A unified software platform to bring all your hardware together
Machines and production lines are often large and complex, with multiple automation components. It can be difficult to find software solutions that support all the diverse hardware and functions.
BCS Tools from Beijer Electronics is simplifying software for customers all over the world. It gives you one software platform for all Beijer Electronics control systems, including HMIs with integrated CODESYS control, compact and modular controllers, programmable IOs, BoX2, edge controllers and other products.
By using a streamlined and simplified software platform, machine builders can save significantly on engineering time, and reduce development and maintenance complexity. BCS Tools allows users to pick and choose the most suitable hardware for each project, meaning they can focus on the solution and outcome rather than trying to achieve technical compatibility across diverse hardware elements.
Magnus Buhre, Product Manager Automation Solutions and Niklas Sjöström, Product Specialist Control, Altus and CODESYS
In this paper, we will look at:
- Why a unified software platform is relevant
- Why Beijer Electronics believes BCS tools is needed in a global setting
- How BCS Tools can support customer creativity and innovative development
Complex machines supported by one software solution
Machine builders have always needed to integrate different hardware elements, from controllers and pumps to state-of-the-art HMIs. The challenge has been in creating code to control the diverse equipment. A single software solution that can drive communication and interaction between multiple hardware elements without complex engineering.
For years, Beijer Electronics and many other companies have used CODESYS automation software for engineering control systems. This has provided transparency and ease of use for machine builders, who can be confident their hardware will be compatible. But it can be restrictive when it comes to development and customization. It is also not universal, meaning most machines require multiple software solutions in combination to operate effectively.
BCS Tools was developed by Beijer Electronics to solve this problem and to provide a unified approach to software regardless of what hardware set-up a customer requires.
A key factor in developing BCS Tools was the need to provide continuity between all Beijer Electronics hardware globally. With different hardware sold in different markets, there was a clear need to create a unified software platform that could pull everything together. Prior to the development of BCS Tools, Beijer Electronics customers were often operating several different software systems at the same time, depending on their hardware set-up. BCS Tools brings these disparate systems together, saving set-up and maintenance time, and freeing up engineers to help customers. The simplicity of the software platform enables engineers to make adjustments and bespoke enhancements remotely, giving customers greater freedom to explore the full potential of their Beijer Electronics hardware.
‘Retrofitting’ BCS Tools for every customer
BCS Tools is now the default software solution across all Beijer Electronics customers, with existing customers benefitting from a ‘retrofitting’ programme to integrate BCS Tools into older machines, leading to faster set-up times, more efficient maintenance and reduced complexity.
Helping customers take control
Without a unified proprietary software solution, engineers are unable to make bespoke changes to projects, and are reliant on third parties like CODESYS to make adjustments or upgrades.
BCS Tools allows Beijer Electronics engineers to be more creative and helps them solve customer problems faster. But it also places control into the hands of the customer themselves. It provides complete connectivity across the whole suite of Beijer Electronics hardware, allowing customers to make small, subtle changes to a machine’s configuration. Future iterations of BCS Tools will include integration and configuration wizards, allowing projects to develop in a more graphical and intuitive way.
Beijer Electronics’ ambition for BCS Tools is to provide the customer with a tool that can support their creative and innovative development. It is a way of placing the power in the hands of the engineers and giving them the opportunity to realise the full potential of whatever application they need.
This is BCS Tools
BCS Tools is the CODESYS-based software platform for IEC 61131-3 compliant project engineering of all controllers and PLCs in our product range. Based on market leading CODESYS 3.5 software, the development platform combines classic programming of controller applications with the capabilities of professional software development for automation devices in the environment of IIOT and Industry 4.0.