ST 009-13 Lohr am Main, 2013-07-12

CNC Systems: Creativity in Software Engineering allows Differentiation

Lucas Wintjes, Senior Vice President Sales and Industry Sector Management Factory Automation in the Business Unit Industrial Applications of Bosch Rexroth AG

Whether it's a new cellphone in mobile communications or an energy-saving motor in the automotive industry – the importance of rapid innovations, in the machine tool industry is of first priority: its drums beat faster than those of other industries. To be successful, machine builders must always be one step ahead of the increasing demands on productivity and precision. Differentiation from competitors is just as important. Software engineering offers the required freedom for creativity.

Today's demands on modern CNC systems are clearly defined: shortest possible process times in combination with maximum processing precision, easy handling, and quick commissioning. Bosch Rexroth relies on a decentralized control architecture with decentralized intelligence to prevent the CNC system from becoming a limiting factor for machine performance: computing power for complex processes, for example out-of-roundness processing, is also available via the drives. This allows the integration of additional functions, which the machine operator can for example, use to monitor energy consumption or to integrate methods for preventative maintenance.

The market for CNC systems presents itself as a homogeneous market. Yet machine builders can secure their competitive advantage with unique and distinguishing features. Software engineering offers the greatest lever to achieve this. With their understanding of processes and technical expertise, machine builders themselves have the best prerequisites to develop innovative, customized software functions. These are required, for example in order to design operation and programming as intuitive and efficient as possible. The more efficiently this can be done, the better.

Bosch Rexroth was therefore the first control manufacturer that permitted customer access to its control unit cores within the scope of Open Core Engineering - and demonstrated forward thinking in terms of openness. The networking of machines to each other and to supervisory plant networks works only with industry proven open interfaces. A new interface technology for Rexroth controls allows the seamless integration of smart devices into automation. This offers new impulses in the development of user-friendly diagnostics and operating concepts and gives machine builders more freedom for the implementation of innovative ideas.

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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