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New automation technologies

02 September 2021

BECKHOFF UK will be exhibiting its range of drive technology, advanced automated systems and open automation software at this year’s PPMA Show. The company will highlight how machine builders and control engineers can introduce modular, flexible layouts to their packaging machinery and setups.

In particular, the company will be highlighting its selection of servomotors and servo systems, as well as the recent TwinCAT Vision expansion to its widely used TwinCAT 3 automation software.

From its servo portfolio, Beckhoff will show a range of products that meet almost any machine requirement. For packaging systems where space is a premium and ingress protection is important, the EP7211-9034 servomotor box allows the direct connection of servomotors and features a safe torque off (STO) input to ensure safety in a reliable and cost-effective way.

One of the highlights of Beckhoff’s stand will be the AMP8000 distributed servosystem, a servomotor with an integrated servo drive that forms part of Beckhoff’s Automation Without Cabinets concept. The product boasts a highly compact footprint, includes TwinSAFE functionality and features Beckhoff’s One Cable Automation (OCA) technology to reduce cabling requirements. This makes the product ideal for modular machine layouts.

“Even prior to last year’s lockdown causing a sudden need to adapt, one of the prevailing trends we’ve witnessed in the process and packaging industries is towards flexible designs,” explained Stephen Hayes, managing director of Beckhoff UK. “This prompted the launch of our Automation Without Cabinets concept last year, which we’re keen to put physically in front of visitors at PPMA.

“At the heart of the concept is our EtherCAT P technology, which allows data and power to be shared over a single standard Ethernet cable. This reduces cabling requirements, which in turn provides new freedom for machine builders and plant engineers alike. Coupled with the AMP8000’s compact design and its accompanying distribution modules that can power several systems from a single module, we can effectively eliminate the need for bulky control cabinets and complex cabling in even the most elaborate machinery.”

Alongside the servo technologies, Beckhoff UK’s stand will also feature a display of its new TwinCAT Vision automation platform. The software integrates machine vision seamlessly into the familiar TwinCAT 3 automation environment, allowing control engineers to configure and programme vision systems without the need for specialist programming experience or a separate software.

Machine vision is increasing in popularity in packaging machinery due to its capability to improve quality assurance, labelling accuracy and object picking and placing. Incorporating these systems into TwinCAT Vision means that packaging businesses can further reduce costs and resource requirements, as well as reduce latency between control systems and machine vision system inputs.

Stand F40