Balance between latest PC technology and long-term availability of control
The personal computer has experienced an unprecedented success story and has become a firmly established part of everyday life, including industrial environments. Together with associated software, PCs in different shapes and forms are at the core of a wide range of diverse automation tasks such as control of machines, processes or logistics systems, networking of system components, data acquisition, or image processing. For classic control tasks, PC-based control technology offers excellent scalability and flexibility and is therefore increasingly used in place of hardware PLCs.
Beckhoff is one of the pioneers of PC-based automation: the first PC control system was delivered as early as 1986. Beckhoff Industrial PCs are characterised by a wealth of technology know-how accumulated over recent years. In combination with the TwinCAT automation software, they offer a high-performance control system for PLC, NC and CNC functionalities.
An important feature of the Beckhoff product philosophy is the use of advanced, high-performance components and processors for the development and design of Industrial PCs: they integrate the latest developments offered by the technology market and are used successfully worldwide. Fine scaling is provided for through processor incrementing from Intel® Atom™ up to Intel® Core™2 Quad. Due to the low processor power dissipation, Intel® Atom™ processors enable extremely small, fanless controllers and are to be found in the lower price range.
In addition to long-standing experience, another factor driving the development of our comprehensive IPC product portfolio is customer-orientation. More than ten Industrial PC series with a wide range of basic PC types form the basis of our product range. The optimally tailored control computer can be found for every application from the large choice of devices and options.
The PC housing varies in size between paperback format to 14-slot passive backplane, depending on the device type. In addition to long-term availability of the built-in processors and motherboards, Beckhoff also offers full commissioning of all integrated components, including software and different drives. Customized solutions can also be realised for optimum adaptation to the respective task.
Robust industrial design PCs with highest performance components
Beckhoff Industrial PCs satisfy industry’s demands:
– the right Industrial PC for every controller
– highest performance PCs with Intel® Core™2 Duo and Intel® Core™2 Quad processors
– PCs with low power consumption with Intel® Atom™ processors
– open standards following the norm ATX
– components carefully tested to ensure appropriateness for industrial applications
– appealing industrial design housings
– easy access to PC components
– individual housing construction allows optimum adaptation to controller requirements.
– integration of electromechanical buttons, switches, scanners, hand wheel and other components in the Control Panel
Elegant Control Panels and Panel PCs
The IPC is complemented by an industrial display unit. The Beckhoff Control Panels and Panel PCs are the visual front end for machines or plants. Spatial separation of display/control unit and control computer offers maximum flexibility. Appealing design, robustness and suitability for industrial applications were important criteria in the development of the Control Panel series, which comes with display sizes between 5.7″ and 24″.
All displays can be fully tailored to customer requirements: options include visual adaptation to the corporate design or application of a customer logo, customised front membranes, a wide range of special mechanical keys, emergency stop switches, card scanners or RFID readers.
The Control Panel housing is made from high-quality solid aluminium and is suitable for protection class IP 65, as usually required in industrial environments. Thorough development and integration of electronic modules, displays, touch screens and front membranes ensure high availability and reliability during operation. All Beckhoff Control Panels can optionally be operated as:
– stand-alone device (Panel PC with Windows XP or Embedded Standard and Ethernet panel with Windows CE);
– DVI/USB Extended Control Panel for direct or indirect operation at the PC (distance up to 50 m) or via
– CP-Link 3 (Panel PCs connected to the host PC via Ethernet).
Careful selection of components
A great deal of attention and care is put into the development and choice of the IPC components used, their compatibility, their long-term availability, mechanical loading capacity and industrial suitability. In developing electronic modules, Beckhoff fulfils the high requirements for Industrial PC components that are necessary in order to ensure permanent reliable operation.
Beckhoff is the developer and manufacturer of the motherboards in the Industrial PCs. The BIOS for the motherboards even has its own development department. In addition to that, 24 V DC power supplies with integrated UPS, Ethernet adapters and Ethernet switches, Fieldbus Cards, DVI display interfaces, DVI/USB extensions and USB hubs are produced by Beckhoff’s own development and manufacturing facilities. International standards and experience in the application of PC systems under difficult industrial conditions provide the basis for Beckhoff system integration. Only a few LC displays, plug-in cards or hard disks are suited to use in tough industrial environments. Experience and detailed testing are therefore required for checking whether the components meet the stringent requirements in terms of temperature resistance, resistance to vibration, and electromagnetic compatibility. Prior to delivery, all Industrial PCs are subjected to comprehensive quality control procedures in order to verify that they are fit for the purpose. Beckhoff Industrial PCs satisfy the Machine Guidelines and carry the CE mark: all PC components are checked for electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) and comply with the relevant standards.