PC-based Control for Handling and Assembly Technology PC-based Control for Handling and Assembly Technology

Open automation solutions for Handling and Assembly Technology

High-performance production technology is the key to success in global competition. Shorter innovation cycles and large model variety lead to high demands. Flexible automation solutions provide a significant competitive edge and reduce time to market.

Assembly or machining technology must keep up with shorter product cycles and adapt to changing production conditions. Modular systems with easily reconfigurable components guarantee maximum flexibility. Existing lines are designed for integration of additional modules with new functionalities, thereby increasing the reusability of the system. Modern systems achieve large capacity with top quality and low unit costs. In addition to constant demand for smaller production batches and higher production speed, traceability as well as extensive electronic process documentation and validation are becoming more and more significant.

A wide range of existing applications indicate that automation technology from Beckhoff can significantly enhance the productivity and flexibility of automatic assembly and handling systems. PC-based control technology from Beckhoff enables the whole process chain for individual processing machines and complete production lines to be controlled and monitored: Feeding, joining (welding, gluing, etc.), assembly, checking, handling and palletising can be implemented consistently with Beckhoff Industrial PCs as hardware platform and TwinCAT as automation software.

Integrated control platform for all processes
Highly dynamic handling devices with high repeatability require a system that guarantees minimum delays for all sub-processes including physical signal sampling, processing in the motion controller and response at a physical output. Beckhoff offers the required products and technologies: high-performance IPCs and Embedded PCs with Motherboards specially developed for industrial applications, Control Panels as control and display elements, fast and compact I/O components in IP 20 or IP 67, EtherCAT as open and ultra-fast communication system, versatile Servo Drive Technology, cost-effective stepper motor technology and the TwinCAT PLC and motion control software.

The functional safety of the application is ensured through Beckhoff TwinSAFE technology. Safe I/O components and drive-integrated safety functions that are linked to the safe Logic Terminal via a safe communication enable safe system operation.

TwinCAT: continuity with PC-based technology
TwinCAT integrates PLC and Motion Control functions and controls the individual process steps of the processing machines with high performance. Software PLC programming is based on the international IEC 61131-3 standard. A wide range of software modules for different tasks such as cams, synchronised and interpolating movements of several axes are available.

Solutions for different areas of application can be implemented due to the high flexibility in terms of combination options for master and slave axes and the high-performance and diverse motion functions. Powerful tools such as TwinCAT Cam Design Tool and TwinCAT ScopeView support system design and commissioning. PLC libraries with function blocks based on the PLCopen Motion Control standards simplify programming and enable the use of standardised components.

Open communication interfaces support integration into existing visualisation and control systems. Depending on the requirements of the automation devices, the Windows operating system enables further software components such as vision systems to be installed on the same hardware in addition to TwinCAT. The Industrial PC as a uniform platform enables communication between the selected components.

EtherCAT: maximum performance even for systems with many axes
The basis for the ultra-fast process communication is the EtherCAT Industrial Ethernet system, which is ideally suited for use in production machines. The fast communication between the controller and the I/O signals – without special hardware – offers the machine manufacturer undreamt-of possibilities: Motion Control with multiple axes, synchronised through distributed EtherCAT clocks, with nanosecond accuracy.

With XFC (eXtreme Fast Control Technology) from Beckhoff, any programmer is able to realise very fast and highly precise control solutions for automatic assembly machines, simply and elegantly based on standard components. Products of any size, including microcomponents, can be assembled with maximum precision and in a reproducible manner.

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