View Full Version : Beckhoff vs. Allen Bradley There are some rumors here that we are going to start getting in some equipment with Beckhoff PLC's in them. Is there any advice anyone can give me about Beckhoff PLC's?? Just a thought: packing or any machine should not run faster or slower because of what PLC you choose, unless you're using a different kind of communication etc.
BECKHOFF New Automation Technology
If scan time is a problem, tasks need to be spread out amongst consecutive scans, or code re-written in a more efficient fashion. How about one that knows how to do the same with Beckhoff? These figure into my considerations heavily. Yes, it is quite a different beast. It is a powerful, flexible and very capable competitor to Allen Bradley or any other major PLC brand, but you would have to go through a steep learning curve with it.
You will be well-advised to convince your management to arrange for training. The online help is, IMHO, deficient but the tech support for us has been very good. A lot of people actually get to love Beckhoff Sounds like BS to me. More like "Well, Bechoff hardware is cheaper, but we'll still sell the machine at the same price and keep the difference as profit. I've been using Twincat 3. We've started using Beckhoff CX's on some of our larger machine projects.
I attended the advanced programming class in Minneapolis which was a worthwhile experience. I'm the kind of guy that likes to teach myself whenever possible, rather than going to a class, but I have to admit that it's difficult with Beckhoff. They have a comprehensive online documentation system, but it doesn't provide much in the way of training materials, and many things in Twincat can be unintuitive. The good news is that Beckhoff's US support is well-staffed, responsive, and free.
It really is a "beast" as Whitlock mentions in his review. Additionally, you can use any of their add-on functions with a 7-day trial period that can be re-upped as many times as you want.
You don't pay for a runtime license until you're certain it's what you need. However, I've been drinking the Rockwell kool aid for 15 years and am certainly biased.Many PC fieldbus cards from various manufacturers are supported. It is possible to operate more than one fieldbus card per PC.
Master and slave functionality is supported, depending on the selected fieldbus card. Program modifications are implemented via network-capable powerful communication with the run-time system. Programming can be done. IEC — advanced programming standard for all Beckhoff controllers. TwinCAT supports all the IEC programming languages with convenient editors and a fast, effective compiler, so that the development cycle for the creation even of large PLC programs of several megabytes can be short.
Incremental compilation prevents long turnaround times. Only genuinely new sections are compiled. For all programming languages, the project comparison function facilitates differences to be identified and accepted if appropriate.
If a project comments, directories, etc. If a team is dealing with the development, all objects blocks, data types, lists can be managed within a source code management tool via the TwinCAT Engineering Interface. This enables changes to be traced back and differences between individual versions to be displayed. All common data types specified in IEC are supported.
Multi-dimensional fields and structures are possible, as are enumeration and subrange types. Source code can be stored in the target system except for BCxxxx series controllers. The criteria analysis function is very helpful for the detection of process errors. Code can very easily be reused via the convenient library manager. For know-how protection, multi-stage password protection can be applied to programs and libraries. Program development and debugging proceed in the same working environment, regardless of which unit is executing the program.
As an extension to the blocks defined by the IEC language standard, Beckhoff offers a wide range of supplementary libraries for the execution of tasks typical in automation technology: e. In addition, the TwinCAT ScopeView a software oscilloscope can be used to record one or several variables simultaneously.
It exchanges data cyclically with drives and measurement systems via the fieldbus. The computing capacity of a PC enables axis motion simultaneously with the PLC, whereby the position controller is usually calculated on the PC: The computing capacity of a PC enables many axes to be positioned simultaneously.
The division of the system load is supported by TwinCAT with appropriate functions. In this way, the axes are moved at any time within the limits of what is dynamically possible, and are precisely analytically coordinated. A range of different regulation algorithms are available in order to reduce the deviations from the ideal trajectory that will occur in practice. Based on the normal methods for positioning an individual electrical axis, moving from its starting point to its destination point-to-point positioningTwinCAT NC also allows the coordinated movement of a number of axes in multi-stage master-slave operation e.
Axis movements can be simulated without hardware; the actual value is instructed to ideally track the set value, and the complete machine flow is checked. It records all axis variables such as position, speed and acceleration. Commissioning is simplified significantly by the configuration and diagnostic dialogs offered in the TwinCAT System Manager. For each axis, all main data are displayed at a glance. The axes can be moved via function keys. Special functions such as couplings, cam plates or distance compensation can be triggered and observed via the System Manager.
A convenient dialog enables the dynamic parameters of an axis to be determined. The system includes interpreter, set value generation and position controller.Motion Control is a big topic. Motion Control refers to the use of servo and stepper motors in your system. A servo requires a motor and a position feedback device such as a resolver or an encoder, and it controls the position of the motor using a feedback control system. Motion Control systems are not new, but they have a parallel lineage to PLCs.
The base package is 10 axes, and you can add more axes for more money. In fact Beckhoff originally got its start in motion control systems, so TwinCAT 3 includes one of the better motion controller systems available today. That is, each axis is controlled independently. This add-on actually includes a built-in G-code interpreter. G-code is the language that CNC mills and FDM-type 3D printers use to instruct the motion controller on the path to follow to create a finished part.
