In my last post, I wrote about news from the SPS/IPC/Drives show centering on Siemens TIA Portal announcement. But that wasn’t the only big news to come out of the event. Beckhoff Automation also announced that it is investing in the future development and production of its own drive technology by launching Fertig Motors GmbH (named for partner Erwin Fertig, the former CEO and founder of Elau — which was acquired by Schneider Electric in 2005). In this joint venture with the Beckhoff Group, Fertig Motors will co-develop and produce Beckhoff servomotors. The first of these products is expected to be presented in time for the 2011 SPS/IPS/Drives event.
The range of PC-based control technology solutions from Beckhoff’s current PC-based control solutions encompasses industrial PCs, I/O, motion and automation. The motion division, with this new joint venture, will be expanded with new product lines in the category of servo drives, servo terminals and servomotors designed for PC- and EtherCAT-based control technology from Beckhoff.
According to news released at the SPS/IPC/Drives event, Fertig currently has a team of 15 motor and drive technology developers. The production facility is currently under construction and will begin series production at the end of 2011 with all motors being made in Germany.
Beckhoff maintains that its existing standard servomotor series — the AM2000, AM3000 and AM3500 — will continue to be developed alongside Fertig’s servomotor products.