023-12 Lohr, 2012-04-17

Modular design accelerates machine construction

machine manufacturers

Modularization reduces time to market: machine manufacturers configure customer-specific solutions using simultaneously preassembled modules. The user can simply replace or enhance individual modules

Preassembly of functional modules with Rexroth automation at the plant and final assembly at the customer’s location

Assemble machines at one’s own plant, then disassemble it and put into operation again at the customer’s location: this is the classic approach of yesterday. Today, more and more machine manufacturers are turning to modular design systems and assemble the machine right at the customer’s site – thereby saving both, time and money. Rexroth is fueling that trend with decentralized motor-integrated servo drives and a wide range of drive- and controller-based motion logic systems. They allow machine manufacturers to simultaneously preassemble modules even better than before and assemble customer-specific versions not until the final assembly.

To meet individual customer requirements with short project durations, machine manufacturers are increasingly turning to a modularized architecture. They automate standard function modules, which are often pre-produced, such as handling systems or processing stations in a decentralized manner and connect them to customer-specific machines. The approach reduces time to market and eliminates the complete setup at the manufacturer’s plant.

One way in which Rexroth supports this approach is with the second generation of motor-integrated servo drives IndraDrive Mi. These compact motor-controller-units are fitted into the machine or modules in a decentralized way. The drive-integrated Motion Logic system controls up to ten axes without a superordinate control system. It also independently analyzes the connected sensors’ process signals. A hybrid cable is sufficient for power supply, synchronization, and sensor feedback, thereby reducing wiring by up to 85 percent. Users can also subsequently integrate pre-configured modules as well as additional process stations into the machine with a cable – without having to interfere with the control cabinet.

IndraDrive Mi supports all standard real-time Ethernet protocols with a Multi-Ethernet interface. Machine manufactures have the flexibility to adapt preassembled series modules to individual machine versions with different communication architectures. One hybrid cable is all it takes to connect to other modules equipped with an IndraDrive Mi. The IndraDrive Mi’s drive-integrated safety functions allow machine manufacturers to divide the drives involved into any number of safety zones in a standardized manner.

In addition, precisely scaled drive- and controller-based motion logic systems simplify modularization in terms of function and performance. They are universally based on IEC 61131-3 and PLCopen. That means: if, for example, a user replaces an IndraDrive Mi with a compact IndraDrive Cs drive, he is able to simply transfer the programs and functions already written to it. The sercos automation bus ensures the synchronization of the individual modules with the machine. It guarantees the cross communication between several Rexroth controls in hard real time so that all machine motions adapt to the process specifications at the push of a button.

Bosch Rexroth AG is one of the world’s leading specialists in the field of drive and control technologies. Under the Rexroth brand name, the company supplies more than 500,000 customers with tailored solutions for driving, controlling, and moving. Bosch Rexroth is a partner for Mobile Applications, Machinery Applications and Engineering, Factory Automation and Renewable Energies. The company provides customized solutions tailored to the needs and specifications of each individual market. As The Drive & Control Company, Bosch Rexroth develops, produces, and sells components and systems in over 80 countries. As part of the Bosch Group, Bosch Rexroth and its 34,900 associates generated approximately 5.1 billion euros in revenue in 2010.

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The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. According to preliminary figures, more than 300,000 associates generated sales of 51.4 billion euros in the areas of automotive and industrial technology, consumer goods, and building technology in fiscal 2011. The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its more than 350 subsidiaries and regional companies in some 60 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 more than 4 billion euros for research and development in 2011, and applied for over 4,100 patents worldwide. With all its products and services, Bosch enhances the quality of life by providing solutions which are both innovative and beneficial.

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Susanne Herzlieb
Maria-Theresien-Straße 23
97816 Lohr am Main
Phone: +49 9352 18-1573