PI 048-13 2013-06-13

Rexroth automation expertise for plastic electronics production

Plastic Electronics

Bosch Rexroth offers a wide range of automation solutions for reliable and economical manufacturing of plastic electronics.

Broad spectrum of services for roll-to-roll and coating technology

Machinery manufacturers are entering uncharted waters when it comes to plastic electronics production – from the materials to the manufacturing process. When creating new system concepts, they can, however, rely on automation expertise that is already available today: Bosch Rexroth offers a wide spectrum of automation technology for roll-to-roll and coating methods based on decades of experience from the printing and electronic industry.

For plastic electronics, electronic components and applications, such as electric circuits, are printed using the roll-to-roll process. Expensive materials and energy-intensive methods, such as vacuum creation, necessitate new, affordable machine concepts for reliable processes. The major challenge is the precise control of several different processes in one machine. In particular, web transport and processing units for seamless processes must be perfectly synchronized and the precise web tension must be maintained. As one of the leading providers of roll-to-roll technology automation, Bosch Rexroth offers completely programmed functionalities that save both time and money.

Reduced costs – increased speed

When it comes to roll-to-roll technology, the perfect coordination of web transport and processing units is of highest priority. The required high degree of control performance can be found in the compact, controller-based Motion Logic Control (MLC) from Rexroth. Pre-integrated and predefined technological functions such as tension control and winding functions reduce engineering costs by up to 40 %. In addition, calculation- and time-critical motion functionalities can also be relocated to the drive, which enables flexible, cost-effective system concepts.

The Rexroth IndraMotion MLD gives users an additional open automation platform. It is based on the intelligent Rexroth IndraDrive system, and is used with industry-specific technological components for complex multiaxial movements.

Another complex part of the roll-to-roll process is the vacuum area for vapor coating or sealing materials. The substrate has to be free of particles and capable of being transported with a free range of motion so that cables or electronics do not interrupt the process. Rexroth therefore developed the linear Rexroth transport system called LMS (Linear Motion System) to move and position products accurate to the millimeter. Vacuum transport is performed magnetically above the spools and without any contact of the spools to the vacuum or the vapor and materials. Together with the coordinated Rexroth NYCe 4000 control system, the transport system increases speed and positioning accuracy with the simultaneous minimization of development and maintenance costs.

Rexroth's solutions are based on comprehensive expertise in the printing and electronics industries. The proven systems also reduce engineering time and expense from one single source, which allows machine manufacturers to bring new systems for plastic electronics onto the market faster.

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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