Electrical Power & Protection


Local controller with OPC UA Client and Server

April 2014 Electrical Power & Protection

The CX8091 is the newest member of the CX8000 product family, which currently includes the smallest embedded PCs available from Beckhoff. With support of the OPC UA protocol, a 400 MHz ARM9 CPU and a wide range of connectable K-bus or E-bus I/O terminals, it represents a universal small controller for almost any application. In addition, the CX8091 is fully interoperable with power measuring terminals from Beckhoff to serve as a compact data collector that supplies all information via OPC UA to enable comprehensive energy management.

The CX8091 is a flexible and compact controller with a switched Ethernet port and supports OPC UA, the established protocol for vertical integration within modern plant environments. Bus Terminals (K-bus) and EtherCAT terminals (E-bus), as modular I/O systems, can be connected directly to, and automatically identified by the Embedded PC. In this way, a multitude of signals can be acquired locally – for example, via the numerous I/O terminals for energy data acquisition and many other types of measurement.

Electrical variables can be determined in a particularly convenient and system-integrated manner via the KL/EL3403 power measuring terminals; while more in-depth analysis functions are offered by the EL3413 and EL3433 power measuring terminals as well as the EL3773 mains monitoring terminal. In addition, compressed air supplies can be directly monitored, for example to detect energy wasting leaks, using the KM37xx differential pressure measuring terminal and the machine-mountable EP3744 differential pressure measuring box with IP67 protection.

OPC UA for higher-level communication

The OPC UA (IEC 62541) communication standard is well suited for linking communication within the production landscape to the company management level and to energy management systems. It is a globally recognised communication technology from the OPC Foundation that enables the secure, reliable and vendor-neutral transport of raw data and pre-processed information from the manufacturing level into production planning or ERP systems.

Beckhoff has successfully implemented this with the TwinCAT OPC UA server certified by the OPC’s European laboratory. It offers data access and historical access functions as well as PLC function blocks for diagnostics and restarting. Intermediate data storage in the server is also implemented, so that an interruption to communication does not lead to data losses. In addition, Beckhoff has integrated OPC Client functionality into the controller for the first time in the form of PLC function blocks for UA Data Access – the controller can thus push acquired energy data of its own accord into the IT world.

Also included in the solution is a configurator for the setup of optional security functionality and a demo UA Client for diagnostic purposes.

The CX8091 Embedded PC can alternatively be used with the BACnet protocol (Building Automation Control Network). This Ethernet-based communication standard for building automation is particularly well-established in the management and control levels of buildings. Not restricted to a single controller type, the Beckhoff TwinCAT BACnet/IP solution is executable on every Beckhoff industrial PC and embedded PC.

For more information contact Kenneth McPherson, Beckhoff Automation, +27 (0)11 795 2898, k.mcpherson@beckhoff.com, www.beckhoff.co.za


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