP/IP servers and/or TCP/IP clients in the TwinCAT 3 PLC.
TwinCAT TCP/IP is used to implement and realize one or more TCP/IP servers and/or TCP/IP clients in the TwinCAT 3 PLC.

TF6310 forms the basis for supporting sACN, Art-Net, PosiStageNet, QSC and PJLink

TwinCAT TCP/IP TF6310 is used to implement and realize one or more TCP/IP servers and/or TCP/IP clients in the TwinCAT 3 PLC. Corresponding function blocks exist for the establishment/disconnection of communication as well as for the pure exchange of data (send and receive). The function blocks also support the use of multicast addresses here. Many of the communication interfaces in the entertainment industry are based on TCP/IP, which is why TF6310 is used in almost all entertainment projects with Beckhoff control technology. TF6310 is the basis for the support of sACN, Art-Net™, PosiStageNet, QSC and PJLink.

Beckhoff is member of the following associations:

  • AVIXA™ (Audiovisual and Integrated Experience Association)
  • VPLT (Verband für Medien- und Veranstaltungstechnik e. V.)
  • DTHG (Deutsche Theatertechnische Gesellschaft)