Beckhoff Automation Technology

Beckhoff Automation Technology implements open automation systems using PC-based control technology. The product spectrum comprises these main areas: Industrial PCs, I/O and fieldbus components, drive technology and automation software.

General Information

Product series are available for all areas, which can be used as individual components or function collectively as a complete, harmonized control system. Our New Automation Technology philosophy stands for universal and open control and automation solutions that are used worldwide in a wide variety of applications ranging from CNC machine tools to intelligent building automation systems.

Since Beckhoff’s foundation in 1980, the development of innovative products and solutions on the basis of PC-based control technology has been the foundation of the company’s continued success. We recognized many standards in automation technology that are taken for granted today at an early stage and successfully introduced to the market as innovations.

Beckhoff’s philosophy of PC-based control as well as the invention of the Lightbus system and TwinCAT automation software are milestones in automation technology and have proven themselves as powerful alternatives to traditional control technology. EtherCAT, the real-time Ethernet solution, provides a powerful and future-oriented technology for a new generation of control concepts.

Worldwide Presence on all continents

The corporate headquarters of Beckhoff Automation GmbH & Co. KG in Verl, Germany, is the site of the central departments such as development, production, administration, sales, marketing, support and service. Beckhoff’s presence in the international market is guaranteed by its subsidiaries. Beckhoff is represented in more than 75 countries by worldwide cooperation partners.

Beckhoff Automation Technology Product


TwinCAT 3 automation software integrates real-time control with PLC, NC, and CNC functions in a single package. Beckhoff controllers are programmed uniformly with the TwinCAT Engineering (XAE), according to the programming standards IEC 61131-3 with C++ or MATLAB®/Simulink®.

Beckhoff Automation Technology
Beckhoff Automation Technology

The generated code is executed in the TwinCAT Runtime (XAR). The TwinCAT Runtime is a multitasking operating system that runs in parallel on the host operating system. Windows and TwinCAT/BSD in 32-bit and 64-bit variants can be used as host operating systems. In addition to high determinism, the TwinCAT real-time offers the possibility to fully utilize the PC’s existing cores in multicore operation.

I/O Systems

The extensive Beckhoff I/O portfolio includes products for all areas of use and environmental conditions. The classic KLxxxx and ELxxxx Bus and EtherCAT Terminals in the IP 20 protection class offer a wide variety of fieldbus protocols and signal types.

I/O Systems
I/O Systems

The terminals are plugged into one another and are primarily used in terminal boxes or in the control cabinet, where they are protected against external influences. Their low housing width in combination with a high channel density make them a space-saving solution in the control cabinet.

The EtherCAT product range is extended still further in the IP 20 area by the EJxxx EtherCAT plug-in modules, which are mainly suitable for the series production of machines and plants. Based on the EtherCAT I/O system, the design of the EJ modules allows them to be plugged directly into a PCB. This is called a signal distribution board and distributes the supply of power and the signals to the application-specific connection technology. Dispensing with the classic individual wiring considerably reduces the installation time in series machine production.

The fieldbus, IO-Link, and EtherCAT Box modules in the IP 67 protection class allow use in harsh environmental conditions. With their compact and watertight design, they are suitable for direct installation in the machine.

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Rudy Wiratama

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