Marginal Column

From Spessart to the world


March 2017


It was the power of water that supplied the Höllenhammer forge in Spessart with energy back in 1795. Since then, the expertise in handling this powerful element has continuously developed. Bosch Rexroth has evolved from its origins in Spessart to become the leading project partner for the automation of civil engineering solutions and supplies drive solutions that are used throughout the world – in hydroelectric power plants and locks, in moving bridges and flood barriers.

1974 – Impetus for the industry

Rexroth organizes the first multi-industry technical conference for steel hydraulics construction, providing a discussion forum for experts from public authorities, operators, and manufacturers. The flagship conference attracts up to 200 international participants and is held every three to four years.


1981 – Single source

1981 – Single source Magnifier

Rexroth made an international name for itself early on as a specialist and system supplier for steel hydraulics construction. Rexroth provided all the components of the hydraulic system for the second power station at the Aswan Dam in Egypt from a single source.

1997 – Innovative ideas

1997 – Innovative ideas

The devastating storm surge that destroyed numerous dikes in the Netherlands in 1953 and killed almost 2,000 people should never be repeated. The Dutch government launched the Delta Plan project. Rexroth was involved in all the project constructions. It culminated in 1997 with one of the world’s most spectacular moving marine structures: the Nieuwe Waterweg storm surge barrier. All of the hydro-mechanical drive technology, including hydraulic pumps and motors and hydrostatic planetary gears, came from Rexroth and was housed in the two engine houses.


2002 – Individual solutions

2002 – Individual solutions Magnifier

London’s Tower Bridge is the most famous bascule bridge in the world. The necessary restoration had to be completed quickly. Because of the historic nature of the structure and the associated requirements, the planners were faced with significant challenges. Nevertheless, key technical improvements were achieved, for example, the management of the force progression, in other words, dissipating the bridge forces through active support blocks. Sensors measure forces and moments, which are evenly distributed on the specially designed supports using hydraulically adjustable wedges.

2016 – International project management

2016 – International project management Magnifier

The Panama Canal is a hundred-year-old construction. In 2007, the large-scale expansion of the waterway and the construction of new locks began. Every lock was assigned three water-saving basins, which recycled 60 percent of the water used for the next operation. Closures control the water supply of the interconnected chambers and basins. As an international system supplier with worldwide production and development facilities, Rexroth developed and supplied 158 customer-specific drive cylinders, assemblies, and controls, as well as the associated accessories.