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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Bosch Rexroth Wins Innovation Award, Embraces Openness in Automation

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Dr. Karl Tragl announced Bosch Rexroth’s turn to open programming languages during Hannover Messe 2013. Source: Bosch Rexroth.

Control and automation firm Bosch Rexroth announced its continued dedication to energy efficiency and full-scale embrace of open standards for automation at Hannover Messe in Hannover, Germany.

Dr. Karl Tragl, chairman of the executive board of Bosch Rexroth, summarized the company’s 2012 performance and looked ahead to upcoming technological solutions during a speech at Hannover Messe.

Dr. Tragl noted that the company, which recently expanded its manufacturing campus in South Carolina, was looking to technologically advanced solutions for a wide variety of industrial challenges, specifically those related to energy efficiency and automation languages.

“Ladies and gentlemen, as long as power generation still produces CO2, greater energy efficiency will be the most effective contribution toward climate protection,” Dr. Tragl told the Hannover crowd. “An increasing number of machine users are asking for greater energy efficiency with at least the same degree of productivity. We have put ourselves in a leading technological position with the Rexroth for Energy Efficiency approach. This system leverages the potential of all drive and control technologies across all applications with at least the standard level of productivity.”

Dr. Tragl further explained that the company has transitioned the lessons it learned in its own energy efficiency analysis into a consulting program for production lines. He cited a seal manufacturer that switched from constant speed drives to variable speed pump drives on Bosch Rexroth’s recommendation. This change resulted in a 78 percent reduction in energy consumption.

Dr. Tragl also noted the difficulty of interconnectivity between devices and programming languages often guided by proprietary kernels. To combat this problem, Bosch Rexroth is embracing openness.

“Bosch Rexroth has always seen itself as a pioneer for an open automation world. For that reason, we are now turning to complete openness and taking entirely new paths. What does that mean? Effective immediately, we are opening our control core and thus closing the gap between the different programming languages. Via a new interface from Bosch Rexroth, engineers and software developers are now able to access the control kernel using nearly any high-level language in the IT world and to program new machine functions.”

He added, “This is the future of automation. And it is the way machinery manufacturers stand out from the competition with innovative ideas.”

Dr. Tragl’s announcement was accompanied by news that Hannover Messe awarded Bosch Rexroth the 2013 Hermes Award. The award, presented annually, recognizes “outstanding innovations pioneered by individual companies.”

The Hermes Award jury singled out Bosch Rexroth’s Open Core Engineering project, which uses open standards and software tools to allow engineers to use high-level programming languages with programmable logic controllers (PLC). This allows customers to create proprietary software applications for manufacturing and production needs on a wide variety of platforms, including tablet and mobile devices.

“The Jury of the 10th Hermes Award has singled out a software product for the first time,” Dr. Wolfgang Wahlster, Hermes Award jury chairman and CEO of Research Center for Artificial Intelligence. “In the context of Industry 4.0 more and more factory automation functions are being transferred to software.  The award-winning solution will simplify the migration from today’s factory-based world to the Internet of Things.  Open standards will ensure that the digital product memory will be available everywhere in real time.”

Check out this Bosch Rexroth video about Open Core Engineering:

Stay tuned to IMT publications such as the IMT Machining Journal, IMT Career Journal, IMT Green & Clean Journal, and hub site Industry Market Trends for more Hannover Messe stories throughout the week.

Brian Lane

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