Whether robots take over all aspects of assembly or selected production processes are automated – automation has many different faces. It is progressing in factories all the time and changing them fundamentally. After all, lean processes, flexibility and agility are key requirements when it comes to maximizing economy. The automation toolbox ctrlX AUTOMATION helps to solve these challenges and surmounts the classic boundaries between machine control, IT and the Internet of Things. Bosch Rexroth show how connectivity, simple engineering and much more are made possible at automatica in Munich (Hall A6 booth 502).
Automation spans a very broad spectrum. There is no single route to the smart factory as every company has specific requirements. We therefore assess on an individual basis where the greatest potential for automation lies for each customer. With ctrlX AUTOMATION and the ecosystem, needs-based solutions for different automation and robotics tasks can be put together,” explained Andreas Gryglewski, head of the Business Development Robotics and Logistics, Business Unit Automation & Electrification Solutions at Bosch Rexroth.
Motion software and apps provide significant support during handling
Today’s automation tasks can range from the simplest Cartesian handling tasks or highly dynamic machines with numerous synchronized axes in the consumer industry to precision motion solutions in semiconductor and electronic applications.
The software ctrlX MOTION covers all conceivable motion tasks including robotics and CNC. The functions provide valuable support, e.g. during handling. Among other things, they ensure higher dynamics and productivity. With the app-based software architecture, the functionality of ctrlX MOTION can be adapted to the user’s requirements and expanded at any time. The “active vibration damping” for example protects mechanical systems and ensures maximum accuracy.
One technology for various HMI applications
Machine operation via human machine interface is among the most important elements in industrial automation. One part of Bosch Rexroth’s automation platform is ctrlX HMI: A solution comprising hardware and software which can be combined as required. The hardware portfolio includes displays, panel PCs, web panels and panel frames. The web-based software solutions are provided by partners. Whether a tablet or integrated display is used, important information can be prepared and presented in a clear manner. The operating interfaces on all devices can be operated via an HTML5-capable web browser. Platform-independent visualization is therefore possible. Customer devices too can easily be integrated. The panel frame from the ctrlX HMI portfolio is suitable for 10” consumer tablets. The solution thus allows flexible and mobile applications. The enabling switch ensures safe operation, while a firewall guarantees IT security.
All connectivity requirements met by a single device
ctrlX IOT is another part of the automation platform. The Rexroth solution is geared to connectivity, an important factor in today’s factories. The progressive IoT toolkit features integrated safety and meets all Industry 4.0 requirements. With ctrlX IOT, the possibilities for users are virtually unlimited. The option of fully integrating IoT solutions into the (hardware) platform makes this possible.
“With ctrlX IOT, we combine in a single solution everything needed to meet the latest requirements concerning security, data analytics and IoT connection in automation, robotics and other areas. As a result, additional devices such as a security device, an IoT device, a motion control system, an industrial PC and HMI are no longer needed,” explained Andreas Gryglewski.
More robotics options thanks to ROS2 integration into ctrlX CORE
The apps offer numerous robotics solutions too. For example, the Robot Operating System 2 (ROS2) can be integrated into the control platform ctrlX CORE by installing an app. ROS2 is one of the most popular prototyping platforms for developing robotic applications. By installing an additional app, the ctrlX CORE becomes an ROS note and offers direct access to the ROS world and the data layer.