Rexroth ctrlX CORE

There’s an App for That: Bosch Rexroth Reveals Web-Based Automation Platform

June 4, 2020
The ctrlX AUTOMATION platform allows for web-based configuration in a consumer goods app store design.

Bosch Rexroth, an engineering solutions provider for mobile hydraulics, machinery applications and factory automation, has announced the launch of ctrlX AUTOMATION, a web-based automation platform that breaks the barrier between control systems, IT and IoT.

ctrlX allows for the flexibility to create centralized and decentralized automation topologies with customized and customizable third-party apps available—much like the Google Play Store or Apple’s App Store—through its app hub, ctrlX WORKS.

A goal of the platform was to deliver the same user-friendliness that end-users get from their personal smartphones. Users also have the ability to create new apps in a variety of programming languages.

“We wanted to do something that would allow significant improvements for the fast-changing automation market,” said Dave Cameron, director of sales for Bosch Rexroth, during a company press conference. “And we asked ourselves: What would automation look like if it was reinvented by Google, Apple or another digital company?”

A feature of ctrlX AUTOMATION is a device portal that allows access to the platform from anywhere in the world, enabling users to update or rollback apps as well as backup and restore.

The platform offers users a choice to program in IEC 61131, PLCopen or G-Code, or in other conventional high-level or internet languages, which reduces the need for PLC specialists.

More than 30 direct connection options and communication standards offer networking flexibility for economical, end-to-end connectivity, from field level up to the cloud. ctrlX AUTOMATION is also equipped for future communication standards, such as TSN and 5G, which drives the company’s focus on “Factory of the Future” integration.

Target applications and industries include printing and packaging, additive manufacturing and robotics automation.

With the product announcement came the announcement of the ctrlX DRIVE, a system that allows for very modular machines. It reduces hardware and software installation. ctrlX CORE, the control system for ctrlX AUTOMATION, can fit inside the drive system to create a smart drive system.

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