PC-Based Controller promotes optimal process managfement.

Press Release Summary:

Enabling cycle times of 100 µsec without giving up central intelligence and associated high-performance algorithms, eXtreme Fast Control (XFC) system promotes temporal accuracy and resolution while allowing measuring tasks or documentation of part quality to be integrated in machine control. It is compatible with existing automation solutions and incorporates Industrial PC, EtherCAT I/O terminals, Ethernet fieldbus, EtherCAT communication technology, and TwinCAT automation software.

Original Press Release:

Beckhoff Automation Introduces eXtreme Fast Control (XFC) Technology

Optimized control and communication architecture improves Industrial PC performance by a factor of 10

MINNEAPOLIS, October 23, 2007 - Introducing the ultimate combination of the company's PC-based and Industrial Ethernet technologies, Beckhoff Automation has announced eXtreme Fast Control (XFC) technology. This new, ultra fast control solution is based on highly optimized control and communication architectures from Beckhoff.

Compared with current PC-based controllers, XFC offers performance improvements by a factor of 10 and enables cycle times of 100 microseconds (µs) without having to give up central intelligence and the associated high-performance algorithms.

In addition to highly optimized cycle times, XFC also offers improved temporal accuracy and enhanced resolution. Users benefit from new alternatives for enhancing the quality of their machines and drastically reducing response times. Measuring tasks or documentation of part quality can be simply integrated in the machine control without additional, costly special devices. XFC technology is fully compatible with existing automation solutions so that standard tasks, high speed control and measurements can be processed in parallel on the same hardware and software platform.

An XFC system incorporates an advanced Industrial PC, ultra-fast I/O terminals with extended real-time characteristics, the high-speed Ethernet fieldbus, EtherCAT and TwinCAT automation software. With XFC, it is possible to achieve I/O response times 100 µs. This culmination of Beckhoff technologies opens up new process optimization possibilities for advanced control system designers and eliminates previously existing technical limitations.

XFC components

Beckhoff offers a complete XFC product range based primarily in four categories:

TwinCAT - The ultra fast, real-time control software
- real-time under Microsoft Windows down to 50 µs cycle time
- standard IEC 61131-3 programming in XFC real-time tasks

EtherCAT - The ultra fast control communication technology
- communication to distributed digital I/Os in 30 µs
- advanced real-time features based on distributed clocks
(synchronization, time stamping, oversampling)

EtherCAT Terminals - The ultra fast I/O technology
- digital and analog high-speed I/Os
- Time stamping and oversampling features allow extremely high timing
resolution - down to 10 nanoseconds (ns).

Industrial PCs - The ultra fast control CPU
- Industrial PCs based on high-performance, real-time motherboards
- compact form factors that are optimized for control applications

All XFC components are based on open standards so engineers and programmers can develop very fast and high-performance control solutions with standard components - without specialized hardware.

Beckhoff Automation provides advanced, open automation products based upon proven technologies so that customers can implement high performance control systems faster and at a lower overall cost than traditional PLC and motion control systems. Beckhoff's "New Automation Technology" product range includes PC based control, industrial PCs, automation controllers, operator interface, I/O, servo drives and motors. With representation in more than 60 countries, Beckhoff is well positioned to provide global sales and service to its customers. Sales and service are handled directly, with no intermediaries involved to provide faster response and improved communications.

Please send readers' questions regarding "Beckhoff eXtreme Fast Control (XFC)" to:

Beckhoff Automation LLC
12150 Nicollet Ave. S
Burnsville, MN 55337
Phone: 952-890-0000
Fax: 952-890-2888
e-mail: beckhoff.usa@beckhoff.com

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