PC-Based Control Beckhoff Moves into the Process Industries
Since 2000, Beckhoff Automation has experienced an average growth rate of 16 %, said managing director Hans Beckhoff at a press conference yesterday. The company generated a global turnover of 810 million euros in 2017 — an increase of 19 % year over year.
When it comes to the process industries, Beckhoff admits that the 38-year-old company has been “playing catch-up with our PC/software control, but that it is growing steadily.” He predicts that the process industries will account for 7 % of the company’s business by Achema 2021, compared to about 5 % now.
“Our TwinCAT automation software combines all required machine functionalities, such as PLC, motion, robotics, measurement technology, scientific automation, vision, communication, IoT functions and HMI in a single software package. For the process industries, we still need to add modules for redundant PC-based control. Such a module for TwinCAT will be ready in 2021 — the next Achema,| Beckhoff said. A process extension will also be added in 2020, he said.
Meanwhile, Benjamin Bruns, Beckhoff’s business manager for the process industries, described a number of product launches at this year’s Achema. “At the moment, we are targeting the oil-and-gas sector, where we see a big demand for new solutions,” he said. For example, the desire to have fewer people on offshore oil platforms, to reduce hazards and costs. “This requires moving robotics into hazardous areas.”