Embedded PC series CX8000

Embedded PC series CX8000

CX8000 is a device family of programmable controllers with a 32 bit ARM-based CPU, which can be used for the processing of PLC programs or as slave devices for higher-level fieldbus systems. Unlike the non-programmable Bus Couplers of the EK series (EtherCAT Koppler [German for EtherCAT Coupler]), which only act as gateway between the associated fieldbus system and the connected EtherCAT Terminals, the CX8000 is programmable and able to run its own control program.

The CX8000 device series represents a further development of the familiar and proven 16 bit Bus Terminal Controllers from the BC series, including high-performance 32 bit processors. Just like the Bus Terminal Controller series, the CX8000 also ensures that the control system and the local program can still be processed in the event of an interruption of the higher-level fieldbus system. The CX8000 devices can therefore be used as local controllers. Bus Terminals (K-bus) or EtherCAT Terminals (E-bus) can be connected; the CX8000 automatically recognises the type of I/O system connected during the start-up phase. The application of EtherCAT opens up further options, such as realisation of different topologies, integration of further bus systems such as CANopen, PROFIBUS and PROFINET, and the connection to the IP 67 world with the EtherCAT Box modules.

Like all CX products, the CX8000 devices are programmed and commissioned via the Ethernet interface, which can, of course, also be used for the connection of the control system with a regular network. Some Embedded PCs have additional Ethernet interfaces with switch functionality, so that a linear “daisy chain” topology can be established cost-effectively without additional hardware. The other connections on the lower plug level are fieldbus-specific. A replaceable coin cell for date and time, a number of dip switches for setting function modes, a slot for microSD flash memory cards and a USB port type B can be found under the front flap at the upper housing level. Thanks to their low electrical power consumption, the units are fanless.

Microsoft Windows Embedded CE is used as the operating system. In the absence of a monitor port, the operating system and its “virtual“ display can only be accessed via the network. As for all other Beckhoff devices, the TwinCAT 2 software is used for system configuration and the programming of the PLC functionality. The CX8000 target device features a pre-installed TwinCAT 2 PLC run-time environment. All software required for operating the device, including the operating system, the TwinCAT files and user files and data, is stored on the microSD Flash card. This means the unit is easy to replace if necessary. Commercial card readers can be used to access the card data. The size of the microSD Flash card (e.g. 256 MB) can be chosen depending on the application and the quantity of data to be stored.

The CX8000 device family features an integrated, capacitive 1-second UPS, which in the event of a failure of the supply voltage provides sufficient energy for saving remanent data. Important data are thus preserved in a non-volatile manner without battery backup.

With a high-performance but nevertheless energy-saving 32 bit ARM processor, EtherCAT as I/O bus and TwinCAT 2 PLC with extensive PLC libraries, the Embedded Controllers from the CX8000 series represent high-performance and versatile controllers with slave fieldbus connection.