TX1250 | TwinCAT NC PTP – Point-to-point axis positioning

TX1250 | TwinCAT NC PTP – Point-to-point axis positioning

Position control with the PC

TwinCAT NC PTP includes axis positioning software (set value generation, position control), an integrated software PLC with NC interface, operating program for commissioning and an I/O connection to the axes through various fieldbuses. TwinCAT NC PTP replaces conventional positioning modules and NC controllers.


NC PTP software on the PC

The controllers that are simulated by the PC cyclically exchange data with drives and measuring systems via the fieldbus.

The capacity of a PC allows axes to be moved in parallel with the PLC functionality. PC power means that some tens of axes can easily be positioned simultaneously.


System structure

Axes are structured into channels for PTP movement and for interpolated movements.


Axis structure

TwinCAT NC PTP uses variables to operate axes. Each axis has variables for encoder, drive and controller. The axis can be linked to I/O interfaces, and parameters can be set.


Axis functions

Axis functions such as

  • start (various modes)
  • stop
  • new target position and velocity
  • constant drive output
  • set/call actual position


Axis types

  • servo axes
  • high/low speed axes
  • stepper motor axes
  • “low-cost” stepper motor axes
  • encoder axes
  • simulation axes
  • DC drives


Position measurement systems

The position controller acquires the actual position through:

  • incremental encoders
  • absolute encoders
  • digital interfaces to the drives


Drive interfaces

  • analog
  • EtherCAT
  • SSI
  • Lightbus
  • pulse train



  • interfacing to all popular fieldbuses, e.g. EtherCAT, Lightbus, SERCOS, PROFIBUS DP/MC, synchron CAN
  • Axis functions can be embedded into the IEC 61131-3 PLC system by means of function block libraries; the function blocks comply with the PLCopen standard.
  • data interface to Windows NT/2000/XP/Vista/CE or Windows 7 programs by means of open standards (OPC, Beckhoff ADS)
TX1250 | TwinCAT NC PTP – Point-to-point axis positioning | System operation

System operation


Positioning is executed with a powerful, modern positioning algorithm in which profiles are generated with jerk limitation and with pre-control of speed and acceleration to minimise the following error.

Positioning facilities:

  • Controller structures can be adjusted.
  • P controller
  • PID controller
  • PID with speed pre-control
  • PID with speed and acceleration pre-control
  • override functions



The online menu allows important axis parameters such as

  • target position,
  • set speed,
  • acceleration, jerk,
  • reference speed,
  • controller Kv factor,

to be set, and general axis functions to be called such as

  • start,
  • stop/emergency stop,
  • new target position with new speed.


Special functions

  • linear coupling (electrical gears)
  • distance compensation
  • online master/slave and slave/master conversion
  • “flying saw” (diagonal saw)
  • camming (support through TwinCAT Cam Design Tool)
  • FIFO axes
  • change over encoders/controllers
  • external axis set value generator
  • multi-master coupling
TX1250 | TwinCAT NC PTP – Point-to-point axis positioning | Connection between NC software and drive using drap and drop

Connection between NC software 
and drive using drap and drop

TX1250 | TwinCAT NC PTP – Point-to-point axis positioning | Programming via IEC 61131-3 function blocks or standard PLCopen Motion Control libraries

Programming via IEC 61131-3 function blocks or standard PLCopen Motion Control libraries

Technical dataTX1250 | TwinCAT NC PTP
PC hardwarestandard PC/IPC hardware, no extras
Operating systemsversion-dependent: Windows 7/10, Windows CE
Real-timeBeckhoff real-time kernel (only 32-bit operating systems, only one core is used)
Runtime systemNC point-to-point (NC PTP) including TwinCAT PLC
Number of axesup to 255 axes
Axis typeselectrical and hydraulic servo drives, frequency converter drives, stepper motor drives, DC drives, switched drives
Cycle time50 µs upwards selectable (typically 1 ms)
Axis functionsstandard axis functions: start/stop/reset/reference, speed override, destination override; special functions: master-slave cascading, electronic gearing, online distance compensation
Programmingperformed using IEC 61131-3 function blocks in the TwinCAT PLC, convenient met


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