PC-based control technology, stainless steel housing, wearable HMI support Industry 4.0

Beckhoff Automation highlighted its PC-based control technology and its innovation supporting Industry 4.0 with Google Glass human machine interface (HMI), multi-core embedded PCs, and HMIs with RFID and stainless steel housing.


At Pack Expo 2014, in November, Beckhoff Automation expanded upon its September Google Glass demonstration shown here, extending the application to interact with a packaging machine (not shown). Connect with Control Engineering’s Facebook page atop www.coGoogle Glass human machine interface (HMI) demonstration, multi-core embedded PCs, and an HMI with stainless steel housing and embedded radio frequency identification technology were among Beckhoff Automation highlights supporting Industry 4.0 initiatives at the Pack Expo 2014 in Chicago.

Google Glass HMI in packing automation

Beckhoff is highlighting a practical use for Google Glass—a wearable computer that consists of smart glasses with a heads-up display—for use as an HMI in the packing industry. The glasses can be used for packing machine operation and plant production observation. Beckhoff and Matrix Packaging Machinery connected Google Glass to a vertical form/fill/seal machine. This demonstrates the openness of Beckhoff's PC-based control hardware and TwinCAT automation software, and serves as an example on the way towards Industry 4.0. 

Multi-core embedded PCs

Beckhoff's new CX5100 multi-core embedded PC series features the latest Intel Atom CPUs. The 22-nm technology in the Atom processors maintains thermal balance and extended operating temperature range. All devices from the CX5100 Embedded PC series use no fans and are characterized by low heat dissipation, low power consumption, in a streamline metal housing. The DIN rail-mountable CX5100 controllers use processors from the latest Intel Atom generation, and are available in three processor and housing sizes:

  • CX5120: Intel Atom CPU, 1.46 GHz, single-core
  • CX5130: Intel Atom CPU, 1.75 GHz, dual-core
  • CX5140: Intel Atom CPU, 1.91 GHz, quad-core

On display at Pack Expo 2014 in Chicago was the CX5100 Embedded PC series. Courtesy: Beckhoff AutomationAccording to Beckhoff, when compared to CX50x0 devices, the CPUs in the CX5100 series offer significantly higher performance via out-of-order command execution.

Furthermore, the basic interface equipment corresponds to CX5000 devices: automatic recognition of K-Bus I/O or EtherCAT terminals, two independent gigabit-capable Ethernet interfaces, four USB 2.0 ports, a DVI-I interface and a "multi-option" interface that can support a variety of fieldbus systems. The extended operating temperature ranges from -25 to 60 C. 

This Beckhoff Automation stainless steel control panel shown has integrated radio frequency identification (RFID), allowing varied screen display by person or job, as this demonstration at Pack Expo 2014 in Chicago. Courtesy: Control Engineering, Mark T.Stainless steel HMI for food industry

Beckhoff also offers a stainless steel control solution in food-grade design for the food, beverage, and pharmaceutical industries. The stainless-steel control panel displays and panel PCs with gap-free housing designs and flush-fitting touchscreens are available in the following display sizes: 12, 15 or 19 inches. The washdown-resistant stainless-steel servomotors in the AM8800 series are designed for standstill torques from 1 to 16.7 nm. In addition, the stainless steel I/O modules with EtherCAT interfaces are also washdown-friendly, offering IP69K protection, covering a broad range of applications for all common signal types.

- Edited by Eric R. Eissler, associate editor, CFE Media, Control Engineering, eeissler@cfemedia.com.



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