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Company description

Beckhoff, based in Verl, Germany, is a company of international standing, leader in the automation sector, with subsidiaries and distributors in more than 75 countries worldwide.

Since its founding in 1980, the continued development of innovative products and solutions with PC-based control technology has laid the foundation for the continued success of the company. Numerous automation technology standards, that have today become customary, were initially discovered by Beckhoff and subsequently placed on the market as successful innovations. The Beckhoff PC Control philosophy and the invention of the Lightbus system, the Bus Terminals and TwinCAT automation software, are milestones in automation technology and stand out as viable alternatives to traditional control. A real-time Ethernet solution, EtherCAT represents a powerful and innovative technology available to a new generation of control and regulation systems.

Beckhoff Automation Srl, the Italian subsidiary based in Limbiate (MB), was founded in 2002 and currently has two branches located in Bologna and Padua. All centres provide technical and commercial support.



Fast, flexible, and resource-efficient: PC-based control optimizes packaging machines

With PC-based control and EtherCAT, Beckhoff offers a control solution for highly efficient, flexible and resource-conserving packaging machines. Predestined for applications where high speed and precision are of utmost importance, the PC platform with its high-performance field devices is perfect for synchronizing all process and motion control workflows. The bottom line: work steps are accelerated, and the consumption of packaging materials declines. For example, the fast and precise recognition of print marks means that you can seal blister packs closer to the product they contain.

The Beckhoff automation portfolio comprises everything you need for a technologically and financially superior packaging solution. All control and drive components are scalable to meet the performance requirements of the respective application perfectly. Optimally coordinated hardware and software interfaces as well as extensive expertise in implementing each process step guarantee a high level of process stability. Innovative products such as the XPlanar and XTS smart product transport systems ensure lasting competitive advantage. For packaging applications in the food, beverage and pharmaceutical industries, a complete control solution in stainless steel with its hygienic design is available that meets the strictest sanitary and cleanroom requirements. Another benefit of the Beckhoff automation platform is its support for common industry standards like EHEDG, OMAC and GMP.

beckhoff xplanar

Intelligent product transport with XTS and XPlanar optimizes packaging machines

Thanks to its versatility, the eXtended Transport System (XTS) has quickly become a known factor in the packaging machine market. With the introduction of the XPlanar eXtended planar motor system, Beckhoff is now taking the next step towards maximum flexibility in product transportation. Like the XTS, XPlanar is based on the principle of passive movers that can be moved individually and with outstanding precision. The necessary planar tiles can be arranged in any pattern and allow for smooth and touchless movements along six axes. Thanks to the individually controllable movers and the flexible topologies of these transport systems, packaging machines can be designed in entirely new ways. The flexibility with which the planar tiles or the raceway modules of the XTS can be arranged provides the machine manufacturer with nearly unlimited freedom in designing the machine’s transport paths. The functionality of the track management software makes the product streams fully user-definable. Workstations can be skipped, buffer areas added as needed and movers freely inserted or removed. The intelligent transport systems increase product throughput, minimize travel between workstations and reduce the machine’s footprint. By integrating software-driven format changes, the machine’s flexibility can be increased further so that even small lot sizes can be produced efficiently and cost-effectively.

Beckhoff hardware and software components are perfectly coordinated and highly scalable to ensure that its intelligent transport systems run with maximum performance at all times.

The TwinCAT control software ensures continuous travel path optimization and collision avoidance and integrates all other machine functions from PLC to robotics, measurement technology and IoT on a central platform. The application runs on an Industrial PC from the extensive and custom-scalable Beckhoff portfolio. The communication functions run over high-performance EtherCAT and EtherCAT G fieldbus systems.

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