SPS Show: Beckhoff drives its way into motor business

Fertig Motors GmbH to develop servomotors for Beckhoff drive technology

12/01/2010


Beckhoff Automation announced a joint venture with Fertig Motors to develop a new line of servo motors to expand the company’s expertise on the drives category. In cooperation with Fertig Motors GmbH, headquartered are in Marktheidenfeld, Germany, Beckhoff is developing new product series of servomotors that are specially designed for PC- and EtherCAT-based control technology from Beckhoff.

The announcement at the SPS Show in Nuremburg came one year after company CEOs Hans Beckhoff and Erwin Fertig first discussed the idea at the 2009 SPS event. True to that time frame, they said they expect to announce the first servo motors in the joint venture will be announced at the 2011 SPS Show.

“Our goal is to develop the next generation of servomotors: more dynamic, more energy-efficient and available at a low cost. Our team of highly motivated specialists is looking forward to this new challenge and is going about its work with enthusiasm. In order to ensure maximum quality standards and to guarantee high availability, all motors should be ‘Made in Germany’,” said Fertig.

“We have always specialised in hardware and software, and naturally we have extensive know-how in drive technology. However, our knowledge will now be decisively deepened with the development of our own motor series, especially in the area of highly dynamic magnetic mechanics and the associated control algorithms,” Beckhoff said. “We are delighted with this new partnership and we are convinced that we will be able to offer our customers even more powerful system solutions as a result.

“In the long run, we want to be the motor manufacturer in Germany; that is clear,” Beckhoff added.

Beckhoff also announced its new EL7201 servo terminal for the Beckhoff EtherCAT Terminal system. It integrates a complete servo drive for motors up to 200 W into a standard I/O terminal housing. Integration into the EtherCAT I/O system simplifies cabling and commissioning considerably and reduces spatial requirements and costs.

The company said in a press release, “The servo terminals cover a broad range of positioning tasks: from packaging and assembly machines to small robots. With the EL7201 servo terminal, the range of servo drives from Beckhoff becomes even more finely scalable: from the miniature servo drive up to 200 W in the EtherCAT Terminal format to the AX5000 Servo Drive with 118 kW, Beckhoff offers a wide range of motion control solutions.”

Hans Beckhoff painted an optimistic picture of both the company’s financial health as well as manufacturing as a whole. He said the company’s revenue grew from 236 million euros in 2009 to 340 million euros in 2010. While 2009 was the first dip in revenues for Beckhoff in 20 years, the 2010 revenues were also up from 2008’s level of 278 million euros.

“We can look ahead to next year optimistically. We are not just talking about growth; this is a real boom,” Beckhoff said. “The next three to four years, we see consistent growth. After crises in the past, we have seen strong growth as well.

While U.S. business for Beckhoff makes up just 8% of the company’s total revenue, that total grew by 46% in 2010. Today, Beckhoff is predominantly a German company, with 45% of its total revenue coming from Germany. But Beckhoff sees a major shift in the coming years, with 50% of its projected 700 million euros revenues coming from Asia by 2015.



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