ST 004-14 2014-02-11

Bosch Rexroth in the Netherlands: Partner for “Extreme Engineering” – from nano movements to mega projects

Dr. Karl Tragl

Dutch engineering is molded by more than 2,600 mid-sized manufacturers. They have conquered leadership positions in numerous sectors worldwide with their innovative strength, from semi-conductor technology to mega projects and coast guard. Bosch Rexroth is aboard with numerous machine concepts and large projects as development and system partner for the entire automation.

“Especially because machine manufacturers are realizing innovative concepts over and over again, Bosch Rexroth has bundled the worldwide application experience such as semi-conductors, solar and printed electronics as well as marine, offshore and coast guard in the Netherlands”, Dr. Karl Tragl, Chairman of the Executive Board of Bosch Rexroth AG, points out. In close cooperation with the machine manufacturers, the sector specialists of Bosch Rexroth design tailor-made automation solutions time and time again for extreme applications. The spectrum reaches from positioning of electronic circuits down to the nanometer to the lifting of offshore platforms on the high seas that weigh 48,000 tons.

In this way, the Linear Motion System moves carriers for semi-conductor components through vacuum chambers without any contact. This eliminates critical seals and the entire technology is mounted outside of the chamber, easy to access. These applications involve a degree of accuracy to a few atomic layers, as well as manufacturing steps which take place in a vacuum or in aggressive atmospheres. These machines are mainly used in Asia, in particular Taiwan and Korea.

In the sector of future market such as printed electronics, Bosch Rexroth also plays a deciding role in automation of new machine concepts. In cooperation with the machine manufacturer VDL Flow, an innovative system is developed in the Solliance project, in order to print organic photovoltaics on flexible foils.

Simulators provide an important contribution to safety in air traffic. They serve for the training of pilots. Furthermore, experienced pilots learn to control critical situations without any danger for planes or humans. For this purpose, the simulation capsules that weigh up to 14 tons must move in fast and complex ways. Due to the center of competence for simulation technology in the Netherlands, Bosch Rexroth has established itself as one of the worldwide leading manufacturers for these motion systems in more than 25 years.

Another focus if formed by applications around marine and offshore as well as coast guard. After all, the Netherlands is one of the ten countries worldwide producing the most natural gas. As part of a traditional seafaring nation, Dutch companies have driven offshore technology decisively since the 1970s. Since then, both established as well as newly founded companies have continually been developing innovative solutions for offshore technologies.

For example, the young Dutch company Barge Master has now found a new solution for the cost-effective installation of offshore platforms and wind energy turbines: A movable platform connects the crane and ship’s hull and, in spite of waves, keeps the crane as level as if it were on firm ground. “This replaces the previously necessary special equipment for the construction of windparks and considerably lowers the costs”, says Tragl.

Dutch technology also sets new standards in the disassembly of large offshore platforms. The Allseas Group has developed the world's largest mobile hoist for offshore installations - another example for “Extreme Engineering”. Bosch Rexroth in its function as engineering partner of Allseas, has projected, designed and tested the drive and control solution for this lifting system for its productivity. The Topside Lifting System (TLS), which is equipped with key products and assemblies from Bosch Rexroth, can lift and transport topsides of offshore platforms weighing up to 48,000 tons in one piece.

“Beyond this, Bosch Rexroth participated in numerous projects for the coast guard along the entire North Sea”, the Chairman of the Executive Board emphasizes. The large hydraulic cylinders for the closing of lock barriers such as for offshore applications come from Boxtel in the Netherlands, the worldwide leading Bosch Rexroth plant for these products.


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