PC-based control for handling, production and assembly
Flexible and cost-effective production of Plasma Separation Cards
The increasing demands on machines and plants to integrate vision, energy management, acquisition of machine data and much more go hand-in-hand with the expectation of increased quality, performance and throughput. This pushes many previously proven solutions to their limits. In order to remain internationally competitive in the future, tried and tested concepts must be put to the test. These include, for example, the initial costs associated with the increase in the number of interfaces to various systems within an application. Modern machine-to-machine (M2M) communication and cloud connectivity are required here; i.e. machine manufacturers must integrate production concepts based on Industrie 4.0 into their machines.
With PC-based control and EtherCAT technology, Beckhoff offers high-performance control solutions for assembly units, handling systems, test equipment and robot applications. Modular in design and precisely scalable to suit any performance requirements, the PC-based solution is suitable for controlling and monitoring the entire process chain of individual machines as well as complete production lines. As a result, all production steps – from feeding, joining (welding, gluing, etc.), assembly, and testing to material handling and robot integration – can be realized consistently with Beckhoff Industrial PCs as the hardware and TwinCAT as the software platform. Since all control functions are mapped in software, production cells or production lines can be adapted to changing requirements with little engineering effort and new functionalities can be integrated. Whether lot size 1 or mass production, the changeover can take place on the fly.
Open interfaces in hardware and software also offer the machine manufacturer high degrees of freedom in plant design. They enable the integration of a variety of different devices as well as the optimal networking of machines and plants for M2M communication. As a driver of the development of open, compatible automation interfaces, Beckhoff also supports the communication standards for secure cloud connectivity with OPC UA and MQTT and offers the corresponding software tools for cloud-based communication and data analysis. Production optimization and increase, energy efficiency, Condition Monitoring, predictive maintenance and machine learning thus become an integral part of the machine automation.