The technology is similar. Turning on an output can do many things, such as turning on a pneumatic valve to apply air pressure to a cylinder, turning on a motor to run a saw or a pump, or turning on a heater to control the temperature of a fluid. Motion controllers, on the other hand, are designed to follow a strict set of sequential instructions, with little consideration of how to recover when things go wrong.
Consider the idea of a weld robot. It waits for a part to be loaded, follows a path series of points to move the weld tool into position, clamps the welding tool, fires the welder, unclamps, and follows another path back to the home position.
The linear nature of the sequence makes this particularly easy to program, but what if someone opens the gate and removes the part while the robot is moving in towards the part?
However, the check for part presence would have been done at the beginning of the program. Unfortunately this means the robot recovers by continuing in towards the missing part.
If the motion was done by a PLC controlling a sequence of air cylinders, the recovery logic would be comparatively simple: just retract them in the right sequence.
When a new control system programmer comes out of school, they always want to program the industrial robots because they look so cool.
Unfortunately, getting the current robot position out of the robot and into the PLC can be difficult at best, and nearly impossible with some older robot controllers. Thankfully, with TwinCAT 3, the motion controller and the PLC are operating in the same runtime, so the PLC automatically has access to all motion controller information, which makes your job a lot easier.
That will pop up the Insert Motion Configuration dialog box. You can only insert one motion controller. Typically this should be a high priority task higher than your PLC tasks and should run often, such as once every one or two milliseconds, even if your PLC only runs once every 10 milliseconds. It even has a G-code interpreter. In order to size your servo motor you need to start with the performance requirements of your mechanical system such as load inertia, required rates acceleration, deceleration, speed, and expected duty cycle.
I suggest taking this information to your local Beckhoff sales representative and they can help you to size the motors and drives accordingly. When sizing the motor, optimal performance is typically achieved when the load inertia and motor inertia are approximately equal, though in practice this is sometimes impossible. Beckhoff also offers an interesting line of lower cost servo drives that can connect right into the terminal strip of an EK head module.In the Windows Server world, the big trend in the last 10 or so years has been server virtualization.
One physical server takes on the role of email server, file server, database server, etc. This revolution in the data center has also made its way into PLCs. Here are some reasons…. The primary reason touted by Beckhoff is that this is how you make use of more than one core in those fancy new multi-core CPUs we can buy now. Modern CPUs in the Intel Core-i3, i5, and i7 series have 4 physical cores in the CPU, and each one can be executing a different program at the same time.
Even though the processor power available in a single core is much more than in a traditional PLC, EtherCAT is so fast that you may also be pushed to run your logic faster. In case you run out of CPU time, you now have the option of breaking your system up into multiple tasks that run on separate cores.
In a typical system with a PLC and a motion controller, you can already do this by running your PLC task on one core and the motion control task on another. However, you still have the option of splitting your PLC logic into multiple virtual PLCs and running each one on a separate core so you can balance the loads.
These form a production line where parts are transferred from one operation to the next. Currently the cells are beside each other in your facility, but they operate independently. Operators run parts through OP10, and they may or may not take the parts directly to OP20, or they might store them for a while and run them as batches.
The point is that in the future the production department wants flexibility. They may want to install a transfer system to tie all the cells together, or they may want to batch the parts into bulk bins, possibly moving the cells away from each other physically. When you build and install this machine, if you separate the operations onto 3 virtual PLCs, you have the flexibility to run all 3 on a single physical PC saving money.
We often try to design our machines with re-usable components. What if you already have a bunch of TwinCAT 3 machines in your facility and you want to add a new plant-wide data collection system to all of them? That will open the Insert Device dialog. It will helpfully auto-select the EK head module, which is what we typically want. Enter OP10 as a name for this device in the name box. Click OK.
Now follow the same procedure again, but this time add an EK with the name OP You will see these two new devices under your EtherCAT master:. Now under each head module we want to create a single input card.
The dialog will auto-select the last thing you selected. We want to add an EL input card.pkt.0xffffffffmeneja.pwg Start with BECKHOFF TwinCAT 3 - PLC Project
The fastest way to select it in the list is to use the Search box. Type el in the search box:.The next logical evolution is PC-based control. Just as PLCs moved the industry beyond relays for most logic-based applications, now the world needs to transition to PC-based control and leave PLCs behind, he says.
The dealer always offers a good trade in and rebates. Joe Martin, Beckhoff packaging and converting sales manager, asks people to think with as much logic when choosing between PLCs and PC-based controls. Data can be obtained in any format or even just a standard Microsoft program format such as Excel, Word, etc….
Processor size can be determined based on application need and not commonality with the largest machine in the family; — Less control components makes a more reliable system; — Remote diagnostics via the Internet; and — No external Ethernet switches are needed.
