Achieve adaptive automation with flying motion and XPlanar®

  • September 30, 2022
  • Beckhoff Automation
  • Sponsored
Achieve adaptive automation with flying motion and XPlanar®
Achieve adaptive automation with flying motion and XPlanar®

XPlanar is a revolutionary approach to automation that removes barriers and pushes the boundaries of what we can accomplish. Through flying motion technology, Beckhoff offers completely new ways to solve automation problems. XPlanar gives you the freedom to intelligently adapt to constantly changing workflows and shatter all conventional thinking about automated production. Most importantly, XPlanar can help you secure an unbeatable competitive advantage and achieve the impossible.

Developed in-house and manufactured by Beckhoff, XPlanar is available for purchase today and is ready to completely transform your machines and processes with flying motion technology. XPlanar movers float and fly freely above planar tiles arranged in customizable layouts that enable extremely flexible, precise and highly dynamic applications. For machine builders and manufacturers, this results in unprecedented flexibility and throughput with simplification in machine and plant designs. We can say this because we know. Beckhoff customers are using XPlanar in the field today to transform their operations.

The XPlanar system combines the individual arrangement of planar tiles with multi-dimensional positioning capability of the planar movers floating above them. Easy to use software tools include graphical path planning, automated jerk, pitch and yaw control, collision avoidance and 6 degrees of motion freedom. The movers enable jerk-free and contact-free motion in two dimensions at up to 2 m/s with 1 g acceleration and 50 μm positioning repeatability–completing movements without any noise or friction.

XPlanar is completely integrated into the standard TwinCAT programming environment and runtime. For communication, XPlanar systems are networked via the standard EtherCAT G protocol, which itself is fully compatible with the entire 100 Mbit/s EtherCAT ecosystem.

Flying motion. Fully integrated. Available today. Break free with XPlanar.

Breakthrough flexibility and versatility in motion control

The basis of the XPlanar system is the planar tiles, which measure 240 x 240 mm and can be arranged in any desired geometries that are precisely adapted to the application at hand. The tiles contain all power electronics and support Gigabit communication via EtherCAT G. A freely selectable number of planar movers float above them, made possible by integrated permanent magnets. The movers can be used not only horizontally, but also vertically and even upside down. There is a choice of four different planar mover types:

  • the 95 x 95 mm small mover for payloads up to 0.4 kg
  • the 155 x 155 mm standard mover for payloads up to 1.5 kg
  • the 155 x 275 mm long mover for payloads up to 3 kg
  • the 275 x 275 mm large mover for payloads up to 6 kg

The two-dimensional X/Y positioning of the movers is supplemented by additional motion functions:

  • lifting and lowering by up to 5 mm, including optional weighing functionality
  • tilting by up to 5° for transporting and handling liquids without spillage
  • rotation by up to ±15° or up to 360° above special planar tiles

The collision-free and synchronized movement of several movers with automatic path optimization are further features provided by TwinCAT 3 automation software from Beckhoff. Combining several movers together in a group, for example, makes it possible to increase the maximum payload.

Game-changer for the widest range of applications

XPlanar is optimal for use as a highly flexible transport system in general machine building, especially to automate packaging, assembly, sorting and order picking processes. A free choice of mover surfaces–easy-to-clean glass, stainless steel in hygienic design or plastic film–is ideal for use in a vacuum or clean room production environment. This makes XPlanar particularly well-suited to many industries, including food, pharmaceuticals and laboratory automation.

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