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"Change to EtherCat at BEKUM..."

We changed the control system concept for our blow moulding machines from PLC to IPC and from CAN to real time Ethernet. Well-known suppliers of PLC and PC-based control systems submitted their offers.

Our decision criteria

Robert Schall, Electrotechnical Department at BEKUM Maschinenfabriken GmbH

May 5, 2010 - Prior to the change we used a PLC with interface to CAN bus. The visualisation provided a separate IPC. On the field level I/O modules with CAN bus connection were used.


Our criteria for the new control system are:

  • A system that is suitable for field buses with a broad spectrum of applicable hardware components
  • Simple wiring, also due to numerous possibilities for system topologies
  • Simple configuration of the field bus participants, especially integrated into the development environment
  • Programming of all relevant PLC functions based on the development system
  • To overcome the separation of control system and visualisation in order to get an easy integration of visualisation developed using Delphi, with the control system. That means integration of PLC and visualisation on a PC-based system.

Most agreement with Beckhoff and EtherCat

Website of BEKUM Maschinenfabriken GmbH, Berlin, manufacturer of blow moulding machines for containers from 5ml to 3,000l.

With the product range of Beckhoff we could achieve the most agreement between our requests and the possibilities. Various combinations can be formed by the large number of Beckhoff components.


We gained some experiences with the system and are not disappointed neither of the system components nor of EtherCat as real time Ethernet. In fact, EtherCat is a fast, fault-tolerant bus and robust in relation to faults.

EtherCat is to support by each control supplier

The manufacturers of our third-party components already support EtherCat. Beyond that we wish that each supplier of control system components would support EtherCat. That is why we would like to be able to integrate future extensions fast and easily.


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