Taking the cabinets out of control automation

New whitepaper outlines concept for the future of automation systems according to Beckhoff

According to Beckhoff Automation, "It is time to take control cabinets out of industrial control and automation applications". The company has published a new whitepaper laying out its view of the future of automation and exploring the concept of automation without cabinets. The whitepaper is available via the Beckhoff Automation UK blog. 

The control cabinet is a staple of modern factory environments, used to supply necessary power to automation systems and equipment. However, Beckhoff UK argues that as plants invest in a growing number of automated systems, these cabinets are limiting the productive capabilities of businesses. According to the company, modern automation and cabling technologies can minimise the footprint of control cabinets, or in some cases even remove the need for them entirely. 

“Put simply, automation without cabinets is the idea that we can develop machines and equipment that fit onto the factory floor and operate without the need for a control cabinet,” says Stephen Hayes, managing director of Beckhoff Automation UK. “Simply by addressing the issues around cabinets, we can reduce transport and installation costs for machine builders and system manufacturers and provide higher output per square metre of production space for industrial businesses.”

In the whitepaper, Beckhoff explains the background of its concept, the technology that it believes makes it achievable and the benefits it sees for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and end-users alike. For OEMs, the stated benefits are lower system complexity, reduced shipping costs and shorter installation times that can reduce project costs. For industrial businesses, the claimed benefits are a higher output per square metre of production space, reduced maintenance requirements and a greater degree of flexibility in production. 

Beckhoff says that the IP65 and IP67 rated industrial PCs allow for direct integration onto machines. They also observe that they have developed the AMP8000 distributed servosystem to unify the servomotor and servo drive in one compact footprint with the same mounting dimensions as a standard servomotor. The AMP8000’s distribution modules allow several systems to be powered from a single module, reducing the need for cabinets. 

Additionally the advent of EtherCAT P allows EtherCAT communication data and power to be transmitted via a single, four-wire Ethernet cable. Beckhoff says that this means that they can consolidated much of the wiring associated with automation systems, and that by using several of these technologies together they can substantially reduce the footprint and complexity of machines.” 

The whitepaper outlines the range of products that can make the concept a reality. Beckhoff Automation is launching these products to the UK market throughout 2020 but businesses can register their interest with Beckhoff representatives prior to the official launch. Machine builders, plant managers and engineers interested in learning about the automation without cabinets concept can download the whitepaper here



The Boathouse

+44 (0)1491 410539



More technical articles
1 day ago
Automatic bearing lubrication brings ore inspiring results in mining
By installing automatic lubricators for bearings on its conveyor drive motors and belt pulleys, an opencast mine in Hungary has seen a range of benefits, including the prevention of unplanned downtime, longer bearing life and reduced repair work
1 day ago
Kinoulton company conveys COVID-combating masks
Here's a great example of the germ of an idea resulting in the combating of COVID
1 day ago
FLIR Systems announces four new Exx-Series handheld thermal imaging cameras
New E96, E86, E76 and E54 models feature enhanced thermal resolution and provide on-camera routing capability for more efficient inspections
2 days ago
New C-Mount lenses bring focus for machine and system builders
IDS now offers more than 20 new C-mount lenses with resolutions of 5, 8 and 10 MP as well as different focal lengths and optical classes
2 days ago
Backup DC motor for two rolling mill applications
Menzel Elektromotoren has built a replica of an old DC motor for a large German steel strip manufacturer
2 days ago
Distributed safety systems webinar 30th October 0930
In this webinar Pilz UK Product Manager David Collier will examine the state-of-the-art technology available to meet the demands of decentralisation
2 days ago
New narrow FeedThrough connectors save panel space
New from Cliff Electronics is the SLIMS FeedThrough Connector range, designed and manufactured in the UK
3 days ago
New autoglide 5 system from igus doesn’t need a guide trough
A new energy chain system for intralogistics and crane systems has been designed by motion plastics experts igus
3 days ago
New DC/AC converter unveiled by Phoenix Contact
With the arrival of its new DC/AC inverter (part of the Phoenix Contact Quint Power family) the company says that machine builders now have a compact solution to generate alternating current in DC applications
3 days ago
New-generation bullet train runs on NSK bearings
High-performance bearings from NSK are now operational in the newly developed N700S Shinkansen (bullet train)