PI 029-16 , 2016-04-25

WebConnector connects IoT and automation


With WebConnector, Bosch Rexroth connects control and the internet. Via established standards like HTML5, and OPC UA as well as via the Open Core Interface it is possible to use smart devices and cloud services to implement new business models.

With the new software component for Open Core Engineering, Bosch Rexroth builds a bridge to automation for web developers

  • “Universal translator” between the world of the web and automation
  • Platform-independent Java solution
  • Operation and visualization via any HTML5-capable web browser

With the communication interface WebConnector, Bosch Rexroth builds a technological bridge between the world of automation and the Internet of Things and Services (IoT). Web applications for new business models can be developed without in-depth knowledge of automation technology thanks to the new software component in the Open Core Engineering portfolio. End users and OEMs thus quickly and cost-efficiently obtain modern human-machine-interfaces for mobile and stationary end devices as well as smart services. Process data can also be saved and analyzed in the cloud and can then be used for process optimization or for service purposes.

Hassle-free communication between human and machine is one requirement for seamless processes in integrated production. The significance of intelligent human-machine-interfaces therefore continues to increase. For this, Bosch Rexroth has developed the WebConnector as “universal translator”. This communication interface enables a web app to quickly and securely query control data, axis positions, PLC information, diagnosis or processing statuses from machinery and equipment and to then visualize it on an HMI or evaluate it in a database. For example, this allows the development of predictive maintenance and other service concepts.

The platform-independent WebConnector programmed in Java can be used on all end devices on which a Java Runtime Environment (JRE) is installed. This could be an IndraControl XM control or an HMI device by Rexroth, but it could also be an embedded system like Raspberry Pi or any PC with Linux, Mac, or Windows.

For communication with cloud services, smart devices, and other HMI devices, WebConnector uses the established web standard HTML5 and the WebSocket protocol included therein. The WebConnector alternatively communicates with the automation side using the interface technology Open Core Interface integrated in Rexroth controls and drives, or via the Industry 4.0 Standard OPC UA. Web apps are displayed and operated via a common HTML5-capable web browser. Programmers have HTML5 and CSS available for web application as well as an interface for connecting Node.js applications such as Node RED for instance.

For an Ethernet-based communication from machine to machine and automatic notification of persons with process responsibility, WebConnector contains an MQTT broker (Message Queue Telemetry Transport). Thanks to the support of the compact data format JSON (JavaScript Object Notation), WebConnector is also a suitable “Data Gateway” for cloud or database connection. In this manner, the document-oriented Open Source Database mongoDB can be used for smart services or the cloud software Oracle Stream Explorer can be used to analyze real time data. Machinery and equipment statuses can furthermore be monitored and compared across locations.


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. Including sales and service partners, Bosch’s global manufacturing and sales network covers some 150 countries. The basis for the company’s future growth is its innovative strength. Bosch employs 55,800 associates in research and development at roughly 115 locations across the globe. 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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Johanna Rauch
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