With the rise of Industry 4.0 and industrial connectivity, engineers and plant managers increasingly need ultra-powerful industrial PCs (IPCs) to manage motion and system control, data collection and processing on the plant floor. To meet this growing requirement, Beckhoff Automation UK has launched its new C7015 range of ultra-compact Industrial PCs, designed to be directly mounted onto machines due to its robust enclosure and IP 65/67 rating.
The C7015 measures 85x167x43mm and is designed for decentralised installations within machine environments. The IPC can collect data directly from the machine and provide multi-core computing performance, condition monitoring and diagnostic tasks at the edge.
The IPC features a wide range of onboard interfaces to support cloud-based networking. It also allows direct connection of actuators and sensors using EtherCAT P, a cable technology that provides ultra-fast EtherCAT communications and 24V power in one standard four-wire ethernet cable.
“The footprint of machinery and automation systems is a growing concern for many plant managers,” explained Stephen Hayes, Managing Director of Beckhoff Automation UK. “As industrial businesses adopt more physical automation systems with complex control requirements, the more space and cabling is required.
“Beckhoff’s focus currently is to support machine builders and plant managers alike in shrinking the footprint of machinery. With the C7015, we’ve designed an IPC that is suitable for integration directly onto automated systems to streamline the overall machine design, and in turn reduce the number of inputs in control cabinets. It’s part of the wider automation without cabinets concept that Beckhoff has developed and is launching throughout 2020.
“Combining high performance computing with a compact, robust and ingress protected exterior ensures that the C7015 offers a lasting solution to ever-changing automation requirements.”
The C7015 IPC has an Intel Atom multi-core processor of 40GB with up to four processor cores, which makes it very powerful and capable of supporting new interfaces, including 3 x LAN, 2 x USB and mini DisplayPort. The C7015 is suitable in harsh environments as its fanless design ensures sufficient ingress protection, with passive cooling that supports effective operation across a temperature range of 0 to +50°C.
The C7015 is used in combination with Beckhoff’s TwinCAT 3 software, which ensures that the IPC has high performance automation, visualisation and can work as a machine controller.
The C7015 is just one of several automation without cabinets products being launched by Beckhoff to help machine builders, engineers and plant managers to streamline automation systems. These products are accompanied by a whitepaper explaining the potential of the automation without cabinets concept, available on the Beckhoff Automation UK website.