Empowering leaders in packaging, food and beverage, and pharmaceuticals to conquer automation challenges, Beckhoff will showcase flexible robotics, cabinetless control systems and adaptive automation technologies at PACK EXPO International 2022. The modular Automation Technology for Robotics (ATRO) solution will appear for the first time in North America at the show from Oct. 23-26 in booth S-3882 in the south building of Chicago’s McCormick Place convention center. Beckhoff will also present the latest in adaptive automation, including XPlanar and the eXtended Transport System (XTS) now with No Cable Technology (NCT), an advance preview of the MX-System for cabinet-free machine design and other exciting industrial automation advances to take packaging operations to the next level.
Make the robot fit your packaging application with ATRO
A breakthrough concept for packaging, micro-fulfillment and beyond, ATRO provides a flexible, fully modular system for robot kinematics with simplified assembly and path teaching. Users can select the number and type of axes required for robots with payloads up to 10 kg and reach of up to 1.3 meters. An innovative media feed concept routes data, power and fluids internally with infinite rotation available for all axes, which never need to stop to unwind cables.
Ideal for countless packaging applications, ATRO enables wide-ranging robot kinematics, including expansive configurations with as many as eight robotic arms. The TwinCAT control software simply scans the user-created robot mechanical assembly, and TwinCAT robotics functions automatically create the corresponding control application – including a digital twin.
New mechatronics tech powers adaptive packaging automation
The XTS has proven itself in thousands of applications around the globe through high dynamics, software-based changeovers and footprint reductions by eliminating mechanical components. Beckhoff continues to advance this dynamic technology with the washdown-capable IP69K XTS Hygienic and highly flexible Track Management capabilities. Now, the new NCT extension takes XTS to the next step.
Making its PACK EXPO debut, NCT delivers contactless, continuous power supply and synchronous real-time data transmission to the XTS movers. NCT enables processing steps and high-quality control directly on the wireless mover during operation with a fully integrated solution that preserves the compact design of the mechatronic system. Ultra-fast communication with EtherCAT and the TwinCAT control software simplify the use of myriad sensors, end effectors and other tooling for advanced packaging processes.
Returning to the show, XPlanar delivers competitive advantages with magnetically levitating movers. This “flying motion” system replaces many functions of conventional material handling systems and robots, while revolutionizing throughput and flexibility. Other advantages include zero friction, automatic collision avoidance, path planning, anti-slosh, 360-degree rotation and zero wear on the system, along with the ability to cover the tile base with stainless steel, glass or plastic for hygienic production environments.
Packaging machines without electrical cabinets: MX-System
In an emerging technology preview for the packaging industry, Beckhoff will present the MX-System, a comprehensive, IP67-rated solution for cabinetless machine control. Electrical cabinets are notorious for taking up valuable floor space, increasing installation efforts and adding costs, so Beckhoff has worked to eliminate them with innovations like One Cable Automation with EtherCAT P, the AMP8000 distributed servo system and the C7015 ultra-compact Industrial PC (IPC), an IP65/67 machine controller. MX-System offers the first complete machine and system engineering solution for truly cabinet-free automation.
This PACK EXPO sneak peek will highlight how the MX-System handles all tasks and requirements of a machine’s control cabinet in a space-saving design. The solution’s modular construction kit encompasses energy supply, fuse protection and distribution, generation and monitoring of auxiliary voltages, I/O sequence control and control of motors and actuators. The connection level for field devices is also included in this machine-mountable solution.
Automation solutions from infeed to end of line
Beyond the exciting product introductions, visitors to the Beckhoff booth can explore the deep, feature-rich portfolio from the pioneer in PC-based automation. From servo solutions of all sizes to wide-ranging EtherCAT I/O and integrated safety technologies to inherently scalable IPC hardware, Beckhoff delivers a fully integrated, flexible automation platform to optimize packaging machines and plants.
Of course, no showcase of Beckhoff technologies would be complete without a major focus on TwinCAT automation software. As an end-to-end engineering and runtime platform, TwinCAT combines all machine functionality – PLC, IoT, motion control, analytics, machine vision, machine learning and more. This singular, universal software suite, along with how it moves packaging industry applications toward adaptive automation and Industry 4.0, will also be on display.
“With the U.S. debut of ATRO, along with the packaging industry’s first look at XTS NCT and the MX-System, Beckhoff will show the path toward adaptive packaging automation at PACK EXPO 2022,” said Mark Ruberg, Packaging Industry Manager at Beckhoff Automation LLC. “The pace of consumer trends and production challenges continues to speed up, so leaders in packaging, pharma, and food and beverage want extremely adaptable automation technologies to meet the pressing needs of today and adapt to the requirements of tomorrow. Beckhoff continues to develop category-defining solutions that are flexible, scalable and fully integrated to help everyone – from a small machine builder to a globally operating CPG – build the future of packaging machine technology.”