PC-based control, the PC- and EtherCAT-based control and drive technology from Beckhoff, offers great potential for making machines and systems for the plastics processing industry work more sustainably. The software is based on the TwinCAT 3 Plastic Framework, the TwinCAT Analytics data analysis solution, and TwinCAT OPC UA for communication according to the Euromap standard. On the hardware side, for example, EtherCAT Terminals for energy data acquisition and servomotor drives play a crucial role as an alternative to hydraulic solutions.
The TwinCAT 3 Plastic Framework enables seamless integration of hydraulic and electric drive technology, providing a modular and powerful control system for plastics machinery that minimizes development work while retaining the tried-and-tested openness of the Beckhoff architecture. This means that all prerequisites are in place to process plastics in a way that is as efficient and sustainable as possible, as the high-precision process control and end-to-end digitalization help to save on resources. The Plastic Framework brings together Beckhoff’s many years of expertise in plastics, seamlessly integrating important industry-specific control functions. These are complemented by a collection of industry-typical framework controls that can be seamlessly integrated into the overall solution. What’s more, Euromap/OPC UA can also be integrated with ease. The sample code included as standard for various plastics applications, such as injection molding, blow molding, and extrusion, simplifies project planning and programming.