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Beckhoff to Present Cabinetless Machine Control and Adaptive Automation at FABTECH 2022

Based on flexible and scalable PC-based automation, MX-System, XPlanar and other innovations help fabrication industry leaders tackle challenges throughout the digital factory.

MX-System offers a groundbreaking cabinetless machine control solution that is ideal for fabrication, metalworking and additive manufacturing applications.
MX-System offers a groundbreaking cabinetless machine control solution that is ideal for fabrication, metalworking and additive manufacturing applications.

At FABTECH 2022, Beckhoff will showcase groundbreaking cabinetless machine controls and adaptive automation to enable smart manufacturing for the machine, cell and entire digital factory. In its first FABTECH appearance, an advance preview of MX-System, which empowers machine builders to eliminate electrical cabinets, will be available at the show from Nov. 8-10. The eXtended Transport System (XTS) and XPlanar “Flying Motion” system will showcase the latest in intelligent motion control and mechatronics. A wide range of Industrial PC (IPC), EtherCAT I/O, drive technology and comprehensive TwinCAT automation software solutions for everything from CNC to IoT will also be on display in booth C10745 at the Georgia World Congress Center, delivering the New Automation Technology needed to power digital manufacturing.

The future of machine design is cabinetless: MX-System
Eliminating electrical cabinets offers many advantages to machine builders, system integrators and equipment end users alike, including space savings, greatly simplified wiring, reduced installation effort and lower costs. Beckhoff has been focused on making the cabinetless machine a reality for years with innovations such as One Cable Automation with EtherCAT P, the AMP8000 distributed servo system and the C7015 ultra-compact Industrial PC, an IP65/67-rated machine controller. Now, the comprehensive, IP67-rated MX-System provides the next evolution in a complete machine-mountable control platform.

MX-System enables control cabinet-free automation solutions for the first time in machine and system engineering. In this sneak peek at FABTECH, we will demonstrate how the MX-System provides a modular construction kit that combines all tasks and features of a machine’s control cabinet. These include energy supply, fuse protection and distribution, generation and monitoring of auxiliary voltages, sequence control with the inputs and outputs, control of motors and actuators as well as the connection level for field devices. With MX-System, fabrication, metalworking and additive applications can now reduce control cabinet builds that previously took 24 hours to just one hour.

Revolutionize part, material and tooling transport with intelligent mechatronics
New concepts in fabrication require dynamic motion, flexibility and scalability in production as well as automated transport between process stations. The XPlanar and XTS adaptive automation systems deliver competitive advantages in these applications. XPlanar replaces many functions of traditional material handling systems and robots with magnetically levitating movers, which offer zero friction, automatic collision avoidance, path planning, 360-degree rotation and zero wear on the system. The modular XTS propels movers with high dynamics, eliminates mechanical components and performs changeovers instantly via standard TwinCAT 3 automation software. Both improve uptime and the ROI equation, providing significant competitive advantages for wide-ranging industry applications.

A complete automation portfolio for fabrication
In addition to the MX-System debut, visitors to the Beckhoff booth can explore the deep, feature-rich portfolio from the pioneer in PC-based automation. Beckhoff delivers a fully integrated, flexible automation platform to optimize manufacturing from the shop floor to the cloud, including servo solutions of all sizes, wide-ranging EtherCAT I/O, TwinSAFE integrated safety technologies and inherently scalable IPC hardware.

TwinCAT automation software, the end-to-end engineering and runtime platform, will also be a key focus at FABTECH. TwinCAT combines all standard machine functionality such as PLC, motion control (CNC, NC I, kinematics) and safety alongside more advanced functionality – IoT, analytics, machine vision, machine learning and more – in a powerful software suite. Working together in a single, scalable environment, the Beckhoff portfolio enables engineers to solve the industry’s most pressing challenges through the ability to build automated equipment for the future, according to Paxton Shantz, Digital Manufacturing Industry Manager for Beckhoff Automation LLC.

“Digital manufacturing is at an inflection point, and today’s leaders are looking for technologies that set them up for future success. The extreme space, cost and installation savings of MX-System make this cabinetless machine control solution ideal for countless fabrication, metalworking and additive applications,” Shantz said. “We are also seeing great possibilities with XPlanar and XTS for product transport and assembly processes in many areas. The team at Beckhoff continues to support the largest players in the CNC machine space, along with many exciting newcomers, due to our open and powerful software capabilities and strength in fully integrated, yet open, hardware technology. As such, we are empowering machine builders, system integrators and manufacturers to build not just the machine or work cell but the complete digital factory of tomorrow.”

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