Mr. Benjamin Bruns – Business Management Process Industry, Beckhoff Automation GmbH & Co. KG

In a tough market environment, process suppliers as well as end customers in the process industry have to adapt to modern technologies to create competitive solutions. Process automation offers a lot of potential for further improvement.  Open process platforms that integrate multi-vendor subsystems into one solution are one of the major trends within the industry for decreasing costs. The market for robotic solutions within the process industry has grown dramatically over the last few years. As the integration of robots in process systems can help reduce production time they can also increase the safety for operators in the plant. Cloud based control systems also have the potential to minimize down time, increase efficiency and raise the visibility of decentralized operations. All these developments require manufacturers, system integrators as well as plant operators to rethink the way DCS systems are built up. The complete integration of functions and interfaces into one open system architecture will become necessary so as not to fall behind.  With PC- and EtherCAT-based control technology, together with the terminals of the ELX series for direct connection of intrinsically safe field devices up to zone 0/20, Beckhoff offers all the prerequisites for the convergence of reliable process automation and modern functionality. Due to its consistency and openness, PC-based control also represents the optimum basis for implementing networked production according to Industrie 4.0 and IoT concepts. Cloud communication can be easily implemented either via the TwinCAT IoT software or via the IoT coupler. With its TwinCAT software, Beckhoff offers an integrated control and engineering platform for automation and process technology. In addition to conventional PLC and Motion Control processes, it includes the HMI, secure cloud connection via TwinCAT IoT and cloud-based analysis functions via TwinCAT Analytics. For process engineering applications, TwinCAT features integrated specific protocols and interfaces such as NAMUR, HART and FDT/DTM. The support of OPC UA guarantees secure and vendor-independent data communication.

Benjamin Bruns is currently the Product Manager for explosion protected products and the Business Manager for the process industry at Beckhoff Automation GmbH & Co. KG headquarters in Verl, Germany.  Benjamin received a Master of Engineering in Process Automation from the University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Hannover. He subsequently worked as a lecturer in mathematics, computer science and explosion protection at the University and still holds lectures presently. Following various positions in the oil and gas industry including technology consulting, he took over the Process division at Beckhoff Automation GmbH & Co. KG, in 2014.  This family-owned company develops PC-based control systems and owes its success to the continuous development of innovative products and solutions using PC-based control technology. Beckhoff is represented in more than 75 countries and has 4,300 employees worldwide.