Industrial Computer Hardware

Control panels with multi-touch displays

February 2013 Industrial Computer Hardware

The new generation of Beckhoff panels from the CP2xxx and CP3xxx series includes multi-touch displays as a major new feature which significantly increases operating options and comfort. However, electromechanical buttons for key functions are still necessary or desired in many industrial applications, despite the many benefits provided by modern multi-touch technology. As with previous panel series, Beckhoff supports this with numerous standard and custom designs – from integrated short-stroke or emergency stop buttons to RFID or USB interfaces. These hardware options are connected by direct wiring, USB or any common bus system such as EtherCAT, Profibus or Profinet. Safety-relevant functions can be integrated easily via the TwinSAFE or PROFIsafe protocol.

Beckhoff control panels and panel PCs with optional pushbutton extensions enable the application-specific arrangement of electromechanical buttons, switches, indicator lamps, additional membrane keys and hand wheels directly on the operating unit. As a result, the control panel can be adapted precisely to the needs of the machine controller with all necessary functions, so that more complex machine control panels can be rendered obsolete.

The standard buttons, switches and indicator lamps are connected to the controller via USB or, for increased functionality, via EtherCAT or other bus systems. Additionally, all buttons can be directly wired via a terminal strip using a second NO contact.

Beckhoff offers pushbutton extensions as standard options (C9900-G0xx) or alternatively as customer-specific versions. The design is almost arbitrary – from different button versions in terms of colour, membrane keys, switches, capacitive buttons, electromechanical buttons, short-stroke buttons, toggle or key switches to RFID or USB interfaces.

Beckhoff’s multi-touch panel series offers maximum flexibility. Features include different display sizes from 18 to 61 cm, horizontal or vertical orientation, 4:3 or widescreen format, built-in or mounting arm panels, as well as DVI/USB panel variants or complete panel PCs with powerful integrated processors.

For more information contact Kenneth McPherson, Beckhoff Automation, +27 (0)11 795 2898,,


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