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ST 004-11 Lohr, 2011-08-19

The Software Factor Gains Significance across the Entire Value Addition Chain

Factory automation is currently undergoing a momentous change: The increasing electrification of machines and systems is making it necessary to include more and more functions in software programs. These functions allow the end user to raise the productivity and profitability of its production chain. However, the OEM value addition chain is also undergoing long-term changes — engineering costs now account for an increasingly large proportion of manufacturing costs. This also applies to assembly and handling applications, as business in these areas is shaped by individualized design orders. The costs of project management, a detailed design process, assembly and commissioning are frequently higher than hardware costs.

Rapid Engineering Forces Down the Largest Cost Pool

"Analyses indicate that efficiency increases in the engineering sector can be the most influential factor in lowering manufacturing costs," confirms Dr. Steffen Haack, Senior Vice President Sales, Industry Sector Factory Automation of Bosch Rexroth AG. Rexroth uses modern software tools, e.g. within the EasyHandling system module, to make its engineering processes quicker and more cost-effective. "Easy Handling reduces the time spent on commissioning electrical axes by up to 90%, bringing the process down to just a few minutes," says Haack. The drive commissioning assistant recognizes the engine's electronic rating plate and by using the serial number of the linear system, the software is able to automatically connect to a database containing the specific mechanical parameters required. Following this process, the commissioner only has to enter a very small amount of axle-specific data before the axis is ready for operation. "Rexroth has analyzed the entire engineering value addition chain of assembly and handling systems and has utilized all available resources in order to transfer time-consuming routine work into a software program. This approach allows manufacturers to influence the largest cost pool in a positive manner," says Haack.

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susanne.herzlieb@boschrexroth.de