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Control cabinets have always been fixed components of machines and plants. And doing without them didn't seem like an option for a long time. But classic control cabinets harbor tangible disadvantages: Their planning, development and wiring costs a lot of time and is also prone to errors. To counteract this, people began to build control cabinets automatically - but even then, control cabinets still require valuable production space. Even for this, solutions were already being found, such as decentralized terminal boxes, drives or even the Beckhoff EtherCAT Box modules, which can be mounted directly on the machine outside the control cabinet. But none of these approaches questioned the existence of control cabinets per se. Almost every machine still requires one or more separate control cabinets.

Beckhoff Automation, based in Verl, North Rhine-Westphalia, has now developed a new concept to replace the complete control cabinet and bring the entire world of automation technology to the machine in a compact and robust form. With the MX system, which will be presented for the first time at HANNOVER MESSE 2022, the East Westphalians say they are launching nothing less than a revolution in the world of automation. With a holistic, modular and pluggable concept, the control cabinet can be reduced to a minimum or even substituted, so that from now on machines and systems can be designed and controlled entirely without control cabinets. The integration of all machine functionalities is achieved, among other things, by the fact that Beckhoff's MX system has implemented all the advantages of PC- and EtherCAT-based control technology. The space-saving system is essentially made of metal and is therefore not only robust and resistant, but also dustproof and waterproof, allowing it to be placed directly on the machine.