SOFTWARE-BASED SOLUTION KEEPS EQUIPMENT UP AND RUNNING WITH REDUNDANT CONTROL OPERATIONS

In an industrial environment, especially in the process industry, equipment reliability is a top priority, so it is crucial to build redundancy into the automation system design. Beckhoff offers a software solution for redundant control: TwinCAT Controller Redundancy.

Although the robust design of Beckhoff Industrial PCs already ensures high device reliability, the TwinCAT Controller Redundancy (TF1100) product family is now available to meet even more application requirements. This completely software-based solution enables two standard industrial PCs running the same PLC program to be set up to operate as redundant controllers in just a few simple steps.

An additional high-performance network connection between the two controllers achieves the required synchronization. Since standard Ethernet is used, no dedicated hardware components are required. This makes it easy to ensure that only one of the two Industrial PCs controls the fieldbus module at any one time and that both Industrial PCs execute the control program synchronously. This synchronicity ensures that the main controller PC can be switched without any loss of information in the event of a failure.

Other Redundancy Methods

In addition to controller redundancy, the proven EtherCAT Redundancy (TF6220) software technology protects against bus failures caused by disconnected cables. The I/O modules are connected by two separate cables, preferably in different locations. EtherCAT Redundancy solves the problem of redundant communication between the controller and the fieldbus, and the TwinCAT Parallel Redundancy Protocol (PRP, TF6230) now also provides cable redundancy for Ethernet communication according to IEC 62439–3 Connect to MES host system or HMI system. This protocol defines a transparent redundant network connection whose status can be monitored and diagnosed in TwinCAT.

The TwinCAT Controller Redundancy redundant control solution based on standard components guarantees the normal operation of the equipment.

About Beckhoff

Beckhoff is a German-owned enterprise specializing in new automation technologies. It was founded in 1980 and is headquartered in Weil, Germany. As a driver of global automation technology, Beckhoff defines many standards in the field of automation, and is a setter and promoter of international standards. The industrial PCs, fieldbus modules, drive products and TwinCAT automation software produced by the company constitute a complete and mutually compatible control system, which can provide open automation systems and complete solutions for various industrial control fields. After 40 years of development and efforts, Beckhoff has established more than 30 branches around the world, plus global partners, business in more than 70 countries and regions.

Beckhoff entered the Chinese market in 1997. The China headquarters is located in Shanghai North High-tech Industrial Park, with 300 employees and offices in 30 large and medium-sized cities in China. Innovative products and solutions are widely used in wind power generation, semiconductors, photovoltaic solar energy, electronic manufacturing, metal processing, packaging machinery, printing machinery, plastic processing, tire processing, wood processing, glass machinery, logistics and building automation and many other fields.

The EtherCAT real-time industrial Ethernet promoted by the company has become China’s national recommended standard in 2014, and has been compiled into the “National Intelligent Manufacturing Standard System Construction Guide” of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. As a technology-driven company, Beckhoff has always focused on seeking breakthroughs and innovations in technology, and enjoys the reputation of “innovation engine” in the industry. Beckhoff’s PC-based control technology has good openness. It supports all mainstream industrial communication protocols, perfectly integrates IT technology, Internet and automation technology, laying a solid technical foundation for the realization of Industry 4.0 and intelligent manufacturing.

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