Beckhoff Demonstrates XTS NCT’s Power and Data Additions

June 23, 2023
By providing contactless power supply and synchronous real-time data communication directly to the XTS movers, the system can evolve from a transport system into a flexible, multi-robot system.

A clear trend across the automation industry has been the addition of onboard processing power to devices of all types. While you’ve likely encountered this trend in smart sensors and smart meters, we’re now seeing this level of processing power applied to next-generation conveyance/transport systems as well.

At Automate 2023, Beckhoff showed how the addition of these capabilities are extending the capabilities of its XTS (eXtended Transport System) with NCT (no-cable technology). The XTS technology is known for its contactless, continuous power supply and ability to deliver synchronous real-time data transmission to the XTS movers. This capability has been achieved through the addition of the AT2100 motor module and associated electronics on the mover. This enables the XTS to move beyond pure product transport and allow for the integration of sensors and actuators on the mover for more complex transport and material handling applications—with no additional connections or supply lines required.

Learn more about Beckhoff's XTS with NCT.According to Beckhoff, with real-time data communication on each mover, it’s possible to synchronize system-wide events with “microsecond precision so that a specific event can be triggered at an exact position.” Such capability is key for product handling, processing and measuring during transport, as well as for quick changeovers during production.

At Automate, Jeff Johnson, mechatronics product manager at Beckhoff, noted that these additions to XTS deliver “up to 30 watts of power continuous and 75 watts peak, which allows us to add end-of-arm tooling to the movers, like robotic grippers and pneumatic pickers. Each mover can now become a small pick-and-place robot to work with a lot of small products in a small area.”

He also noted that Beckhoff offers a starter kit to help users get comfortable with the new capabilities of XTS NCT through proof-of-concept testing. “We're making it very easy for customers to start adding actuators and testing out how they would work with the system.”

In the video below, Jeff Johnson explains the updates to Beckhoff's XTS with NCT.

About the Author

David Greenfield, editor in chief | Editor in Chief

David Greenfield joined Automation World in June 2011. Bringing a wealth of industry knowledge and media experience to his position, David’s contributions can be found in AW’s print and online editions and custom projects. Earlier in his career, David was Editorial Director of Design News at UBM Electronics, and prior to joining UBM, he was Editorial Director of Control Engineering at Reed Business Information, where he also worked on Manufacturing Business Technology as Publisher. 

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