The Beckhoff CNC solution is based on the Beckhoff PC Control technology, which integrates all machine functions on a single hardware and software platform. The CNC package is modular and finely scalable and offers an optimally tailored – and therefore efficient – control solution for any task, from compact dental processing centres to complex plasma cutting machines.
Frank Saueressig, Product Manager CNC at Beckhoff Automation, comments on the trade fair presence in Hanover: “Compared with EMO 2007 our CNC solution is now complete. By expanding our drive technology and integrating safety technology into the I/O and motion layer we are now able to offer individually tailored, complete solution packages for the whole range of machine tools.”
CNC control systems from Beckhoff have been tried and tested in many sectors, including woodworking and cutting/welding machines. “Our next objective is to conquer the machine tool market by positioning our flexible, PC-based solution as an alternative to conventional CNC providers: PC-based control from Beckhoff offers the basis for integrating visualisation, safety technology, measurement technology, Condition Monitoring and robotics into machine controllers, in addition to PLC, motion and CNC control.”
Scalability from the software to the drives
The scalability of the Beckhoff CNC solution covers the entire control system:
1. Software | TwinCAT offers a modular software architecture for PLC, motion and CNC functions.
2. PC hardware | Scalable performance for any application: from compact Embedded PCs with integrated I/O interface to Industrial PCs with multi-core processors.
3. Operating panel | A wide range of Control Panels is available for operation and monitoring: from basic touch panels to CNC-specific panels for machine tools.
4. Communication | The EtherCAT high-speed fieldbus integrates all areas of operation: I/O, motion and safety. Conventional fieldbus or industrial Ethernet systems such as PROFIBUS or PROFINET can be integrated via EtherCAT Terminals.
5. Drive technology | Performance related drive solutions: from servo and stepper motor connection in the format of a standard Bus Terminal to the AX5000 EtherCAT drive series for the medium and upper power range (up to 118 KW), with associated servomotors.
6. Safety technology | The scalable safety solution TwinSAFE: from safety I/O terminals to complex PC-based safety controllers.
TwinCAT 3: Real-time-simulation, C code integration and multi-core support
TwinCAT 3, the latest software generation from Beckhoff, offers users a modular, multi-core-capable control architecture with a high degree of integration for PLC, motion and CNC functionalities. The multi-channel architecture of TwinCAT CNC – with the option of flexible exchange of axes and spindles – offers the required flexibility for realising different functions on the same machine.
The CNC was expanded with high-speed cutting (HSC) functionality for optimised milling cutting of free form surfaces. The TwinCAT Kinematic Transformation library enables robot kinematic systems to be mapped in software for seamless integration into the control system.
The engineering platform of TwinCAT 3 is fully integrated in Visual Studio® from Microsoft. Using this familiar framework as a basis opens up extended programming options: In addition to the object-oriented extensions of
IEC 61131-3, TwinCAT 3 now also offers the languages of the IT world, i.e. C and C++, so that C code can be integrated in the CNC, for example. Through the integration of Matlab®/Simulink® TwinCAT 3 is now also suitable for application in scientific fields, such as digital simulation of complex technical systems.
High-precision CNC drill grinding machine for dental applications
At EMO Beckhoff will demonstrate the flexibility of its CNC solution based on the dental drill grinding machine M647 from the Swiss company Monnier + Zahner AG. The compact CNC centre processes high-precision dental tools. On the CNC side six interpolating axes with HSC functionality are in action.