PI 052-13 2013-06-11

Bosch Rexroth: Industrial and Research Partner of eta-Fabric

Integrated approach for increased energy efficiency in industries

As an industrial and research partner, Bosch Rexroth is part of the officially launched project entitled "Energy Efficient Factory for Interdisciplinary Technology and Application Research – eta-Fabric" under the lead management of the Darmstadt University of Technology (TU Darmstadt). The company's contributions include its application experience, equipment, the Rexroth 4EE multi-technology systematic approach, and development capacities. Those involved in the project have made the hypothesis that energy savings of up to 40% can be achieved for future industrial production. To prove that this can be accomplished, researchers intend to optimize the energy efficiency of the eta-Fabric in real-life conditions – including using the example of multi-step production for a Bosch Rexroth series component.

"The eta-Fabric model is a perfect fit for the integrated approach we've been taking since 2009 with our Rexroth 4EE systematic approach," emphasizes Klaus Frank, Vice President Strategy and Innovation at Bosch Rexroth. Rexroth 4EE is a universal approach that takes advantage of the energy efficiency potential of all drive and control technologies in machines across different technologies. "Rexroth 4EE lets us not only optimize individual production steps and machines, but entire production systems, too."

Bosch Rexroth is involved in several subprojects with their own development capacities. Customers can thus record and analyze the duration and energy consumption of every machine movement for their Rexroth IndraMotion MTX control using the ctg/ega module – even today. Based on these results, they can optimize the motion control in a way that combines the greatest energy efficiency with optimum productivity.

Bosch Rexroth developers are also working on identifying all energy flows in the eta-Fabric and controlling them automatically and with efficient energy usage. Another subproject examines the thermal interaction between the factory building, building technology, and the process chain. For example, one of the applications is transforming process thermal discharge into cooling energy for cooling the machines involved without any external energy supply, or with considerably less. Bosch Rexroth is working on this subproject in cooperation with Bosch Thermotechnik.

The project, which is sponsored by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology, takes all factory subsystems into consideration. Scientists will be investigating interactions between buildings, technical building infrastructure, production machinery, and processes to tap the full potential for increasing energy efficiency. Two universities, three research institutions, and twelve companies are involved in this cooperative research project. The project is initially scheduled to run for a four-year period.

Image 1: Project team and company representatives (Copyright: Technische Universität Darmstadt)

Image 2: Dr. Wolfgang Horn, Senior Vice President Technical of the Business Unit Industrial Applications, spoke as representative of Bosch Rexroth at the officially launched project entitled eta-Fabrik. (Copyright: Technische Universität Darmstadt)

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, Factory Automation, and Renewable Energies to develop innovative components as well as tailored system solutions and services. Bosch Rexroth offers its customers hydraulics, electric drives and controls, pneumatics, gear technology, and linear motion and assembly technology all from one source. With locations in over 80 countries, more than 37,500 associates generated sales revenue of approximately 6.5 billion euros in 2012.

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The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. In fiscal 2012, its roughly 306,000 associates generated sales of 52.5 billion euros. Since the beginning of 2013, its operations have been divided into four business sectors: Automotive Technology, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods, and Energy and Building Technology. The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its roughly 360 subsidiaries and regional companies in some 50 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. Bosch spent some 4.8 billion euros for research and development in 2012, and applied for nearly 4,800 patents worldwide. The Bosch Group’s products and services are designed to fascinate, and to improve the quality of life by providing solutions which are both innovative and beneficial. In this way, the company offers technology worldwide that is “Invented for life.”

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