Products use mechatronic design for manufacturing systems

Beckhoff Automation XTS modular linear motion control system integrates with industrial PC, TwinCAT 3, and delta-robot doing pick and place.


Beckhoff's XTS drive system combines rotary and linear systems for mechanical engineers. Courtesy: BeckhoffTo condense the Beckhoff Automation architecture to its simplest form, we promote one controller, one network, and one software platform across one system architecture. We call this “The Power of One,” where Beckhoff can integrate high-performance PLC, motion control, safety, communications, and robotics on an IPC (industrial PC) or embedded PC. The XTS (eXtended Transport System) from Beckhoff Automation is the kind of mechatronic advancement that takes full advantage of more powerful PC-based controllers and one architecture. A machine equipped with XTS would leverage one standard controls architecture (PC-based control), one software platform (TwinCAT 3), and one network (EtherCAT).

XTS combines linear motor technology on a continuous motion track that consists of straight and curved track segments allowing the machine designer to configure topologies that suit numerous applications. The XTS track is like an inverse linear motor and is specially engineered for multiple carriers; each mover’s position is controlled individually and can be adjusted with great precision on the fly.

XTS is supplied by either a 24 V dc or 48 V dc bus. Forces of 30 N continuous and 100 N peak per mover are possible. The movers have positioning accuracies of +/-25 µm at 1.5 m/s and a positioning repeatability of less than 10 µm at mover standstill. Movers have a maximum speed of 4 m/s at 48 V dc supply voltage.

TwinCAT 3 from Beckhoff abstracts the complex underlying control principles in XTS, which enables the controls engineer to program against the movers’ absolute position. At Hannover Fair 2013, Beckhoff paired a delta-style pick-and-place robot system with the high-speed mechatronic XTS solution, running the automation software on one industrial PC.

- Matt Lecheler is motion specialist at Beckhoff Automation. Edited by Mark T. Hoske, content manager, CFE Media, Control Engineering,


Read "Mechatronics: Electromechanical manufacturing systems" to learn more application details below 

Beckhoff Automation YouTube video of the XTS at 2013 Hannover Fair (about 30 sec into the video)

No comments
Consulting-Specifying Engineer's Product of the Year (POY) contest is the premier award for new products in the HVAC, fire, electrical, and...
Consulting-Specifying Engineer magazine is dedicated to encouraging and recognizing the most talented young individuals...
The MEP Giants program lists the top mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection engineering firms in the United States.
Salary survey: How much are you worth?; Dedicated outdoor air systems; Energy models and lighting
Fire, life safety in schools; Fire protection codes; Detection, suppression, and notification; 2015 Commissioning Giants; Emergency and standby power in hospitals
HVAC and building envelope: Efficient, effective systems; Designing fire sprinkler systems; Wireless controls in buildings; 2015 Product of the Year winners
Designing positive-energy buildings; Ensuring power quality; Complying with NFPA 110; Minimizing arc flash hazards
Implementing microgrids: Controlling campus power generation; Understanding cogeneration systems; Evaluating UPS system efficiency; Driving data center PUE, efficiency
Optimizing genset sizing; How the Internet of Things affects the data center; Increasing transformer efficiency; Standby vs. emergency power in mission critical facilities
As brand protection manager for Eaton’s Electrical Sector, Tom Grace oversees counterfeit awareness...
Amara Rozgus is chief editor and content manager of Consulting-Specifier Engineer magazine.
IEEE power industry experts bring their combined experience in the electrical power industry...
Michael Heinsdorf, P.E., LEED AP, CDT is an Engineering Specification Writer at ARCOM MasterSpec.