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Beckhoff Releases New CX8091: Small, Decentralized Controller Supports BACnet Protocol

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Compact Embedded PC can serve as data collector for comprehensive energy management in smart buildings
SAVAGE, Minnesota, May 7, 2015  ̶  Beckhoff Automation has introduced the CX8091 as a new member of the CX8000 line, which currently includes the smallest Embedded PCs available from the company. With support for the BACnet protocol, a 400 MHz ARM9 CPU and a wide range of connectable I/O Bus Terminals, this Embedded PC represents a universal small controller for building automation. In addition, the CX8091 is fully interoperable with power measuring terminals from Beckhoff to serve as a compact data collector that supplies all information via BACnet, enabling comprehensive energy management.

The CX8091 Embedded PC is a flexible and compact controller with a switched Ethernet port and supports the BACnet protocol, which is well established in building automation – in particular at the management and control level. Bus Terminals (K-bus) and EtherCAT terminals (E-bus), as modular I/O systems, can be connected directly to, and automatically identified by the Embedded PC.

Numerous I/O terminals are available especially for energy data acquisition in buildings. For example, commonly used gas, water, and heat meters can be integrated very easily via the KL6781 and KL6401 Bus Terminals and M-Bus or LON interface. Electrical variables can be determined in a particularly convenient and system-integrated manner via the KL3403 power measuring terminal. Typical subsystems such as EIB/KNX, DALI, MP-bus, EnOcean, DMX, SMI and Modbus can also be integrated easily using further I/O terminals for communication.
BACnet for higher-level communication
The BACnet communication standard is very well suited as the communication link between building automation and the management and control levels. Beckhoff integrates this into its TwinCAT automation suite with BACnet/IP as a pure software solution. The BACnet/IP Server and Client are executable on all Beckhoff Industrial PCs and Embedded PCs. With the associated software extension, the CX8091 becomes a robust BACnet building controller.

The BACnet objects are created in the TwinCAT System Manager and can be parameterized and linked there. Data from an I/O terminal or from the TwinCAT program can be connected directly to a BACnet object via a cyclic interface. An acyclic interface is used for reading and writing the “properties” of a BACnet object, so that these can be accessed from the PLC program during runtime. With the aid of TwinCAT software, a network can be scanned for BACnet devices and objects or “properties” can be accessed. Alternatively, the CX8091 Embedded PC can also be used with the OPC UA (Unified Architecture) communication standard. With support of this globally-accepted protocol for vertical integration in production environments, the compact Embedded PC provides the foundation for comprehensive energy data acquisition in this area as well.

Reliable Controls For more information:

Beckhoff Automation is a provider of advanced and open automation solutions based upon proven technologies for customers to implement high-performance control systems faster and at a lower overall cost than traditional control systems. Beckhoff’s “New Automation Technology” product range includes PC-based control, industrial PCs, automation controllers, operator interfaces, I/O, servo drives and motors. With representation in more than 60 countries, Beckhoff is well-positioned to provide global sales and service to its customers. Beckhoff sales and service are handled directly, with no intermediaries involved for exceptional customer service and consultation.


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