At the end of eleven days, Drupa, the world’s largest trade show for print and crossmedia solutions, which was held in Dusseldorf from 31 May to 10 June, 2016, can record a successful outcome: the organizers registered 1,837 exhibitors from 54 countries and 260,000 visitors from 188 countries. “This year’s Drupa, which was themed as ‘touch the future’, gave Beckhoff an excellent setting in which to present its PC- and EtherCAT-based control technology as the basic technology for Print 4.0,” explains Paul Smith, Business Management OEM Print at Beckhoff.
The future belongs to Print 4.0, which is a set of highly networked, intelligent manufacturing concepts based on Industrie 4.0 and IoT. “For Beckhoff, Drupa is an important forum where we can reach both decision makers and engineers and convince them of the features and benefits of PC-based control technology,” stresses Paul Smith. “As an open, highly integrated and powerful automation platform, PC-based control provides a technological foundation for Industrie 4.0 concepts and Internet-of-Things communication.” With TwinCAT IoT and TwinCAT Analytics, Beckhoff has developed software modules that provide for secure horizontal and vertical communication and the capture, processing and analysis of all process data. This ‘big data’ then serves as the basis for extensive analyses. For example, it can be used to implement predictive maintenance, in order to minimise machine downtime.
“Our modular linear transport system XTS also seems to have struck a nerve with the industry, as evidenced by the lively interest shown by visitors to our booth,” comments Paul Smith. XTS enables high production flexibility regarding formats, lot sizes and processing steps, and is therefore ideally suited for the complex individual processing of printed products.