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Compact, modular, powerful: Beckhoff control components for the tire and rubber industry

With Beckhoff, machine manufacturers and end customers in the tire and rubber industry are opting for a high-performance and maximally scalable control platform that can be used throughout the entire production process. Scalable drive technology hardware in conjunction with the Beckhoff TwinCAT Motion Control software forms the ideal basis for machines used in material preparation and tire manufacturing. In conjunction with the TwinCAT software and robust IP 67 modules, high-performance Industrial PCs in compact design are the basis for an optimized control solution for curing presses. With measuring terminals and the option of integrating C++ and MATLAB®/Simulink® into TwinCAT automation software, Beckhoff provides the components required for test bench automation. Vertical integration into the production environment and connection to MES systems is accomplished with PC-based control via Industrie 4.0 standards and does not require any additional proprietary interfaces.

Beckhoff has developed sound industry expertise and solution competence for the rubber and tire industries in long-standing, close cooperation with machine manufacturers and end customers. Our team of experts advises and supports you from the control design to the implementation and commissioning of your machine and is available on site worldwide for advice, technical support and service. Beckhoff also has a long track record of industry expertise in control cabinet construction for the tire and rubber industries. Our engineering department can manufacture control cabinets exactly to the end customer’s specifications and standards. This includes the components used and their arrangement in the control cabinet, air conditioning and ventilation, preparation of ECAD plans and test protocol.

At a glance: your key benefits for the tire and rubber industry with PC-based control

The Beckhoff components fullfill all control requirements in material preparation and tire building.
The Beckhoff components fullfill all control requirements in material preparation and tire building.

Example of a system configuration for material preparation and tire construction

Together with the TwinCAT NC PTP software, high-performance Industrial PCs and Control Panels form the control platform for the Beckhoff motion control system. Standard functions such as cam plates and flying saw are available in TwinCAT, particularly for use in preparation and assembly. The integration of condition monitoring and Vision in TwinCAT replaces external solutions for monitoring and image processing. Beckhoff servo drive technology not only supports electronic motor rating plates for plug-and-play, but also safety technology. Drive parameterization and parameter storage are completely integrated in TwinCAT. The servomotors are connected cost-effectively via the One Cable Technology, which combines power and feedback signals in a standard motor cable. For adjustable axes with absolute encoders the servomotor terminals offer a compact solution for the I/O system.


The Beckhoff components fullfill all control requirements in curing.
The Beckhoff components fullfill all control requirements in curing.

Example of a control architecture for curing

Robust Beckhoff Control Panels and Panel PCs can be used by operators for monitoring and fast control of pressure and temperature in curing applications. These rugged industrial displays are designed for use in tire and rubber production facilities and feature protection class IP 65, a PLC function keypad on the side, and a special film to protect the electronics against harsh environmental influences. In addition, Beckhoff offers IP 67-rated I/O modules for standard and safety signals, EtherCAT Terminals with extended operating temperature range, and highly precise, calibrated temperature measuring terminals, representing the optimal system for heating press controllers. The basic software for hydraulic and mechanical curing presses and the TwinCAT controller toolbox help manufacturers maintain a faster time-to-market. Archiving production data is possible using built-in mass storage, standardized cloud protocols, and direct database connectivity from the PLC.

Beckhoff components fullfill all control requirements in conveyor systems and material handling.
Beckhoff components fullfill all control requirements in conveyor systems and material handling.

Example of a control architecture for conveyor systems and material handling

PC-based control based on distributed EtherCAT I/O terminals and EtherCAT Box modules from the EP/EPP series is ideally suited for use in conveyor systems for transporting tires from the machine to other processing stations. EtherCAT enables implementation of large systems, with distances of up to 100 meters between individual I/O stations. The cable redundancy offered by EtherCAT ensures high system availability. Local drive concepts commonly found in conveyor systems can be easily integrated into the central control system, based on the multi-fieldbus capability of the Beckhoff automation platform. Hardware components such as scanners, RFID units or camera systems for product tracking are controlled via gateways and interfaces. The distributed TwinSAFE safety system replaces hard-wired safety systems. The safety terminals read the safe signals from the system and ensure reliable data transfer to the PC, based on the Safety over EtherCAT protocol.

The Beckhoff components meet all the control requirements of test and inspection machines for final tire inspection.
The Beckhoff components meet all the control requirements of test and inspection machines for final tire inspection.

