, 2017-02-03

Bosch Rexroth and Fraunhofer Institute present the future of work

Industry 4.0 applications like ActiveAssist and ActiveCockpit from Rexroth have already proven themselves in numerous Bosch Group plants. (Picture: Bosch Rexroth AG)

Federal Minister Prof. Dr. Johanna Wanka opens the Fraunhofer "Future Work Lab" with ActiveAssist and ActiveCockpit from Bosch Rexroth

Stuttgart – On February 2nd, 2017 Prof. Dr. Johanna Wanka, German Federal Minister for Education and Research, opened the Future Work Lab at the Stuttgart-Vaihingen research campus. In the innovation laboratory for work, people and technology, the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO and Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA, together with the corresponding institutes of the University of Stuttgart, show how the industrial work of the future will look. With the aid of an intelligent assembly station from Bosch Rexroth, the scientists illustrate the advantages of networked industry in the laboratory's demonstration world. Digital assistance systems help the employees to assemble versatile products without errors and with minimal training times.

The Future Work Lab is available as a point of contact for companies, their employees and works councils, researchers and other interested persons for questions about the industrial work of the future. In the demonstration world, one of three Future Work Lab worlds, you can find, among other things, an assembly station with the modularly and flexibly adaptable ActiveAssist assembly assistance system from Bosch Rexroth. This solution, which consists of hardware and software, connects real assembly workstations with the virtual world of information technology. Its users can combine a multitude of different digital assistants with one another depending on the task. The ActiveCockpit communication platform from Rexroth that is also used records, analyzes and visualizes all relevant production data. This data helps the employees to continuously improve the processes and rectify faults more quickly.

In the Future Work Lab, digital assistants lead the employee through the assembly and project the work instructions onto a work table. Light-emitting diodes on component containers, so-called "pick-to-light and pick-to-beamer-modules", clearly mark which components the employee should pick next. Cameras and ultrasonic sensors check the work steps and help the employee to initiate correction measures if an error is made. In addition, an integrated radio-controlled electric screwdriver from Bosch Rexroth monitors whether it is in the correct position in real-time and avoids screws being too tight or too loose.

"ActiveAssist is a good example of how networking can support people in assembly. The system also helps to avoid errors in multi-variant manufacturing processes, down to a batch size of one and therefore reduces manufacturing costs", says Dr. Moritz Hämmerle, head of the Future Work Lab. In addition, the assembly assistance system shortens the training times because it can be adapted to the needs of the individual employee with regard to the language and depth of information. ActiveAssist is already being used in several Bosch Group plants. The technology company sees itself as the leading users and suppliers of Industry 4.0 and can already boast more than one hundred projects on networked production.

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 31,100 associates generated sales revenue of approximately 5.4 billion euros in 2015.
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The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. It employs roughly 390,000 associates worldwide (as of December 31, 2016). According to preliminary figures, the company generated sales of 73.1 billion euros in 2016. Its operations are divided into four business sectors: Mobility Solutions, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods, and Energy and Building Technology. As a leading IoT company, Bosch offers innovative solutions for smart homes, smart cities, connected mobility, and connected industry. It uses its expertise in sensor technology, software, and services, as well as its own IoT cloud, to offer its customers connected, cross-domain solutions from a single source. The Bosch Group’s strategic objective is to create solutions for a connected life, and to improve quality of life worldwide with products and services that are innovative and spark enthusiasm. In short, Bosch creates technology that is “Invented for life.” The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its roughly 450 subsidiaries and regional companies in some 60 countries. Including sales and service partners, Bosch’s global manufacturing, engineering, and sales network covers nearly every country in the world. The basis for the company’s future growth is its innovative strength. At 120 locations across the globe, Bosch employs 59,000 associates in research and development.
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