Sheet metal components come in all shapes and sizes, requiring a wide range of machining processes including rolling, cutting, stamping, folding, drawing, joining, cleaning and finishing. Beckhoff controls presses, punches, transfer units, straightening machines, lubrication units and cutters. For these diverse requirements Beckhoff offers an integrated, scalable control platform in the form of PC- and EtherCAT-based control. A single Industrial PC is used for control, Motion and HMI. This way, the high processor power offered by PC technology eliminates the need for special hardware: position and pressure controllers for hydraulic valves, for example, can be replaced with software. The Industrial PC can deal with highly complex control algorithms without performance implications and still has sufficient performance reserves for additional functions such as condition monitoring or safety features.
EtherCAT guarantees high control quality
Presses require sophisticated control technology, since high forces are applied at high speeds. EtherCAT, the real-time Ethernet fieldbus, in conjunction with PC-based control, enables smaller sampling rates, so that the machine can run faster and at the same time with higher precision. All necessary process signals can be integrated simply and inexpensively into the controller via the Beckhoff I/O systems in protection class IP 20 or IP 67: from the digital I/Os, high-precision measuring terminals and safety functions to Condition Monitoring.
TwinCAT: efficient engineering and multi-core support
TwinCAT unites PLC, Motion Control, Condition Monitoring, engineering and HMI on a single platform. Active multi-core support enables additional control hardware, e.g. external hydraulic controllers, to be replaced by the central PC. TwinCAT 3 supports all common programming standards, from C/C++ to the object-oriented extension of IEC 61131-3. The integration of Matlab®/Simulink® enables applications, e.g. hydraulics, to be simulated before commissioning. Existing press-specific expertise can be integrated in the controller via C or C++.