Also, end-users sometime argue against PCs because maintenance people have to be able to maintain the technology. Get the latest updates on the Coronavirus impact on engineers. Click Here. By Mark T. Hoske January 30, Below: Chart compares network performance, Beckhoff Automation Scientific Automation products, sidebars describe benefits, links to related stories Beckhoff Automation representatives show editors a small part of the Scientific Automation line.
Photo by Mark T. These IPCs have long-term availability and replacement parts; Beckhoff makes its own motherboards. Below: Chart compares network performance, Beckhoff Automation Scientific Automation products, sidebars describe benefits, links to related stories. Beckhoff Automation representatives show editors a small part of the Scientific Automation line. EtherCAT performance: Application example.Site Explorer Site Explorer.
I am doing a similar thing, is this all that needs to occur, I'm doing the Beckhoff side and I've completed all of the steps you have provided did you find out anything additional that needed to occur?
Industry Online Support. Product Support Services Forum mySupport. Rating 0. Thanks 3. How can i realise it at the Siemens site and does anyone have a clue how i have to realise it at the beckhoff site? Gold Member. The data 1 word at this time has to be send from the siemens site with one of the open communication block links you send meand it has to be processed in twincat with an analogue communication block.
Do you know whitch TwinCAT blocks i have to use so i can check the infosys. Share this page:. Share this page on Presales info. Follow us on Twitter Youtube. Rate 0. Greetings, Pittiplatsch.
Every PN Device has a logical adress with user data. These are a part of the process image of the plc and will be actualized automatically. I would like to communicate over Profinet. And how you must configure it in Twincat? This contribution was helpful to 1 thankful Users Harshal Warke. Acycle communication are e. The normal communcation or data transfer like syslog messages, many information data And this can be realized with the open communication blocks on Siemens-PLC side and analogue communication blocks on Beckhoff side.
But first i want to see if i can get 1 word of data from the PLC into twincat. Ok,let me see if I have understood correctly: The data 1 word at this time has to be send from the siemens site with one of the open communication block links you send meand it has to be processed in twincat with an analogue communication block.
I am still in my learing fase so please correct me if i say something wrong. But i think, the best is to ask Beckhoff. If there are communication blocks on TwinCAT? I think yes, but i do not know, if you can iuse them with the modul you use Hi Nijkamp I am currently trying to do the same. I am waiting on hardware to test but think I know how it should work, I have done this with profibus and seems to work OK.
In twincat, download documentation for EL Add hardware to system manager.
TwinCAT 3 Tutorial: Introduction to Motion Control
Complile and Run. I think this should be happy on the Twincat end, not certain, I am unable to test until hardware arrives, possibly a little confuguration required regarding the profinet device. On the siemens end. I exported the EL from the twincat io folder to the Siemens, and added this to the Hardware configuration manager. Add the variable types you would like to pass to Twincat here, I think in the same order they were added in Twincat, these then become directly accesible as Output to the plc Q.
In the logic create a function that only updates the values as required.TwinCAT NC is an assembly of function groups used for the control and regulation of axes or of synchronised axis groups. If necessary they are then moved to a different channel through a process of reconfiguration. You should make yourself aware of the TwinCAT safety functions before commissioning any axes. It reads the PLC channel and axis data, and also receives the NC channel and axis parameter settings.
TwinCAT supports a variety of axis types.
TS1110 | TwinCAT Simulation Manager
Each axis consists of various elements, depending on the axis type. These elements include the encoderthe drivethe controller and the set value generatoralong with the PLC interface. There are also more complex axes consisting of a number of encoders, switchable controllers or changing set-value generators.
The requirements for commissioning axes include, in particular, knowledge and use of the NC's safety functions along with a grasp of the necessary precautions along with the observation of a specific sequence of commissioning steps for the axis elements encoder, drive and controlleras well as setting the axis parameters. PTP Point To Point axis functionality is a control process for one-dimensional positioning of axes, in particular of servo axes.
One-dimensional does not necessarily mean linear. It simply means that one component is interpolated in some specified co-ordinate system Cartesian co-ordinates, polar co-ordinates. Axes whose set values position, velocity, acceleration are generated in functional dependency on the set values of other axes master axes, virtual axes, slave axes, simulation axes - in particular on their set position values - are called slave axes.
Apart from the coupling and uncoupling, these axes do not generally have any functionality of their own in particular they do not have start or stop functions and operate under linear path control in synchronisation with the master axis which itself can in turn be a slave axis.
When a master axis which is to become a slave axis is coupled to another master axis, the slave axis retains its own position control. The FIFO allows the position of a group of axes to be handled synchronously with reference to time. The FIFO contains a fixed number of prescribed reference points, while the NC interpolates position between them and determines the velocity.
The FIFO's axis positions are. TwinCAT NCI is the functional group consisting of interpreter and PLC blocks, block preparation task, look ahead, block execution task, cyclical channel interface and cyclical axis interface for the control of prescribed synchronised axis movements in three dimensions in accordance with the conventions of DIN and various extensions. On-line access is possible to all levels interpreter stop, programmed halt, override.