System integrated measurement technology optimizes the final inspection

PC-based control with integrated measurement technology is the optimal basis for test and inspection machines in tire production. High-performance Industrial PCs, Control Panels with touchscreens and mechanical push-button extensions, EtherCAT I/Os with gateways to subordinate fieldbus systems, TwinCAT for controlling machine processes and motion control are the components of a lean, highly integrated control architecture. Sequential control and measurement tasks are carried out with PC-based control on an integrated platform. The fast and highly accurate Beckhoff ELM series measurement modules are used for demanding measurement tasks. The integration of the measurement technology into the control system offers the advantage of synchronous signal acquisition and full data access, i.e. the whole range of process data and measurement signals are available to the control system at any time. The integration of C/C++ and MATLAB®/Simulink® into the TwinCAT automation software opens up a wide range of application areas in test and inspection machines for final tire finish.

Beckhoff technology highlights for the tire and rubber industry

PC-based control offers an integrated platform for the entire tire production process, including system software, scalable uniform hardware based on EtherCAT and open interfaces.
PC-based control offers an integrated platform for the entire tire production process, including system software, scalable uniform hardware based on EtherCAT and open interfaces.
Beckhoff provides profound industry expertise in control cabinet building for the rubber and tire industries.
Beckhoff provides profound industry expertise in control cabinet building for the rubber and tire industries.

PC-based control: the universal control platform for the entire tire production

As a high-performance control platform for the whole production process, ranging from the field level to drives and the command level, PC-based control ensures optimum system communication and an efficient production process in tire production. The basic system is based on a high-performance Industrial PC, a high-performance fieldbus connection with the connected peripheral devices for sensors and actuators, and the software for engineering and real-time control. The Beckhoff control platform is supplemented by an extensive portfolio of drive components. The TwinCAT automation software combines all the required machine functionalities such as PLC, motion control, robotics, safety and measurement technology, vision, communication, IoT functions and HMI in a single software package. Integrating measurement technology and condition monitoring into the control platform improves process quality while reducing resource consumption. At the same time, permanent monitoring and intelligent diagnostic options improve machine availability.

TwinSAFE provides an EtherCAT-based, decentralized safety solution: Distributed safety devices such as emergency stop buttons or light curtains are integrated in the central control system via safe EtherCAT I/O modules, minimizing cabling times and costs. Due to the modularity and scalability of the individual components, it is possible to create a wide range of customized, cost-effective solutions. Examples include integrated automation of new production lines, control system retrofits of existing machines, as well as application of individual components or system solutions.

Problem-solving solutions and engineering expertise supporting you around the world every day

Through many years of close cooperation with machine manufacturers and end customers in the tire and rubber industries, Beckhoff has developed sound application expertise and delivers problem-solving solutions. Our team of knowledgeable experts provides advice and support throughout – from designing your controllers to implementing and commissioning your machinery – and is on hand to assist you anywhere in the world with advice, technical support and service. Beckhoff also has well-established industrial experience in building control cabinets for the tire and rubber industries. The Beckhoff engineering department manufactures control cabinets to exacting end customer specifications and standards: significant flexibility can be found in the components used, and their location in the control cabinet, in addition to air conditioning and ventilation choices as well as equipment labelling and logistics support.

EtherCAT right to the I/O terminals: using exceptionally cost-effective standard Ethernet interfaces
EtherCAT right to the I/O terminals: using exceptionally cost-effective standard Ethernet interfaces

EtherCAT as a universal fieldbus system

In recent years, the demands on communication systems for production facilities have increased significantly. EtherCAT, the real-time Ethernet system from Beckhoff, is the ideal fieldbus to meet these needs. With its high-speed communication and high usable data rate, EtherCAT can be leveraged for the entire process communication and acts as I/O, safety, and drive bus system all in one. Beckhoff offers an integrated product range for EtherCAT, including controllers, fieldbus components in IP 20 and IP 67 design, and safe servo drives. EtherCAT has become established as a global standard, which means that machine manufacturers can configure their optimum drive solution based on commercially available components for integration into their own control architecture. Conventional fieldbus and Industrial Ethernet systems, such as PROFIBUS or PROFINET, and corresponding peripherals can be easily integrated via gateways. EtherCAT provides a gateway between process I/Os and the standard Ethernet world, and can therefore be used for teleservices and cloud applications.

Very precise and fast: XFC enables I/O response times of less than 100 microseconds.
Very precise and fast: XFC enables I/O response times of less than 100 microseconds.

eXtreme Fast Control (XFC): extremely fast and highly precise

EtherCAT and the fast control technology based upon it – eXtreme Fast Control (XFC) from Beckhoff – optimize the most diverse areas of application in the tire industry. They provide advantages both in temperature and pressure monitoring during curing, as well as on tire testing machines. The timestamp function of the XFC technology permits the highly precise recording of measuring probe events; coupled servo axes are synchronized with high precision via the EtherCAT distributed clocks function. Measured values for quality assurance are precisely recorded with oversampling terminals. Fast analog I/Os and TwinCAT control structures handle the control of process pressures as well as the highly precise and fast measurement of temperatures. Dedicated devices normally used in measuring and testing machines can be inexpensively replaced by standard XFC components and integrated into the EtherCAT I/O system.

