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Beckhoff Embedded PC's - Modular DIN rail Industrial PCs

Supplier: ESM Australia

With the CX series of Embedded PCs, Beckhoff has combined PC technology and modular I/O level to form a DIN rail unit in the control cabinet.


The CX device series combines the worlds of Industrial PC and hardware PLC and is suitable for medium-performance control tasks. The modular control system can be configured to match the task in hand and can be installed in the control cabinet or the terminal box.

The CX system covers the whole range of Beckhoff control technology both in terms of price and performance: This product range is designed for tasks requiring the characteristics and computing capacity of Industrial PCs, but whose budget does not stretch to full-blown Industrial PCs. The system only uses the components that are actually required. For example, a CX can be operated in “headless” mode, i.e. without display or keyboard; in this case, the associated interface is not required.

Scalable performance classes

The CX family includes several basic CPU modules with different processors for optimum adaptation to the respective control task:

CX1030: high-performance CX with Intel® Pentium® M CPU, 1.8 GHz processor

CX1020: high-performance CX with Intel® Celeron® M ULV CPU, 1 GHz processor

CX1010: basic CX with Pentium® MMX-compatible CPU, 500 MHz processor

CX9010: Ethernet controller with Intel® IXP420 XScale® technology, 533 MHz processor

CX9000: Ethernet controller with Intel® IXP420 XScale® technology, 266 MHz processor

Apart from various CPUs, the individual CX types also have different system interfaces and power supply units. Via associated I/O interfaces the CX1030, CX1020, CX1010, CX9000 and CX9010 Embedded PCs support Beckhoff Bus Terminals and also EtherCAT Terminals as I/O system.

The components

The modules of the CX series system are connected with each other via the standardised PC/104 bus (16-bit). The individual system components come as modules with single (19 mm) or double width (38 mm) that can be connected in series. The basic unit for the CX1030, CX1020 and CX1010 series consists of a CPU module and a power supply module. The CX9000 and CX9010 devices integrate CPU and power supply in a single unit. Depending on the CX type, the controllers can be expanded through further system interfaces. The range of optional modules is complemented by fieldbus connections for PROFIBUS, CANopen, DeviceNet, SERCOS interface and Lightbus, both as master or slave versions.

The software

In combination with the TwinCAT automation software, the CX Embedded PC becomes a powerful IEC 61131-3 PLC that can also handle Motion Control tasks. Depending on the required cycle time, it may be used to control several servo axes. With the CX1010, CX1020 or CX1030 even special functions such as “flying saw”, “electronic gearbox” or “cam plate” can be realised. The CX thus becomes a controller that covers PLC, Motion Control and visualisation tasks with a single hardware. Under Windows CE, thanks to the real-time capability of the operating system, user tasks written in high-level languages can be processed in real-time in parallel with TwinCAT.

Wide range of applications

Due to the design and the features of an industrial PC Control, the Embedded PCs can be used in a wide range of applications. Existing applications include mechanical engineering (automatic sawing machines, automatic assembly machines, paper cutting machines, screwdriver control, packing machines, sheet metal processing, handling equipment), process technology (water treatment, power generation, consumption logging), building services (room control, access control) and many more.

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