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  • Writer's pictureJeff Johnson

XPlanar: Take Flight!

The levitating and flying mechatronic transport system from Beckhoff is available now, empowering engineers to design tomorrow’s automated production systems today

As kids, many of us wanted to be superhuman, to push the boundaries, to break free. We wanted to fly. As adults, we’ve had barriers and constraints built up around us. We’ve been limited by “rules”, by conventional thinking and old technology. Now, creative people across all industries have a unique opportunity to leave that mindset behind forever with Beckhoff and XPlanar.

XPlanar is a revolutionary approach to automation that breaks the rules, removes barriers and pushes the boundaries of what we can accomplish. Through flying motion technology, Beckhoff offers completely new ways to solve automation problems. XPlanar gives you the freedom to intelligently adapt to constantly changing workflows and shatter all conventional thinking about automated production. Most importantly, XPlanar can help you secure an unbeatable competitive advantage and achieve the impossible.

Developed in-house and manufactured by Beckhoff, XPlanar is available for purchase today and is ready to completely transform your machines and processes with flying motion technology. XPlanar movers float and fly freely above planar tiles arranged in customizable layouts that enable extremely flexible, precise and highly dynamic applications. For machine builders and manufacturers, this results in unprecedented flexibility and throughput with simplification in machine and plant designs. We can say this because we know. Beckhoff customers are using XPlanar in the field today to transform their operations.

Beckhoff XPlanar
XPlanar and flying motion enable dynamic material handling with six degrees of movement, helping your innovative machine designs fly past the competition.

The XPlanar system combines the individual arrangement of planar tiles with multi-dimensional positioning capability of the planar movers floating above them. Easy-to-use software tools include graphical path planning, automated jerk, pitch and yaw control, collision avoidance and 6 degrees of motion freedom. The movers enable jerk-free and contact-free motion in two dimensions at up to 2 m/s with 1 g acceleration and 50 μm positioning repeatability – completing movements without any noise or friction. And 360-degree rotation is simple to implement in software versus specialized software.

XPlanar is completely integrated into the standard TwinCAT programming environment and runtime. For communication, XPlanar systems are networked via the standard EtherCAT G protocol, which itself is fully compatible with the entire 100 Mbit/s EtherCAT ecosystem. This provides significant benefits not just for the functionality of XPlanar, but also for the entire machine. Networking via EtherCAT G provides real-time synchronization of servo technology, robotics, machine vision and other systems, along with the openness to communicate with more than 30 other fieldbuses and protocols.

More than a mere conveyor replacement, XPlanar enables non-linear production, assembly, packaging and inspection for mass customization across industries. It is ready to revolutionize your machine designs, allowing you to implement tomorrow’s Industrie 4.0 and IIoT concepts today. The opportunity to rise above the competition is available today, and the only real limitation is imagination. What will you build now?

Flying motion. Fully integrated. Available today. Break free with XPlanar.

Are you ready to rethink what’s possible in machine design with Flying Motion? Contact your local Beckhoff sales engineer and take flight today.


Jeff Johnson

Jeff Johnson is the Mechatronics Product Manager for Beckhoff Automation LLC.


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