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Beckhoff: Expanded MX-System Portfolio for Control Cabinet-Free Automation

June 27, 2023

If control cabinet-free machines are the question, then the Beckhoff MX-System is the answer.

The integration of functional modules onto a backplane system creates a waterproof and dustproof composite of metal enclosures suitable for automating a wide variety of manufacturing/production solutions. These systems often include 48 V motion components, for which the MX-System portfolio now offers four variants of a 48 V / 40 A power supply.

In line with the basic principle of the MX-System, the new 48 V power supplies are plugged onto a baseplate and supplied with the primary voltage via the standardized system interface without manual wiring. This can be the 3-phase mains voltage or the 600 V DC voltage of the drive system. Like all MX-System function modules, the power supplies become participants in the EtherCAT network via the second MX-System interface. This data interface also offers the possibility of feeding the 48 V voltage into the baseplate. In this case, both the 48 V DC and 24 V DC can be used by the corresponding function modules.

The most common use cases for the new power supply modules are motion applications. Here, the MX-System portfolio already offers function modules that provide 48 V as power voltage for servo drives and stepper motors. Corresponding power supplies with 10 A and 20 A output current were announced with the market launch of the MX-System. While these modules feed exclusively into the backplane, the new 40 A variants are designed in such a way that 48 V DC devices can also be directly attached via connectors on the front of the function module. The following power supply versions are available:

  • a module variant with M12 connectors for attaching a total of six AMI8100 distributed servo drives
  • a version with two M12 connectors for attaching feed segments of the XTS transport system
  • a power supply module for connecting a base module of the ATRO modular industrial robot
  • a power supply variant without connectors for direct line connection that feeds exclusively into the backplane

In accordance with the normative requirements, measures for the protection of the lines and cables are integrated into the power supplies for each slot on the output side. Several power supplies can also be connected to a baseplate and operated in parallel to balance peak loads at the outputs, for example. Not only do the front connectors facilitate the power supply to external devices, but they also offer direct connection to the EtherCAT network.

Another special feature is the ability of the power supplies to feed regenerative energy directly back into the machine’s supply network, such as that generated while the servomotors are braking. This eliminates the need for additional external braking resistors. Like all MX-System modules, the new power supplies also support the Beckhoff Service app for convenient hardware diagnostics.

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