Press Release

21st April 2011
Beckhoff at Sensor+Test 2011: Hall 11, Booth 11-127
Scientific Automation: High-precision measuring terminals and Matlab®/Simulink® integration in TwinCAT 3

Beckhoff presents its solutions for PC- and EtherCAT-based control technology from 7 to 9 June 2011 in Nuremberg, Germany, at Sensor+Test, the international trade fair for sensor systems and measurement/testing technology. Whereas two separate systems for measurement and automation have so far been necessary, Beckhoff now offers in ‘Scientific Automation’ a uniform platform that unites both functions. The Scientific Automation toolkit is supplemented by Beckhoff with high-precision measuring I/O terminals and subassemblies for energy monitoring.

The increasing requirements of high-end measurement technology, with regard to bandwidth and real-time communication, can be optimally met with sufficient performance in reserve using EtherCAT, the real-time Ethernet system. The high performance of EtherCAT is also used in the Beckhoff EtherCAT I/O terminals. Due to their low measuring error, the EtherCAT Terminals can also be used for high-end measuring applications. The measuring data acquired are provided with exact time stamps and transported to the Industrial PC. The high resolution ensures that even the minutest deviations can be compensated accurately. At Sensor+Test, Beckhoff presents high-precision EtherCAT Terminals as new products for these measuring applications. The low measuring error improves the quality of the signal acquisition. The high resolution improves control quality, particularly if the minutest deviations are to be compensated accurately. New items are high-precision thermocouple and weighing terminals.  

The energy monitoring range has been extended by a new power measurement terminal. Higher voltages, electrically isolated current inputs and harmonic analysis make the EL3413 a cost-optimised tool for simple net monitoring and analysis.  

The EtherCAT Terminal EL3773 is a net monitoring terminal for state monitoring of a 3-phase AC voltage system. The six channels are measured simultaneously based on the EtherCAT oversampling principle with a temporal resolution of up to 100 µs and passed on to the controller. The controller has sufficient computing power for true RMS or performance calculation and complex custom algorithms based on the measured voltages and currents.

Multi-core support and real-time simulation with TwinCAT 3

The basis for Scientific Automation is the constantly increasing performance of PC processors. This allows a central PC controller to assume extra tasks in addition to the classic control functions. On the hardware side, Beckhoff offers a large selection of robust IPCs: from the Embedded PC with integrated I/O terminal connection to the high-performance PC with multi-core processors.  

TwinCAT 3 – the new software generation from Beckhoff – integrates active multi-core support and offers extended options for the simulation of machines and plants. Through the integration of Matlab®/Simulink®, it is a simple task to create and test machine and plant simulations with the PLC and motion. Matlab®/Simulink® is also ideally suited for the design and optimisation of controllers and filters.

Press picture

  • <p>High-end measurement technology as an integral component of the EtherCAT terminal system. The modular I/O system contains numerous measuring terminals, from the high-precision thermocouple or weighing terminal to the Condition Monitoring module.</p>

    Picture caption:

    High-end measurement technology as an integral component of the EtherCAT terminal system. The modular I/O system contains numerous measuring terminals, from the high-precision thermocouple or weighing terminal to the Condition Monitoring module.

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