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Advanced Engineering 2021

NEC Birmingham(B40 1NT)

03/11/2021 - 04/11/2021

Join us in our 12th and most important edition to date, as we invite engineers and management from all (more)

A new philosophy for scalability

A new philosophy for scalability
With Scalability+, B&R is establishing a new philosophy for scalability. This new approach opens up entirely new dimensions for machine builders, making it possible to perfectly tailor an automation solution directly to the needs of a specific machine. It allows you to select a hardware and software solution that best fits your automation needs - all without being forced to enter into any kind of commitment. If it becomes obvious during development that the components or solutions need to be scaled up or down, this can be done at any time without losing a single bit of the work that has already been done. All of this makes it possible for machine manufacturers to perfectly adapt automation systems directly to the needs of the machine without having to make compromises along the way.

Many European machine builders face the problem of being squeezed into a middle ground of production batch sizes, which offer the lowest level of productivity returns. Their customers demand a tailor made solution to boost their own competitiveness, but require either a single, or a low quantity of machines. In order to meet the end user needs, the machine builder needs to re-engineer his "standard machine" in the shortest time, and with the minimum investment. With Scalability+ B&R can offer the machine builder the returns of a high volume producer, with the individualization of a special purpose machine builder.

Scalable hardware solutions have been discussed for many years, and by many automation companies. What makes B&R Scalability+ more interesting is the perfectly engineered combination of hardware ranges with a single advanced software tool Automation Studio 4.

Starting with hardware, B&R's already large range of controllers is now expanded with new ranges of Compact CPU's with onboard I/O. As with all X20 CPUs, additional I/O modules can be connected either locally or remotely using cables. These new compact controllers are being offered in a wide range of variants with different levels of performance and features. Each of these systems comes equipped with 32 built-in digital and analog I/O channels and an x86 processor as standard features. Integrated POWERLINK, standard Ethernet, CAN, RS232 and USB interfaces are also available.

The compact X20 controllers are available with two different CPU frequencies: 200 MHz and 400 MHz. Depending on the variant, there is up to 256 MB RAM and 16 kB nonvolatile onboard RAM. All CPUs are equipped with Ethernet, USB and one RS232 interface. In both performance classes, integrated POWERLINK and CAN interfaces are also available. If additional fieldbus connections are needed, all CPUs can be upgraded with an interface module from the standard X20 product portfolio. The CPUs do not require fans or batteries and are therefore maintenance-free.
30 different digital inputs and outputs and 2 analog inputs are integrated in the devices. The new CPU product range is perfectly complemented by 2 variants with innovative, ultrafast reACTION technology. With this technology, the integrated I/O channels can be controlled with response times down to 1 _s using a function block library. Programming using the standard FBD editor in the B&R Automation Studio development environment is completely compliant with IEC 61131. 

With regard to visualisation, B&R has further extended its range with a major new launch of two new additions to its successful Power Panel HMI family: Power Panel T-Series terminals and Power Panel C-Series controllers - both featuring touch screens. Equipped with an embedded browser, the Power Panel T30 terminal is fully web compatible and can even be used as a VNC client. The terminal series is being offered with four TFT display sizes ranging from 4.3" to 10.1" and comes with two Ethernet interfaces, two USB ports and an extensive array of configuration options.

The Power Panel C70 controller is equipped with a 333 MHz Intel AtomTM CPU, 256 MB DDRAM, 16 kB FRAM and 2 GB onboard flash EEPROM memory. This controller provides a built-in touch screen and is being offered in three display sizes ranging from 5.7" to 10.1". In addition to achieving cycle times as low as 1 ms, the Power Panel C70 also features POWERLINK and standard Ethernet, 2x USB 2.0 and X2X Link technology as well as optional RS232, RS485 and CAN connections to offer a wide range of possibilities for peripheral devices.

Both of these product ranges add to an already vast range controllers and visualisation products which would more than meet the needs of the most advanced machine builder. These, in conjunction with scalable ranges of motion control and safety solutions would be impressive enough - however with a single software tool for all products, Automation Studio 4, - the Scalability+ concept really opens up new possibilities. B&R has elevated software design efficiency to an unparalleled new level, allowing engineering processes to be implemented efficiently and effectively. Automation Studio 4 stands for "Smart Engineering". 

The B&R Scalability+ approach provides optimal support for creating modular machines with all of their variants and options. Machine builders can develop reusable function modules that can be simply pulled in and out of machines at the design stage. Depending upon the performance demands of the end customer - hardware can be selected from the widest ranges of components to produce cost effective and perfectly matched systems. This is enhanced by using open standards for real time communication between modules to produce perfectly matched control systems to minimize development time and maximize machine builder's profitability.

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