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“PC Based Automation Control Technology” by Beckhoff Systems

Beckhoff is a German automation technology company established in 1980. Beckhoff focuses on PC-based control technology especially in Industrial PC, Embedded PC, fieldbus components, drive technology, and automation software.

In the first session of the talk Mr. Ajay Phatak briefed us about the Beckhoff Company and its growth and achievements over the last 30 years. He stressed on the fact that “automation can’t take place without communication and feedback” and how the Beckhoff company products play an important role in this.

In the second session, Mr. Jitendrakumar Kataria explained how Beckhoff PC Automation system integrates PLC & HMI into one software on one CPU. The speaker specifically emphasized about EtherCAT (Ethernet for Control Automation Technology), which is world’s fastest real-time Ethernet field bus system.

The talk also covered the various topics on Industry 4.0 smart factories and how physical systems cooperate and communicate in real time with each other and with humans. The factory of the future will be more horizontally and vertically connected – implemented in a more cost-effective manner with a machine-level controller by using a human-machine interface (HMI) for moving information to and from other areas of the company as needed.

At the end, students were invited to try hands-on demos & practical testing. They worked with Beckhoff’s TWinCAT software where they programmed using ladder logic. The entire day was fruitfully spent understanding the importance of communication in the forthcoming revolution of industrial automation.

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