Beckhoff Showcases PC Control for Woodworking Machines at LIGNAplus

5/28/2003 - At this year's LIGNAplus, the international trade fair for the wood-working industry, Beckhoff will once again present automation solutions and a range of innovations. PC-based control technology from Beckhoff has become the automation standard in the woodworking sector, ranging from compact to high-end CNC controllers. The developments in the upper performance range are expected to generate particular interest, since a large number of complex machines still operate in this range.

Woodworking machines rarely operate in isolation: The completion of the product portfolio with controllers from the medium and lower performance category, and additions in the upper performance range, is therefore a prerequisite for machine manufacturers aiming to offer integrated systems tailored to the performance data of individual machines: scalable hardware platforms, unified programming and communication tools, uniform system design for simple transport units, small and large processing machines, as well as complex processing centres.

The uniform, open Beckhoff control system also ensures compliance with the hardware and software standards that are relevant for the woodworking sector. The success confirms the company strategy: More and more machine manufacturers choose PC-based control systems from Beckhoff, in order to be able to meet the increasing requirements in terms of processing speed, product quality and productivity.

Scalable automation
At the LIGNAplus, numerous machine manufacturers will present their latest woodworking machines containing Beckhoff technology. Depending on the machine type, the machines can be equipped with a mixture of different control components:

TwinCAT, the basis of PC-based control technology, also offers suitable solutions for the machine sector represented at LIGNAplus. Be it transfer units, saws, presses, painting or laminating machines, drill centres, edge processing machines or 5-axis processing centres: TwinCAT is the appropriate control platform for all machine types.

One of the focal points of the innovations are technologies that offer the machine sector significant cost reduction potential and additional reserve of capacity. This includes safety technology, which was integrated into the standard I/O system from Beckhoff in the form of TwinSAFE Bus Terminals. This integration minimises the costs for the overall solution in terms of components, assembly and design effort.

EtherCAT, the real-time Ethernet solution from Beckhoff, which was first presented at the Hanover Fair, also sets new standards in terms of performance, costs and wiring. For example, communication with 100 servo axes only takes 100 Ás. The "thirst" of the machines for high-speed transfer has finally been quenched.

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