The latest TwinCAT product merges PC-based PLC and motion control with next-generation Ethernet. TwinCAT 2.10 can scan hardware through Beckhoff, Profibus, CANopen, DeviceNet, SERCOS, real-time Ethernet and Lightbus high speed, deterministic EtherCAT. It compares networks to system configurations, identifying what hardware is physically present, making for faster and easier diagnostics.
TwinCAT has always been able to synchronize multiple deterministic networks and offered support for multiple fieldbus networks simultaneously. The 2.10 version now does the same thing for EtherCAT-networked devices, so high-speed EtherCAT devices can be added into systems and use other fieldbuses and I/O devices at the same time. It also lets systems use different update rates for different drives, meaning the CPU can now run control loops only as often as necessary, so all drive control loops no longer have to run at the fastest rate required. TwinCAT 2.10 allows full remote target systems programming for Beckhoff BC, BX, CX and PC controllers, with communication via TCP/IP, HTTP and serial connections. TwinCAT software allows open, PC hardware to replace the conventional PLCs, NC/CNC controllers and operating devices.
In many engineering workplaces, there’s a generational conflict between recent engineering graduates and older, more experienced engineers. However, a recent study published in the psychology journal Cognition suggests that both may have something to learn from another group: 4 year olds.
Conventional wisdom holds that MIT, Cal Tech, and Stanford are three of the country’s best undergraduate engineering schools. Unfortunately, when conventional wisdom visits the topic of best engineering schools, it too often leaves out some of the most distinguished programs that don’t happen to offer PhD-level degrees.
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