Smart services deliver added value

Smart services deliver added value
Marginal Column

March 2017


Reliable basic services such as the fast delivery of spare parts, sophisticated maintenance concepts, prompt repair works, and qualified training are the main focus for operators of machines and systems. Bosch Rexroth combines classic services with innovative smart services.

For its classic services, Bosch Rexroth has a clear aim – top performance across all segments – and is therefore networking the world of automation with IT. The specific services involved can be anything from electronic nameplates and controls with networking capability through to intelligent electrical and hydraulic components and systems, which can be used to record machine and system conditions. Intelligent hydraulic power units such as the ABPAC series are just one example. With decentralized intelligence and optional sensor packages, they continuously record all operating conditions. This enables the operator to see all relevant information at a glance, such as the degree of contamination of the filters, oil quality, intake and accumulator pressure or temperatures, and to intervene in the control at any time. The aim – zero defects, zero failures, zero quality losses.

Intelligent, cloud-based added value services are becoming increasingly important when it comes to teleservice, new maintenance concepts, consultancy services, or retrofitting. A major change in technical service is taking place. Simply repairing is no longer enough. Smart services are based on meticulous data collection. Once it has been filtered, aggregated, and presented in a way appropriate to the user, this information can be used to reduce downtimes and cut process costs. Predictive maintenance measures minimize unplanned interruptions. Necessary repairs or modernizations are carried out in scheduled breaks in production to ensure maximum productivity. The ODiN (Online Diagnostics Network) service package from Rexroth provides an ideal framework. Designed for manufacturing companies using hydraulic systems, ODiN not only collects data, but uses self-learning algorithms in data mining to provide precise risk analyses, forward-looking failure predictions, and specific recommended actions for preventative maintenance.

An equivalent solution is also available for machine tools. The Rexroth Remote Condition Monitoring software tool regularly evaluates drive data and operating parameters for all connected machine tools without the use of sensors. This monitoring is based on the open CNC system solution IndraMotion MTX, and reliably diagnoses the current condition of the machine tool.

This allows any maintenance required to be scheduled. Preventative replacement of components just before they reach critical levels of wear can significantly reduce the number of failures. At the same time, maintenance and spare parts costs are lower.

Reliable in the field, in the forest, or in construction

What applies to factories applies more than ever to mobile working machines in construction and agriculture. Failures in the field can cause huge costs for the operators. Here, networking can considerably increase availability. The BODAS DI4 control unit for mobile working machines is explicitly optimized for networked applications. Without using an external diagnosis unit, authorized maintenance technicians or operators can directly access all control units for the working and travel drive hydraulics even when they are not in a workshop. The display reads out active and saved faults, thus speeding up the diagnosis. The service engineer can load new parameters for the BODAS controllers or transfer new sequence programs using the integrated USB interface. In addition, access to the Rexroth eShop reduces the time span between failure and the arrival of the required spare part. The A4VG axial piston variable pump also shows what this kind of electronification can achieve. It uses an open interface to send previously recorded sensor data to the machine control unit, which then communicates with the cloud, for example the OEM, over the Internet. The machine’s condition is transparent at all times. Expensive failure of a harvesting

machine at the peak of the season is a thing of the past, as preventative maintenance now guarantees high availability. A further benefit is reduced maintenance costs, as only the parts and media that are actually worn out are replaced.