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2014-01-10 ST 002-14

Integrated Industry: Integration has begun

Lucas Wintjes, Senior Vice President Sales and Industry Sector Management Factory Automation at Bosch Rexroth AG

With open interfaces and programming standards, Integrated Industry is currently gaining enormous speed. Merging automation with the IT world opens up considerable advantages for the economic production of small batches and individualized products. This integration is the logic further development of decentralized intelligence in mechanical engineering − and it is currently changing everything about automation.

The interface technology Open Core Engineering, decorated with the HERMES AWARD in 2013, is making an essential contribution to this, as it has changed the rules of the game. The first system integrators used Open Core Engineering in order to transfer the operating comfort of smart phones and tablet PCs to the operation and diagnosis of handling systems and machines with native apps. If the user sets both thumbs on two fields, then the axes drive in the direction in which the tablet PC is tilted. The stronger the tilt, the faster the axis moves. The movement stops as soon as the user takes one finger off the screen. This simple operating philosophy, familiar from private life, considerably lowers the need for user training.

Other manufacturers use the multilingual capacity of Open Core Engineering, in order to program machines, without writing a single line of PLC code. The first manufacturers of measuring machines are preparing motion sequences with the operating program LabVIEW. For this purpose, Rexroth is providing a library with more than 550 virtual instruments. The previously necessary PLC programming thus becomes redundant and the manufacturers are considerably shortening their time to market.

Connected Industry poses new demands to machines and systems, as well as the collaboration between automation specialists, machine manufacturers and end users. In numerous development partnerships, Bosch Rexroth is currently developing new forms of collaboration in order to move integration along.