XPlanar – a revolution in transportation

During the 5th edition of Warsaw Industry Week, which will take place on November 8-10, 2021, Beckhoff will present the latest, innovative transport system – XPlanar. Bekhoff is a recognized brand, cooperating with partners all over the world – present in 75 countries on all continents.

The latest transport system – XPlanar, which will be displayed at the Beckhoff stand during the Warsaw Industry Week fair, is an innovative solution that starts a new era in transporting objects. XPlanar combines the advantages of a conventional approach and adds the effect of the free flow of products. As a result, it offers a wide range of new product handling functions within one machine or between several machines. As with autonomous vehicles, the user enjoys the freedom to freely move the media. Importantly, individual goods can be transported to any place, along any trajectory.

Levitating platforms

The phenomenon of the solution proposed by Beckhoff is the fact that platforms transporting products fly over special plates, which are an essential element of the system. This is possible thanks to the electromagnetic force, which maintains a constant distance between the platforms and the ground, so that they can move freely without hitting the ground. The tiles can be laid in any configuration, making it possible to flexibly install the communication route, while the software enables the continuous optimization of the transport path. The fact that the technology is based on electromagnetic force allows the platforms to move over walls and ceilings.

The platforms are fully mobile. With their help, it is possible to raise and lower transported objects within the range of 5 millimeters, and the ability of the platforms to perform a full rotation facilitates their appropriate positioning. What’s more, the platform also offers the possibility of weighing objects. Each single platform can be driven separately, which makes it possible to set a separate speed of one vehicle.

How it works?

XPlanar consists of flat drive modules, which, like rotary motors, consist of a set of coils and moving permanent magnets, passive elements used to transport products. Unlike rotary motors, in the XPlanar system, both coils and magnets are arranged in one plane.

Precise control of the coil current in the drive modules makes the passive pallets of permanent magnets slide smoothly over them, levitating over their surface. The compact drive modules are built end-to-end and contain all the components necessary for operation inside the housing. The electrically passive levitating paddles are not only particularly durable, but do not require any external systems to detect their position.

Apart from the pallets and drive modules, the only component required for operation is a Beckhoff industrial computer with TwinCAT 3 software and an EtherCAT cable. The real-time TwinCAT system works as a motion controller for levitating paddles and prevents collisions between them.

The innovative XPlanar system offers a wide range of applications, and also guarantees an increase in the efficiency of the production line and a reduction in production time.

XPlanar combines flexibility with the dynamics of linear motors, thus offering unrivaled optimization of production cycle times, including through the concept of product positioning also during processing. The use of levitating transport pallets that replace all mechanical elements – drastically reduces the costs of the application itself and its subsequent maintenance, and the use of as many as six degrees of freedom allows for a significant simplification of the mechanics of individual production stages.