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Barrier-free communication from Zone 0 to the cloud

By Swati Deshpande,

Added 11 May 2018

Integrated control systems for the process industries

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At Achema 2018, Beckhoff plans to present its open PC-based control technology for all vertical process industry markets. PC-based control enables the user to implement holistic solutions for barrier-free system integration through to Zone 0/20 with integrated communication capabilities from the sensor to the cloud.

To withstand increasingly tough market and cost pressures, the process industry needs future-proof automation solutions. The only way to implement these is through holistic system connectivity that overcomes the traditional separation between discrete automation and process automation. PC-based control technology from Beckhoff provides the ideal basis for this purpose.

With PC-based control, even distributed systems can be connected with little effort while enabling access to centralised and therefore highly efficient analysis and process control capabilities. Because of its interoperability, openness and integrated support of cloud-based services, the Beckhoff automation system is also ideal for implementing connectivity in production environments in line with current Industrie 4.0 and Internet-of-Things concepts. The user benefits across the board – from horizontal integration, even beyond enterprise boundaries, and vertical integration with connected production systems to consistent engineering over the entire equipment life span.

The Beckhoff approach also makes barrier-free control solutions from Zone 0/20 through to the cloud possible. In addition to standard automation components, a broad portfolio of products for use in hazardous areas is available. These include:

  • ELX-series EtherCAT Terminals with intrinsically safe inputs and outputs for the direct connection of field devices located in Ex Zones 0/20, 1/21 and 2/22 (without separate intermediate barriers)
  •  ELX-series EtherCAT Terminals with additional TwinSAFE SC technology
  •  Multi-touch Control Panels and Panel PCs of the CPX series for use in Zone 2/22
  • TwinCAT as the software platform with special interfaces and libraries for process technology, cloud communication via TwinCAT IoT, and cycle-synchronous data analysis via TwinCAT Analytics

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