Beckhoff visited the DMC Chicago office not long ago in order to demo some cool automation equipment. Many of us are already familiar with Beckhoff’s products, but it was really valuable to be able to take a step back from working with the equipment just to see it from an operational standpoint. For those DMC engineers who don’t work with Beckhoff equipment as often, this was an amazing opportunity to get more intimately acquainted with the hardware.
For those who don’t know, here are some of the most interesting featured pieces of hardware that were demoed here at DMC:
-Embedded PCs and TwinCAT 3 - Beckhoff’s Embedded PCs, which function as PLCs, are rugged and reliable without needing custom hardware. The control software for the industrial PCs runs at a layer below Windows, and continues to run reliably no matter what happens on the Windows layer. The control software is deterministic, making it a great fit for industrial applications. It is also easy to replace and upgrade if necessary. The equipment is programmed through Beckhoff’s TwinCAT 3 software which is free to download and use. You only have to pay a license fee for the hardware.
-EtherCAT - The EtherCAT runs directly on an Ethernet network, so you can use standard Ethernet cables. It is easy to integrate the EtherCAT with hardware from other manufacturers, which makes it a hassle-free technology to work with. This is because EtherCAT is supported by a lot of other vendors, including Yaskawa, National Instruments (NI), and Rockwell Automation.
-IDE integrated into Visual Studio – Beckhoff’s IDE integrates directly into Visual Studio, so users still get all the benefits of the state-of-the-art Visual Studio programming environment. This also makes it much easier to add C, C++, and C# code directly into projects.
-Cool new touchscreen module –This module supports multi-touch, pinch to zoom, gestures and more. This was one piece of technology that DMC hadn’t seen prior to the demo, and we’re excited about the prospect of using this technology in future projects.
Thanks to Dave Urda and Chris Mauban of Beckhoff who took the time to come out to DMC for the demo.
Learn more about DMC's Beckhoff Automation programming services.