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2013-05-22

Rexroth Introduces Open Core Engineering, an Award-Winning Approach to Software Engineering

Rexroth Introduces Open Core Engineering, an Award-Winning Approach to Software Engineering

With the Open Core Interface OEMs can develop application programs with Java as native apps and integrate smartphones seamlessly into the automation process.

Bosch Rexroth’s Open Core Engineering is an innovative approach to connect PLC and IT automation, with a platform that gives developers a greater degree of freedom in software engineering. OEMs can flexibly access the control core of the Rexroth IndraMotion MLC and IndraLogic XLC controller systems from applications based on high-level languages. This allows them to realize customized solutions independently and more easily, and at a lower cost than before.


Open Core Engineering brings the requirements from previously separated engineering worlds together in one integrated solution. At its center are software tools and function toolkits that build entirely on open standards and technologies. The new Open Core Interface enhances the software engineering – which until now has been focused on PLC automation – enabling it to work with applications based on high-level languages. With numerous function libraries which are adapted to different development environments it is now possible to have functions directly access the control core. This allows OEMs to realize customized software functions in-house and to integrate IT technologies based on high-level languages into their automation solutions. Specific examples are the integration of simulation tools or the use of smart devices with native apps. Moreover, the Open Core Interface makes it possible to integrate production machine functions and data out of IT-based applications such as management execution systems.


Access all the way to the core with various devices and programming languages

With the Open Core Interface, OEMs are free to choose their platform – PC, controller or smart device – and the required programming language: From C/C++, C# (.NET), Visual Basic, VBA (Office), LabView G, Objective-C and Java to all programming applications that support the integration of Microsoft COM libraries. They can even realize customized control functions for real-time applications independently of the control program. This means that the engineers can use high-level languages to write their own software functions which then run as low-level real-time application directly on the control, or in non-real-time on external devices such as PCs or smart devices. Now machinery manufacturers can realize innovative functions themselves - even those that require enhanced core access. This will also allow them to protect their know-how.


Smart devices and native apps as application examples

The Open Core Interface supports Apple iOS and Google Android, which are currently the two major operating systems for smartphones and tablets. The high market penetration of smart devices combined with their innovative and comfortable operating concepts is generating a lot of interest with machinery manufacturers and operators. They are realizing that the future will bring new ways of making communication between humans and machines more user-friendly, flexible and intuitive. With the Open Core Interface, OEMs can develop application programs with Java as native apps, integrate smartphones seamlessly into the automation process, and support machine operators with new diagnostic and operating concepts. The native applications run entirely on the smartphone or tablet, so that the machine program remains untouched.


More efficient through integrated know-how

Open Core Engineering combines these new degrees of freedom in software engineering with engineering efficiency from project planning to ongoing operations, which is what the market had been demanding. The IndraWorks software integrates all tools as well as Rexroth's industry and technology-specific know-how in the form of function toolkits in an integrated engineering framework. The GAT (Generic Application Template) software toolkit, for instance, automatically generates the executable machine program based on the developer's instructions, thereby laying the foundation for the development of modular machine software. Another example is the FlexProfile software toolkit. It simplifies the execution of complex machine functions by automatically adjusting all drive movements to changed parameters in the production process.


A variety of industry and technology-specific software toolkits speed up the engineering as OEMs receive already pre-made basic functions. Based on open standards such as Sercos, OPC-UA or PLCopen, Open Core Engineering also provides certainty for the future and protects the investments of machinery manufacturers and operators.


The Open Core Engineering initiative earned Bosch Rexroth the 2013 Hermes Award for Innovation . The award, which honors outstanding innovations pioneered by individual companies, was presented at the 2013 Hannover Fair by Johanna Wanka, Germany’s federal minister of education and research. “Industry is on the threshold to a fourth industrial revolution,” Wanka said in her speech. “The Open Core Engineering project is an outstanding example of the potential of Industry 4.0 for innovative and efficient communication in the field of production.” This is the first time that a software product has received this award.


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 www.boschrexroth-us.com

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 www.boschusa.com, www.bosch.com.mx and www.bosch.ca.


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 www.bosch.com and www.bosch-press.com

 

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Contact

Susan  Strauss
City Line Road 2315
18017 Bethlehem, PA
Phone: (610) 694-8352
Fax: (610) 954-8670
susan.strauss@boschrexroth-us.com