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Process 4.0 breakfast seminar series

November 2019 News

Beckhoff Automation recently partnered with VEGA to present another highly successful series of breakfast seminars at venues across the country, with the theme Process 4.0. Beckhoff managing director, Kenneth McPherson set the tone by telling the story of Beckhoff – a family-owned garage success story that has grown into a leading automation company. He highlighted the four core values that underpin the company’s philosophy: people, focus on new talent, loyal relationships and a culture of innovation. “Beckhoff is very focused,” he said. “We are the industrial PC (controller) company, the I/O company, the motion company and the automation (software) company.”


Left to right: Mustapha Tayebi, Frikkie Streicher, VEGA, Kenneth McPherson and Benjamin Bruns, Beckhoff.

Frikkie Streicher, managing director of VEGA, added that VEGA, also a family-owned company, has similiar ideals and morals, in particular with respect to the safety of its people and the environment. “The synergy between us works so well, Beckhoff has the control systems and we have the field instrumentation. Together we can create a complete automation system,” he said.

This was followed by Beckhoff product and business manager Benjamin Bruns, who talked about Beckhoff’s open PC-based control technology for the process industry. He covered major trends in the world of automation and Beckhoff’s contribution; the critical issue of safety and explosion protection; artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning; predictive maintenance; and a range of interesting applications. He said that modular automation is the most important upcoming trend for the factory of the future as applications become more specialised and more targeted.

Beckhoff’s functional safety solutions combined with explosion protection include intrinsically safe I/Os and Ethercat terminals, all with fieldbus integration, as well as robust and intuitive explosion-proof control panel solutions. These embrace the concept of Smart Safety, where all angles of process safety are digitalised and fully integrated.

VEGA business and product manager, Mustapha Tayebi then described VEGA’s IIoT solution. He explained the technology behind VEGA’s latest range of measurement solutions and the various options for different applications. “With IIoT you have a new infrastructure where every single layer can share the information needed to make decisions,” he said. “VEGA’s IIoT solution is the PLICSCOM display and adjustment module with Bluetooth. This new technology allows connectivity to the cloud with digital communication as the basis.”

He showed how customers can enhance their experience by connecting to the myVEGA portal for device selection and configuration. “What differentiates VEGA is the support and service we can offer via myVEGA, it takes our service to another level,” he added. “It integrates with all our VEGA products through any device. We can merge information technology and operational technology to create added value for our customers.”

This was followed by a live demonstration by Andrew Reinhold, technical engineering manager at Beckhoff, and Clint Viviers, technical product manager at VEGA, who together showed how data can be collected from the field, processed and pulled through from the cloud to an HMI in order to create actions.

The morning was rounded off with a Q&A; session where the experts were able to answer a variety of questions. “Beckhoff with its software platform is positioned for all eventualities. Our two companies can combine our expertise and come up with innovative solutions,” concluded McPherson.

For more information contact Michelle Murphy, Beckhoff Automation, +27 11 795 2898, michellem@beckhoff.com, www.beckhoff.co.za or Leandi Hendrikse, VEGA Controls SA, +27 11 795 3249, leandi.hendrikse@vega.com, www.vega.com


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