Beckhoff Demonstrates Machine Analytics

Oct. 4, 2022
Using a CNC milling machine to showcase the functions of its analytics software, Beckhoff explained the software’s use for applications ranging from predictive maintenance to remote viewing of a machine’s operating parameters.

Industry’s digital transformation is, ultimately, about data. Whether it’s making equipment and systems interoperable via data interchange or analyzing collected machine and production data for process optimization, data is the lynchpin to Industry 4.0.

One popular application of equipment data that can provide nearly immediate benefits to manufacturers undergoing a digital transformation is machine monitoring. Through its TwinCAT Analytics software, Beckhoff provides users with a continuous machine monitoring workflow—from data acquisition and storage to analysis and dashboards—with no programming required. According to Beckhoff, this eases the process of deploying data analytics for standard workflow and maintenance processes as well as for capturing spontaneous measurements, such as during machine commissioning or servicing.

At IMTS 2022, Beckhoff showcased its analytics software using a CNC milling machine.

Nick Huffman, digital manufacturing industry applications specialist at Beckhoff Automation, showed how the software illustrates the machine’s overall health across the milling machine’s X, Y, and Z axes. In the demonstration, Huffman showed how the software monitors the CNC’s torque—minimum, maximum, and average. Monitoring these factors means that, for example, if a bearing was starting to fail, the user would see deviations from the CNC’s regular operating values.

“This software can be used for predictive maintenance or to view a machine’s operating parameters remotely,” said Huffman. “Within the TwinCAT environment, everything from the PLC and HMI to analytics and motion can all be managed in the same development interface.”

According to Beckhoff, the TwinCAT Analytics Service Tool (TE3520) enables machine operators or service engineers to interpret the presented results more easily. Continuous monitoring with the aid of the condition monitoring algorithms can be configured in the TwinCAT Analytics Workbench (TE3500) and then converted automatically into readable PLC code. Beckhoff says this code can then be downloaded onto the local machine controller or remote device to perform the necessary calculations in parallel with the machine application. 

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