Beckhoff product highlights for the tire and rubber industry

The robust design of the EtherCAT Box modules in IP 67 enables them to be used directly on the machine. Control cabinets and terminal boxes are no longer required.
The robust design of the EtherCAT Box modules in IP 67 enables them to be used directly on the machine. Control cabinets and terminal boxes are no longer required.

EtherCAT Box modules enable the use of EtherCAT technology without a control cabinet. The robust design of these modules allows them to be used directly on the machine. Control cabinets and terminal boxes are thus no longer required. This is a particular advantage for curing, for example, where space is often limited when old machines have to be replaced by newer, larger ones in existing factories. The EP/EPP modules are also used wherever the application of terminal boxes is difficult for structural or environmental reasons, e.g., increased temperature requirements. The EP/EPP modules are also advantageous for modular machine concepts.

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 servo terminals of the compact drive technology can also be used for retrofits or conversions to other fieldbus systems with common PLC systems.

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.

With the high-end measurement modules from Beckhoff, high-precision, fast and robust measurement technology becomes an integral part of PC-based control.
With the high-end measurement modules from Beckhoff, high-precision, fast and robust measurement technology becomes an integral part of PC-based control.

Secure your quality advantage with integrated measurement technology

Measurement technology is becoming much more important for compliance with higher quality standards – and not just in final tire testing, but also during earlier production stages. High-precision control processes and high-precision measurement applications, e.g. with a resolution of 24 bits and an accuracy of better than 100 ppm can be directly implemented with the comprehensive Beckhoff I/O system. The measuring terminals can be simply integrated into the Bus Terminal strand and – with the acquired data processed by the PC control system – without the need for additional hardware. Complete tracking of the tire throughout the entire production process is possible with integrated interface modules for RFID and barcode readers. Interfacing with database systems is handled by the TwinCAT Database Server.

With its flexible scalability, the Beckhoff drive technology is suitable for use in all application areas of the tire and rubber industries.
With its flexible scalability, the Beckhoff drive technology is suitable for use in all application areas of the tire and rubber industries.

Highly scalable: Beckhoff drive technology for the complete range of applications

In combination with the motion control solutions offered in the TwinCAT automation software, Beckhoff Drive Technology represents an advanced and complete drive system. It is modular and highly scalable, offering the right solution for every area of application and every performance requirement. This ranges from space-saving servo terminals for “ultra-compact drive technology“ to the AX8000 and AX5000 EtherCAT Servo Drives for medium to upper performance classes. The integrated advanced control technology of the AX series supports fast and highly dynamic positioning tasks. The extensive range of linear and rotary servomotors is optimally tailored to the servo drives and is suitable for highly dynamic and accurate multi-axis positioning requirements.The AM8000 servomotor series is distinguished by the One Cable Technology: it combines power and feedback signals in one standard motor cable to reduce hardware and commissioning costs, permitting the design of lighter and more compact machines. Further encoder signals (EnDAT 2.2) can be connected via an optional multi-feedback card. The EtherCAT servo terminals represent an inexpensive and compact alternative for applications with small forces. Solutions up to 8 A are available in the I/O system along with the option to connect stepper, servo, DC and AC motors with IP 20 or IP 67 protection.

TwinCAT, the open and scalable automation software platform, leverages industry-standard Windows operating systems and forms the heart of PC-based control.
TwinCAT, the open and scalable automation software platform, leverages industry-standard Windows operating systems and forms the heart of PC-based control.

TwinCAT: the universal automation platform for greater efficiency in engineering

TwinCAT, the open and scalable automation software platform, leverages industry-standard Windows operating systems and forms the heart of PC-based control. It gives mechanical engineers a consistent and uniform development environment, in which they can solve all their control tasks. TwinCAT provides connectivity with all the usual fieldbus systems and PC interfaces. Comprehensive software function modules with a variety of control algorithms, cam and hydraulic controls including flying saw and cam plate simplify the programming and cover all the needs of the rubber and tire industries.

With the integration of Microsoft Visual Studio®, TwinCAT 3 offers an even greater degree of programming freedom: In addition to the object-oriented extensions of IEC 61131-3, C and C++ as well as MATLAB®/Simulink® are also available as programming tools for real-time applications. Thanks to the multi-core capability of TwinCAT 3, there are virtually no limits to further extend the automation functions of PC Control.