During the SPS/Drives Fair in Nuremberg, Germany, on Nov. 23, Hans
Beckhoff, managing director of German-based supplier Beckhoff Automation
GmbH announced a joint venture with Fertig Motors GmbH, Bayern,
Germany, to develop servo motors specifically for Beckhoff's PC-based
Control and EtherCat—the networking technology championed by Beckhoff.
first of these products will be rolled out at the end of 2011, said
Hans Beckhoff, during a press conference at SPS. Beckhoff’s Motion
division is being strategically expanded with new product lines in the
category of servo drives, servo terminals and servo motors, said Hans
Beckhoff. Production capacities for Beckhoff drive technology are
currently being expanded. The target is to grow the Motion division in
the medium term to 25% of total sales.
Fertig Motors was
established in March 2010 as a joint venture between Beckhoff Automation
and Erwin Fertig, the former chief executive officer and founder of
Elau, a German-based packaging machinery automation supplier that was
acquired by France-based Schneider Electric in 2005. Fertig currently
has a team of 15 experienced motor and drive technology developers. The
production facility is currently under construction and will begin
series production at the end of 2011.
“Our goal is to develop the
next generation of servo motors: more dynamic, more energy-efficient
and available at a low cost,” said Fertig. “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.’ ” Beckhoff Automation GmbH is based in Verl, Germany. Its
U.S. unit, Beckhoff Automation LLC is headquartered in Burnsville, Minn.
the new standard product lines as a basis, the intent is to also
develop and manufacture application-specific motors in the future. In
this way, Beckhoff and Fertig Motors propose to provide their customers
and their customers’ applications with well-suited motion products. The
existing standard servo motor series from Beckhoff—the AM2000, AM3000
and AM3500—will continue to be expanded even further.
Beckhoff added, “We have always specialized 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. 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.”