Lohr am Main, 2022-03-17

Smart handling for the Factory of the Future

Dr. Ulf Lehmann, head of the Linear Motion Technology Business Unit at Bosch Rexroth

It is hard to imagine factory automation systems without linear robots. They are used to handle incoming goods, in production, in assembly or when packaging products – whether they are integrated into individual machines, as pick and place units or in semi or fully automated lines. However, designing, configuring, commissioning and programming multi-axis systems was always regarded as a complicated, time-consuming process requiring numerous different interfaces. At the same time, the ever-present competitive pressure and the need to reduce costs and save time made them more difficult to use. Fortunately, the digitalization trend is now allowing radical evolution towards smart subsystems.

At Bosch Rexroth, we rose to the challenge and developed new solutions which make selecting multi-axis systems and integrating them into production lines much easier: Using modern, intuitive e-tools, we help experts in technology and construction to find a suitable Cartesian robot in just a few minutes. We have used our knowledge of applications which we have gained over many decades in the process. Users now only need to enter their application data. On the basis of these data, a suitable multi-axis system including motors, connection elements and energy supply is suggested. Further detailed specifications can then be added in the connected online configurator with a 3D live preview. Rexroth multi-axis systems can also be supplied as smart linear robots with pre-installed software.

A wizard guides users intuitively through the commissioning process and the drive controllers parameterize themselves automatically upon connection. The handling process itself no longer needs to be laboriously programmed – it is combined with suitable functional modules via drag and drop. This procedure can be achieved without entering complex code and without help from costly specialists.

We are proud of this successful further development. By linking best-in-class components with innovative functions, linear robots are now a much more attractive preposition for numerous applications. They reduce the engineering effort and raise productivity to a new level. As a result, they play a key role in optimizing processes.

Based on our vision of the highly efficient Factory of the Future, we further develop all of our handling solutions on an ongoing basis – in the area of sensor systems too. The Smart Flex Effector, our new sensor-based compensation module, makes the handling system even smarter. The solution mounted on the gripper combines the precision of a robot with the sensitivity of a hand. It opens up new areas of application for robots and Cartesian systems.

The Factory of the Future is thus easily within reach and is only a few clicks away.


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Manuela Kessler
Maria-Theresien-Straße 23
97816 Lohr am Main
Phone: +49 9352 18-4145

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