Bosch Rexroth focuses on digital assistance functions

Putting people in the spotlight of Industry 4.0

With networked automation solutions and digital assistance systems, Bosch Rexroth is putting the focus on people in Industry 4.0. At Hannover Messe 2016 the company will showcase solutions for intelligent integration of assembly stations in the versatile production. From real-time evaluation of all relevant production data, to an assistant for quickly handling faults, all solutions are based on manufacturer-independent standards and programming languages in the world of automation, IT, and the internet.

Dr. Steffen Haack is convinced that “Acceptance by associates is a significant factor in the success of Industry 4.0.” He is Member of the Executive Board responsible for the Business Unit Industrial Applications and Coordination Sales of the Bosch Rexroth AG. “We have already collected comprehensive experiences in our own production facilities in a large number of pilot projects, and have used these as the basis for developing new system solutions which support both the process and the associates in the integrated factory.”

The modular designed and flexible adjustable assembly system ActiveAssist from Rexroth simplifies the assembly of multiple versions. It links real-world assembly working stations with the virtual world of information technology, and leads the associate through the assembly steps using freely configurable sensors and assistants. The assistance system uses RFID to identify the work piece and loads the respective work plan via a connection with the overarching MES or ERP system. Digital assistance systems such as projectors that project work instructions and mark material crates or pick-to-light modules provide the associate with the right information for his job at all times. The language and working depth for these instructions can be adjusted easily on an individual basis, and the workstation can be rearranged according to new specifications in only a short time.

This leads to high process reliability while also contributing to a reduced workload. Haack describes the measurable advantages of this as follows: “Systems that can be integrated on a modular basis, such as 3D cameras and ultrasonic sensors, review the work steps and help the worker to take corrective action right away.” This ensures high quality and productivity for the assembly of multiple versions

Process quality management for the highest quality in assembly and joining processes

The software process quality manager – a joint solution by Bosch Rexroth and Bosch Software Innovations – also offers support in quality control. Electrical screwing systems, for instance, can be integrated using the system, and the data on individual screwing processes can be detected, analyzed, and visualized in real time. This has decisive advantages, especially in the automotive industry. There, thousands of tightening operations that are critical for proper functioning and relevant to safety are completed everyday, not all of which can be personally inspected. Centralized monitoring allows quality assurance specialists to maintain an overview of all screwing processes, and to recognize failures and trends in the production process as early as possible. This lets them act quickly, and reduce reworking and downtimes through proactive measures. Besides monitoring screwing processes, the process quality manager can also be used in other joining processes and can integrate tools from various manufacturers, depending on customer requirements.

Active Cockpit: higher productivity through better information

This software solution also integrates seamlessly into the Active Cockpit, a new production information system. This interactive web based communications platform detects all relevant data for a production line, updates it in a dynamic manner, and visualizes it clearly in real time, directly on the line. “This link between production and company IT already facilitates integrated assembly under Industry 4.0 conditions. The transparency this helps us achieve is an important prerequisite for higher productivity in production,” Haack emphasizes. Associates can recognize deviations in production immediately and initiate optimization measures. The availability of all relevant data forms the basis for making appropriate decisions. The Active Cockpit is being used in about 20 plants in the Bosch Group.

Modular production lines for the integrated factory

The Active Cockpit is integrated into a modular production line at the Hannover Messe. Bosch Rexroth is using five intelligent, integrated stations to show an example of how autonomous production lines can be connected to manual assembly stations. The stations also present how functions of the production network and company IT interact, and how existing machines can be easily connected.

Bosch Rexroth at the 2016 Hannover Messe: hall 17, booth B38

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, and Factory Automation 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 5.6 billion euros in 2014.

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The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. It employs roughly 375,000 associates worldwide (as of December 31, 2015). According to preliminary figures, the company generated sales of more than 70 billion euros in 2015. 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 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. In 2015, Bosch applied for some 5,400 patents worldwide. The Bosch Group’s strategic objective is to deliver innovations 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.”

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