On 8 October 2015 in Stuttgart, Motek, the international trade show for production and assembly automation, finally closed after four highly successful days. Held together with Bondexpo, the show’s more than 1,000 exhibitors over a total area of 68,000 qm attracted a record number of over 38,500 interested visitors. According to the organisers of the show, this increase of about 8 % was partly attributable to the show’s broader range of target groups attracted by the optimised Motek nomenclature, and partly to its increased focus on process and system solutions expertise.
At the Beckhoff booth, the eXtended Transport System (XTS) was of particular interest to the numerous visitors. Particularly when combined with the PC-based control technology, XTS – with a minimum of components – opens up new approaches for implementing space-saving and highly dynamic machinery concepts for feeding, handling and assembly. It also makes it possible, for example, to use software to conveniently and flexibly implement – with minimal effort – motion applications that would be highly complex to solve mechanically. The visitors were also particularly interested in the efficient engineering possible with TwinCAT 3, the integration of robot kinematics into the standard control platform, the modular multi-axis AX8000 servo system and PC Control as an ideal foundational technology for Industry 4.0.
As Frank Saueressig, head of the Beckhoff branch in Balingen, points out, the show’s visitors have clearly recognised the benefits of XTS: “In a conventional assembly process, the product is conveyed by means of a transport system and has to be repeatedly identified, grasped and possibly also analysed. This requires a great deal of mechanical and sensor activity. With XTS, the product is usually picked up only once and then transported by the same mover throughout the entire process. It follows that the control program always knows exactly where the product is and its current state. This makes for absolutely optimal product handling and highly flexible production processes.”