IT in Manufacturing

TwinCAT Building Automation

May 2014 IT in Manufacturing

Beckhoff’s TwinCAT Building Automation is a new TwinCAT supplement that reduces engineering times and integrates all key components of a modern building automation system. Comprehensive software libraries and supplements extend the concept of the modular range of automation components to the software level.

As a prerequisite to meet the high demands on building automation such as user comfort, energy savings, low investment and operating costs, and a rapid return on investment (ROI), a fully coordinated control system for all the technical components of a building is required. The TwinCAT Building Automation software includes a universal functional range for all building systems. The new TwinCAT supplement comprises three basic elements:

* TwinCAT BA PLC Libraries: basic functions for all systems.

* TwinCAT BA PLC Templates: function templates for all systems.

* TwinCAT BA Project Builder: configuration tool for linking templates, hardware and BACnet objects.

TwinCAT BA PLC Libraries

The TwinCAT BA PLC Libraries provide the system integrator with established and tested building blocks, such as basic functions for closed-loop control, signal processing, special mathematical functions, fault signal processing and general system functions.

TwinCAT BA PLC Templates

The TwinCAT BA PLC Templates are complete TwinCAT program blocks for sensors and actuators, complete modules, as well as partial and whole systems in the areas of HVAC and room automation. Unlike conventional PLC libraries, the TwinCAT BA PLC Templates can be imported into the PLC programs as whole modules, which the system integrator can then modify as needed. They can also create their own TwinCAT BA PLC templates.

TwinCAT BA Project Builder

Having a consistent TwinCAT project file structure is a prerequisite for proper plant maintenance. The central underlying idea is the component identification system, which assigns a name to each data point and program module according to defined rules. The TwinCAT BA Project Builder automatically generates for all Beckhoff controllers the project files for TwinCAT PLC Control functions and the TwinCAT System Manager. It can be expanded with custom PLC templates for full engineering flexibility, while special add-ins let you integrate planning resources (for example, Excel lists) as well as visualisation systems. An open add-in interface allows you to integrate planning tools, import Excel lists from TRIC (MSR Software), or connect visualisation systems.

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


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