The new Beckhoff AX8000 multi-axis servo system, with a compact form factor for space-saving control cabinet installation, enables high-precision positioning and machining processes with extremely short control cycles. Additional features include fast installation and commissioning by simply plugging together the desired axis modules, as well as One Cable Technology (OCT) and the direct integration of safety functionality and mains filters.
The new AX8000 is suitable for meeting high requirements concerning control speed and accuracy, as well as optimized utilization of space. The dynamic multi-axis system has a modular design and includes various supply modules, single and double-axis modules, and a capacitor module. With a height of 223 mm and a width of either 60 or 90 mm, the individual AX8000 modules and the complete AX8000 multi-axis systems are exceptionally compact, which facilitates space-saving and cost-effective design of control cabinets and switchgear enclosures. Fast and simple installation of the components enables further cost reductions.
The EtherCAT-based AX8000 compact drive system combines powerful FPGA technology with multi-core ARM processors. FPGA-based control algorithms with multi-channel current control technology enable sample and response times of less than 1 µsec for current control and as low as 16 µsec for velocity control, depending on the configured switching frequency. The minimum EtherCAT cycle time is 62.5 μsec. For motion applications this means the fastest possible control performance and high-precision positioning can be achieved, along with an increased contour sharpness in processing and higher production output.
Two 60 and 90 mm wide power supply module variants are available for different worldwide voltage systems: 100 to 230 V AC with 20 or 40 amps for Asia and North America as well as 400 to 480 V AC with 20 or 40 amps for Europe and North America. A brake resistor, brake chopper, and mains filter are integrated in all versions. Therefore, no further external components are required.
In order to implement the desired axis configurations, a 60 mm wide single-axis module with a rated current of 8 amps and an equally wide double-axis module with 2 x 6 amps are available along with a 90 mm single-axis module with a rated current of 18 amps. Considerably lower rated motor currents cover the scalable motor current measurement. OCT, which the AM8000 servomotor series is optimized for, is used as the feedback and connection system. Additionally, the AX8000 system provides four digital inputs per axis—two of them preconfigured for onboard safety functions.
The AX8000 simplifies logistics and inventory management—through the integration of a mains filter and brake resistor, for example—and through the use fewer, more flexible system components. Due to the highly scalable motor current measurement, a comprehensive range of applications can be completely covered just with 8 and 18 amp modules, effectively reducing the usual required assortment of different module types.
The TwinCAT runtime integrated into the AX8000 series provides convenient software modules for highly precise control of speed and position. The customer can program Motion Control projects using IEC 61131-3 languages, C++, and MATLAB/Simulink. Efficient diagnostic tools provided are the TwinCAT Scope software oscilloscope and the axis optimization functions provided with TwinCAT BodePlot.
Fast and efficient installation is possible because of the integrated AX-Bridge quick-connection system, which connects the AX8000 modules in a fail-safe manner, all without tools, using spring force accessories. This bridges the DC Link, 24 V DC, and the EtherCAT connection. Other useful features include centering for easier alignment of the axis modules and the simple connection of motors via OCT with a quick-connector, reducing the number of required cables.