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xxx 2013-06-10

Engine for growth: Drive upgrades for machine tools at Cummins

Engine for growth: Drive upgrades for machine tools at Cummins

No machine lasts forever, and every manufacturer recognizes that its production equipment has a finite lifecycle. Cummins, Inc. ( ), a global power leader that designs, manufactures, sells and services diesel engines and related technologies, recently determined, in consultation with Bosch Rexroth, that some Rexroth drive units used on machine tools at its Jamestown Engine Plant in Jamestown, N.Y., were reaching the end of their product lifecycle.

Together, both companies have established a working partnership on such issues as servicing Rexroth products and equipment lifecycle planning for the Jamestown plant. Eight high-speed camshaft contour grinders utilize Rexroth RAC spindle drives on the machine tools’ rotating axis.

With the support of Bosch Rexroth, Cummins has been able to keep these older Rexroth spindle drives in operation for more than 15 years by sending the equipment in for repair. However, the time had come when replacement components were no longer available and a more permanent solution was needed. Keeping the contour grinders operating was important for Cummins, so a solution that allowed for this was critical: “Everything we build here is already sold,” said Plant Machine Electrician Michael McLaughlin. “We don’t inventory engines, so we can’t afford to have a grinding machine go down.”

When Cummins contacted the contour grinders’ original equipment manufacturer to inquire about replacement parts or upgrade options, the tool builder proposed an extensive solution that would replace most of each machine, and take a year per machine to implement – an approach Cummins rejected.

After careful consultation with Cummins, it was jointly determined that a retrofit program for the contour grinding machine RAC spindle drives was the right solution. Bosch Rexroth recommended the Rexroth DKR AC drive as the replacement for the legacy RAC drives.

Part of the Rexroth DIAX03 family of drives and drive controllers, the DKR drive is a modular AC drive that flexibly combines AC servo and spindle drive performance into one compact package, particularly well-suited for machine tools, textile, printing and packaging machinery.

The DKR drive has a similar footprint to the RAC drives, enabling easy replacement. In addition, it features similar parameter sets and there is no need to change the spindle motor’s encoder, all features that save time and costs for the RAC-to-DKR upgrade. It also provides a power regeneration option – any excess power generated by the machine’s duty cycle is fed back into the contour grinder’s power bus, helping save energy.

The switch to the DKR drive provided a cost-effective and easy-to-install solution for upgrading the grinders. Using the Rexroth DKR drive meant there was no need to change either the motor or encoder on the axis; in addition, the DKR features an adapter cable that eliminates the need to rewire interfaces, saving time on installation.

Click here to read the complete Cummins case study.

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, pneumatics, gear technology, and linear motion and assembly technology all from one source. With locations in over 80 countries, more than 37,500 associates generated sales revenue of approximately 6.5 billion euros ($8.4 billion) in 2012. To learn more please visit

About Bosch:

In the U.S., Canada and Mexico, the Bosch Group manufactures and markets automotive original equipment and aftermarket solutions, industrial drives and control technology, power tools, security and communication systems, packaging technology, thermotechnology, household appliances, solar energy, healthcare telemedicine and software solutions. Having established a regional presence in 1906, Bosch employs nearly 24,600 associates in more than 100 locations, with consolidated sales of $10.6 billion in fiscal year 2012. For more information, please visit, and

The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. In fiscal 2012, its roughly 306,000 associates generated sales of $67.5 billion. Since the beginning of 2013, its operations have been divided into four business sectors: Automotive Technology, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods, and Energy and Building Technology. The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its roughly 360 subsidiaries and regional companies in some 50 countries. If its sales and service partners are included, then Bosch is represented in roughly 150 countries. This worldwide development, manufacturing, and sales network is the foundation for further growth. Bosch spent some $6.1 billion for research and development in 2012, and applied for nearly 4,800 patents worldwide. The Bosch Group’s products and services are designed to fascinate, and to improve the quality of life by providing solutions which are both innovative and beneficial. In this way, the company offers technology worldwide that is “Invented for life.” Additional information is available online at and


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