Press Release

30th March 2012
Beckhoff at Drupa 2012: Hall 3, Booth F53
PC-based Control for printing and paper machines
Making optimum use of processor power: with Scientific Automation for the printing industry

Beckhoff will present its PC-based control technology for the printing and paper industry at Drupa between 3 and 16 May in Düsseldorf, Germany. With powerful Industrial PCs, the fast EtherCAT communication system and TwinCAT automation software the technology offers a high degree of integration. That means, in addition to the basic functions PLC, Motion Control and visualisation, the solution also integrates high-precision measurement technology, Condition Monitoring and safety technology on a single PC platform, without the need for special additional hardware. Furthermore, the Beckhoff Industrial PCs have adequate capacity reserves for application software, e.g. for controlling the web edges and registers. In addition to higher productivity, PC-based control also offers more efficient engineering with lower hardware costs.

PC-based Control from Beckhoff offers users an integrated control and drive platform that covers all aspects from the field level to the IT level, including pre-print, print and post-print. PC-based control enhances production efficiency and flexibility as well as the application scope of printing machines. In view of increasingly complex requirements for packaging printing, traceability of the production process or production of small batch sizes, this aspect is becoming ever more important.

Highly integrated PC Control solution replaces special hardware  

Scientific Automation from Beckhoff stands for an extended notion of automation, in which all automation and application functions run on a central PC and are mapped in software. It is based on high-performance PC hardware, using cutting-edge processor technology. The Beckhoff Industrial PC series integrate the latest second-generation Intel® processors, i.e. Intel® Core™ i3, Core™ i5 and Core™ i7. The CX2000 Embedded PC range now makes multi-core technology available in compact embedded devices.  

TwinCAT 3 with active multi-core support, i.e. optimal distribution of the application across the available CPU cores, enables the processor power to be fully utilised. Doing away with special hardware not only simplifies the process communication, but also reduces the costs for hardware and engineering through integration of all functions in a single development environment. High processor power in conjunction with EtherCAT, the high-speed Ethernet system, results in an optimised control and communication architecture, known as XFC technology (eXtreme Fast Control).

XFC and EtherCAT – high-speed-automation in printing machines

Beckhoff offers an extremely fast control solution in the XFC technology: it enables I/O response times of less than 100 μs, resulting in significantly enhanced machine performance. In combination with fast EtherCAT I/Os it is possible, for example, to implement the register control with standard control and drive components, without the need for special hardware and dedicated drive controllers. High-speed communication between the I/O signals and the controller offers machine manufacturers advanced options such as Motion Control with many axes, synchronised through the distributed clocks of EtherCAT (100 axes in 100 μs), with nanosecond precision. The distributed clock functionality guarantees fast and exact identification of print marks, for example. It is implemented with standard components, and TwinCAT automation software facilitates programming via the common programming languages.

TwinCAT 3: efficient engineering and free choice of programming language  

Efficient software engineering is enabled through embedding in Microsoft Visual Studio® as an integrated development environment. TwinCAT 3 supports all common programming standards, including C/C++, integration of Matlab®/Simulink®, and the object-oriented IEC 61131-3 extension, and thus enables optimum programming for the respective task. Ready-made and frequently used IEC 61131-3 blocks for web tension control, winding and unwinding algorithms, register control in conjunction with very fast signal processing and comprehensive Motion Control functionalities are available as software libraries. This results in significant engineering benefits for the user.

Highly dynamic drive technology for printing and paper machines  

With its comprehensive range of scalable drive solutions Beckhoff covers a wide range of applications, including axes for adjusting the print rollers, high-precision drives for the actual printing units, and high-performance winding and unwinding units.

The EL7201 servo terminal for direct connection of servomotors up to 200 W forms a full, compact Servo Drive that is suitable for lettershop handling, transport and sorting processes, for example. The EtherCAT Servo Drives of the AX5000 series are designed for higher loads up to 170 A. The new Beckhoff servomotors of the AM8000 series offer optimum dynamics and energy efficiency as well as high availability. One highlight of the AM8000 motors is the one cable technology. This means that only one standard connection is required for feedback and power, which results in a significant reduction of material and installation cost and enables flexible application.

Press picture

  • <p>The new TwinCAT 3 software generation integrates all key control and application functions on a central PC platform, including PLC, Condition Monitoring and register mark control.</p>

    Picture caption:

    The new TwinCAT 3 software generation integrates all key control and application functions on a central PC platform, including PLC, Condition Monitoring and register mark control.

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