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2015-11-16

Industry 4.0 requires intelligent integration

Dr. Steffen Haack

Dr. Steffen Haack, member of the executive board responsible for the Industrial Applications business unit and coordinating the sales organization of Bosch Rexroth AG.

Industry 4.0 will not only trigger innovations in production technologies – the automation industry itself will also undergo fundamental changes. But at the same time, it will be difficult for many players in the automation industry to part with approaches to which they have become accustomed. Again and again, I encounter the wishful thinking from those with whom I speak, proposing to “go it alone” in Industry 4.0, being the first, staying ahead. On the other hand, there are areas into which news about the exciting potential of Industry 4.0 has not yet reached.

Here, Bosch Rexroth has taken a decidedly different course. Together with partners from the world of IT, we are systematically sounding out the potential of Industry 4.0 and broadening our experience with a variety of small steps. This in turn influences new drive and control solutions, especially in the development of interfaces with the IT world.

From our perspective – and we hope, that of the broader automation industry, much of the path forward has already been successfully laid: For Industry 4.0, Bosch Rexroth offers a comprehensive portfolio of intelligent and open solutions, from intelligent drive technology and highly functional and high- performance control technology, all the way to a wide software portfolio for engineering.

But if many automation tasks have already been accomplished, why is Industry 4.0 implementation lagging so far behind in factories and production halls? The answer: The gap between the worlds of Industry and IT is not yet closed. In order to speed up implementation in this area, Bosch Rexroth is collaborating with numerous companies from the world of IT. In many cases, the aim is to link existing knowledge with available solutions based on open IT standards.

At the Bosch Rexroth trade fair booth, Dassault Systèmes, MathWorks, National Instruments, and Oracle IT companies, as well as the Eclipse Foundation, are presenting just such connections for PLC IPC drives. Thanks to Rexroth Open Core Engineering, they are connecting their solutions through various tools, languages, and platforms, using Bosch Rexroth's automation portfolio to form a homogeneous, comprehensive solution. In the process, these partners are able to transfer their knowledge and expertise to the machine world in terms of simulation, process, and company software. It demonstrates how machine manufacturers enable this evolutionary bridge building between PLC automation and IT-based solutions as collaboration proceeds, leveraging the value of intelligent integration to make Industry 4.0 a working reality for the world of automation.

About Bosch Rexroth

Economical, precise, safe, and energy efficient: drive and control technology from Bosch Rexroth moves machines and systems of any size. The company bundles global application experience in the market segments of Mobile Applications, Machinery Applications and Engineering, Factory Automation, and Renewable Energies to develop innovative components as well as tailored system solutions and services. Bosch Rexroth offers its customers hydraulics, electric drives and controls, gear technology, and linear motion and assembly technology all from one source. With locations in over 80 countries, more than 33,700 associates generated sales revenue of approximately $7.4 billion (5.6 billion euros) in 2014. To learn more, please visit www.boschrexroth.ca.

About Bosch

Having established a regional presence in 1906 in North America, the Bosch Group employs some 28,700 associates in more than 100 locations, as of April 1, 2015. In 2014, Bosch generated consolidated sales of $11.3 billion in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. For more information, visit www.boschusa.com, www.bosch.com.mx and www.bosch.ca.

The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. It employs roughly 360,000 associates worldwide (as per April 1, 2015). The company generated sales of $65 billion (49 billion euros) in 2014.* Its operations are divided into four business sectors: Mobility Solutions, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods, and Energy and Building Technology. The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its roughly 440 subsidiary and regional companies in some 60 countries. Including its sales and service partners, Bosch is represented in roughly 150 countries. This worldwide development, manufacturing, and sales network is the foundation for further growth. In 2014, Bosch applied for some 4,600 patents worldwide. The Bosch Group’s strategic objective is to create solutions for a connected life. Bosch improves quality of life worldwide with products and services that are innovative and spark enthusiasm. In short, Bosch creates technology that is “Invented for life.” Additional information is available online at www.bosch.com and www.bosch-press.com, http://twitter.com/BoschPresse.

*The sales figure disclosed for 2014 does not include the former joint ventures BSH Bosch und Siemens Hausgeräte GmbH (now BSH Hausgeräte GmbH) and ZF Lenksysteme GmbH (now Robert Bosch Automotive Steering GmbH), which have since been fully acquired.

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