Beckhoff IoT edge device optimizes Industry 4.0 process technology

July 10, 2018
Industrial PC is suited for edge computing and cloud communication.

Beckhoff has introduced its ultra-compact C6015 Industrial PC (IPC), touting it as the ideal space-saving, high-performance IoT edge device that fully utilizes these advantages for new and legacy systems in the process industries. 

Beckhoff's C6015 Industrial PC

By integrating comprehensive IoT and analytics functionality, the PC-based control technology opens up a wealth of options to optimize production processes, according to Beckhoff. System consistency in the control platform ensures simple implementation and high transparency:

  • A universal portfolio of components for explosion protection, including the ELX series EtherCAT Terminals, which enable end-to-end automation of large and complex processing plants.
  • The TwinCAT software platform with specific interfaces and libraries for process technology, enabling cloud integration via TwinCAT IoT and data analysis via TwinCAT Analytics, which synchronize with control cycles.
  • A high-performance, IoT edge device in the form of the C6015 ultra-compact IPC, which can simultaneously run various automation and control tasks.

Measuring 82 x 82 x 40 mm, the compact C6015 IPC with multi-core technology can be flexibly installed even in highly confined spaces, according to Beckhoff. Equipped with an Intel Atom processor that offers up to four CPU cores, the C6015 provides sufficient processing power for simple collection, processing and provision of process data and power for the more complex tasks required of a modern IoT gateway.

The C6015 is predestined for communication tasks, especially when retrofitting and connecting legacy systems, according to its maker. Existing process-technology systems can be equipped with additional IoT capabilities using this IoT edge device, or readied to meet future communication requirements. In this way, operators of process-technology systems gain access to the full wealth of IoT and analytics solutions supported by Beckhoff technology, regardless of the automation technology used—be it PC-based control or third-party control platforms, reducing production costs, optimizing product quality and improving transparency of process workflows. In addition, system availability and productivity can be increased, with cloud-based services used, for example, to implement predictive maintenance.

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