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Ready for Industry 4.0: Bosch Rexroth’s IndraMotion MLC control system enhances automation performance and flexibility

Drive and control specialists Bosch Rexroth – the joint venture partners of the Hytec Group of Companies in sub-Saharan Africa – have introduced new IPC-based control hardware that enhances the already impressive overall performance of the IndraMotion MLC control system. It connects motion, robotics and logic control with individual high-level language programming, opening up new possibilities for engineering Industry 4.0-capable solutions.

Industry 4.0 increases the requirements of decentralised intelligence. Controls must process data in reduced time and adjust flexibly to changing framework conditions. To accomplish this, Bosch Rexroth optimises the control hardware and now offers three powerful device families with one consistent system design. They are finely scaled to cover various levels of complexity in automation.

The new embedded control hardware IndraControl XM2 offers higher processor performance than previously possible and also offers modular expansion options for more flexibility in automation. OEMs combine the control with IndraControl S20 I/O modules in the same form factor. Local integration of peripherals ensures high-performance, synchronous I/O real time data processing. The combination of hydraulic and electrical tasks is possible on all device platforms of IndraMotion MLC. Bosch Rexroth has integrated best-in-class controllers for hydraulic drive tasks and thus standardises the commissioning and operation of electrical and hydraulic axes.

With the new IndraControl L75 based on state-of-the-art processor technology, Bosch Rexroth provides a variant for applications with high performance requirements. The additional IPC control platform IndraControl VPB40.3 expands the system. The same device offers a Windows 7 operating system parallel to controlling up to 99 axes in hard real time. OEMs can thus use the same hardware to install powerful software tools for visualisation, real-time data processing, analysis, or reporting.

Open for automation standards and IT world

Open standards for software and communication are a decisive requirement for networked production environments. Bosch Rexroth controls support the Ethernet-based M2M communication based on OPC UA and Sercos as well as all other common real-time Ethernet protocols. With an expansion of the OPC UA information model, IndraMotion MLC improved the exchange of data between automation components of various manufacturers and offers transparent access to all higher system functions.

OEMs can use the Open Core Interface to directly access control functions in a multitude of high-level IT languages and implement individual functions independently. This direct function access to all control elements allows the integration of smart devices, IT automation applications, and the virtual commissioning of control units without real machines. OEMs can thus program, commission, and optimise their machine controls parallel and even prior to assembly of the real machine. This significantly reduces the development times for new concepts. In addition to the previous broad range of IT operating systems, development environments, and programming languages, the newest version also includes the easy programming of sequential command chains with the lean and compact script language Lua.

Automating recurring engineering tasks

The engineering environment IndraWorks covers all phases of PLC-based engineering. Prepared technology-oriented solutions, function tool kits, accelerate engineering. The powerful script interface “Automation Interface”, for example, automates recurring engineering tasks, which, until now, had to be performed manually. With the ECAD data interface, control cabinet planning for programming and documentation – which previously had to be entered manually a number of times – can be omitted during construction, at the control cabinet builder, and then during commissioning. IndraWorks continues to utilise the circuit diagram data, which are created one single time in EPLAN Electric P8, directly in PLC engineering.

All Bosch Rexroth electric drives, controls and control systems are distributed and supported by Tectra Automation, a Hytec Group company.

Georg Venter

Divisional Manager, Electric Drives and Controls

Tectra Automation

Tel: 011 974 9400




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