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Article | September 19, 2013
Beckhoff: Compact embedded PC
To increase small industrial controller flexibility and connect to a wide range of industrial Ethernet systems, the new CX8093 Embedded PC from Beckhoff is equipped with a PROFINET interface and the option to integrate a virtual device.
The DIN rail mounted CX8093 is economical, small, and equipped with a 400 MHz ARM9 CPU for ultra compact PC-based control.
Suitable as a stand-alone controller for a wide range of industrial applications in smaller sized machines or systems, the CX8093 can also be used as a tie-in to larger PROFINET systems. The CX8093 is equipped with a PROFINET RT device interface designed as a 2-port switch for daisy-chain cabling. A special feature is the added functionality of a virtual device, which can be used to double the process data size or to connect a second controller.
When the optional virtual device (slave interface) is activated, the CX8093 behaves like two PROFINET devices. Accordingly, the CX8093 can process twice the amount of PROFINET process data. The network name of the ‘two’ devices can be set via the address switch or in software using TwinCAT System Manager from Beckhoff. The IP settings are allocated by the PROFINET controller.
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The virtual device is also able to communicate with a second PROFINET controller, which is a simple way to increase system availability. On the one hand, the CX8093 (as a local controller) can verify the two incoming master signals by means of a plausibility check to monitor the function of the cabling, for example. On the other hand, failure of one of the masters can be detected and the second master can respond accordingly.
The space-saving CX8093 Embedded PC measures only 65 x 100 x 80 mm. It runs Windows CE 6.0 and features a 400 MHz ARM9 CPU, 64 MB RAM and a MicroSD card with up to 4 GB storage capacity. The range of Beckhoff IP 20-rated I/O, including Bus Terminals and EtherCAT Terminals can be connected directly to the CX8093. During start-up, the CX8093 automatically detects which of these I/O systems is connected.
Another special feature is a capacitive 1-second UPS that enables persistent data to be saved in the event of a supply voltage failure. The controller is programmed via TwinCAT PLC automation software.
Beckhoff is developing the CX80xx series to include a wide range of other popular bus systems such as EtherCAT, Ethernet, EtherNet/IP, PROFIBUS, BACnet/IP (for building automation), CANopen and OPC UA.
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