Visitors to the Beckhoff booth will again be able to “BYOD”, using their own smartphones and tablets to connect with PC-based control demos – including a wall of IoT-enabled devices, plus articulated robot arms from Stäubli – using any mobile device with a web browser.

Talking PACK EXPO with Shane Novacek, Marketing Communications Manager at Beckhoff Automation

Shane Novacek | Beckhoff Automation

Your company will be exhibiting at PACK Expo, what is it that makes this an important event for your company?

As a highly dynamic vertical market trade show for Beckhoff Automation, Pack Expo is a major venue to demonstrate innovative automation technologies that spark the imagination of engineers while generating compelling business results at the same time. Pack Expo has proven to be a significant driver of highly qualified sales leads and new engineering projects every year.


What can a visitor to your booth expect to see this year?

The Beckhoff Automation booth (S-6302) will be the center of automation technology (AT) and IT convergence at Pack Expo 2017 in Las Vegas. The comprehensive Beckhoff system architecture for packaging machine automation promotes control hardware consolidation by advancing powerful PC-based control technology. This approach takes the best from AT and IT, making the most powerful tools available to engineering teams in one universal environment. All the benefits from the early days of this effort remain from the integration of PLC, motion control and HMI, while adding other high value functions for robotics, safety, high-end measurement, condition monitoring, and of course, cloud connectivity and IoT.

Visitors to the Beckhoff booth will again be able to “BYOD”, using their own smartphones and tablets to connect with PC-based control demos – including a wall of IoT-enabled devices, plus articulated robot arms from Stäubli – using any mobile device with a web browser. Cloud connectivity will be a connecting thread throughout the Beckhoff booth and in machine builder booths, such as groninger USA (N-107). Additional Smart Factory solutions will factor heavily throughout the Beckhoff booth, such as One Cable Automation via EtherCAT P, which integrates the previously separate power and signal lines into a single, standard 4-wire Ethernet cable. The latest motor and drive solutions with One Cable Technology (OCT) will also be shown in the form of demos and test stands for hands-on evaluation.


Any new products you will be introducing?

While the product isn’t being introduced for the first time, a key highlight at PACK EXPO 2017 will be TwinCAT HMI, an exciting new HMI software platform from Beckhoff for visualizations that can dynamically scale to suit the screen formats of industrial displays and any mobile device with a web browser. Based on leading web technologies such as HTML5 and JavaScript, TwinCAT HMI allows the user to develop platform-independent user interfaces that are “responsive”, meaning they automatically adapt to the screen resolution, size and orientation of the device at hand. With the graphical WYSIWYG (what-you-see-is-what-you-get) editor, controls can be easily arranged via drag-and-drop and linked with real-time variables. TwinCAT HMI is extensible on all levels. Mixing standard controls with custom design elements makes designing your own dynamic, mobile-ready HMI easy.


When you get a chance to walk the exhibit hall floor yourself, what is it you will be most interested to see?

Because Pack Expo is the premier packaging industry event in North America, We are always excited to see the new packaging machines, robotics and industrial controls technologies introduced every year. Most exhibiting companies pull out all the stops to unveil their most advanced and competitive solutions. Naturally, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) developments are particularly interesting as we are seeing more controls vendors meaningfully embrace cloud connectivity, mobile device integration and augmented reality (AR) for industrial use.


PACK Expo has many educational sessions & Demo’s, is your company involved in any of them this year?  

Yes – Sree Potluri, I/O Application Specialist at Beckhoff USA will present at the Pack Expo Innovation Stage on Tuesday, September 26. Her presentation is titled “'eXtreme' Measurement and Control Technologies for Packaging in the Era of IoT”.

Presentation overview here.


When you book a booth for a tradeshow like this what are your expectations and what does your company hope to accomplish at the event?

We are eager to get engaged in the technology conversations that occur among packaging machine builders and the major end users of automation and controls technology from around the world. These discussions are typically backed by active automation projects that are in early stages of development, with an opening to generate significant new business for those who have the best solutions. We are confident that our expectations will be met by leveraging the Beckhoff product offering of system-integrated automation solutions for packaging machinery. These PC-based control solutions run the gamut from PLC to motion control to HMI to IoT and more – all running on one universal hardware and software platform.



The content & opinions in this article are the author’s and do not necessarily represent the views of ManufacturingTomorrow

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