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PC-based Control: The integrated system platform

Machine-builders who are considering changing control technology this year prefer integrated control technologies such as PC technology, integrated system platform or control panel with integrated control system. Beckhoff Automation presents the PC technology as an integrated system platform.

PC-based control ensures greatest possible degree of integration

PC- and EtherCAT-based control technology: Industrial PC in different form factors, I/Os for all signal types in IP 20/IP 67, high-dynamic servo converters and automation software TwinCAT.

March 28th, 2011 - The PC-based control technology ensures the greatest possible degree of integration for the automation of machines using a standardized hard- and software platform.


Ever more machine functions originally demanding additional specific hardware as a black box, can now be integrated into a standard software environment. Constantly rising processor powers combined with almost infinite memory sizes have been considerably facilitating this level.


The result is a seamless complete system with PLC, Motion Control, robotics, highly precise measuring technique, and Condition Monitoring as well as safety control in one software package.

Main advantages of the integrated control platform

The new PC-based control software TwinCAT3 is extended by C and C++, integrating Matlab®/Simulink®. The modules are executable in different languages in a common run-time on hard real-time conditions using multi-core technology and with 32 - or 64-bit operating systems.

This complete system with a high-power PC technology opens main advantages such as

  • Reduced number of additional CPUs.
  • Minimized engineering costs. That is why programming, configuration, parameter setting and diagnosis take place in a unified standardized system.
  • Rising performance and higher process accuracy. The reason is that complex communication between different CPUs is omitted in favour of direct interfaces between PLC, NC, CNC or the robotic functions.
  • Application-specific combination and optimal synchronization of integrated robotics and Motion Control functions.

For new machine concepts additional options

Beyond that, additional options open for new machine concepts by multi-core technologies.


The trend is going to ever more complex PLC programs and lower cycle times. The number of synchronously controlled axes is increasing, the coupling of the axes is becoming ever more complex. Also the number of electronic cam discs and electronic gearboxes is rising. Many servo drives will be operated interpolated in the future.


For these future challenges the PC-based control technology ensures the necessary power reserves.


The website of Beckhoff Automation offers further information by a click on the logo.

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