An ecosystem for smart mechatronics


It is widely recognised that constructing linear motion systems can be a drawn-out, expensive process. Thanks to Bosch Rexroth, this can now be changed with Smart MechatroniX, as MEPCA found out.

Do you sometimes feel like Sisyphus, who has to carry out the same laborious task over and over again? If you dimension, configure, programme or commission subsystems for assembly or handling processes, you’ll know exactly what we mean. But this is now a thing of the past.

Bosch Rexroth has now broken the cycle of process adjustments, time shortages, high programming costs and interface losses. How? With an ecosystem for mechatronic solutions and subsystems, in short: Smart MechatroniX. The first two systems, the Smart Function Kit Pressing and the Smart Function Kit Handling, are revolutionising engineering and the commissioning of typical applications for pressing, joining and handling. These factory automation tasks can now be carried out quickly and easily with no need for complex mechanical engineering, time-consuming catalogue research, error-prone media disruptions and costly programming.

Select, configure, go online

Another reason why the new ecosystem is so innovative is the fact that it’s made up of tailored, standardised modules and components, which can be put together quickly to form smart subsystems. Simply select and adapt the basic type online, configure and order it and commission it with software guidance. This way, best-in-class components can be used to create smart mechatronics solutions for the Factory of the Future with minimal use of resources.

Everything fits together seamlessly

Whether it be a handling robot from linear axes or an electromechanical press solution – the online configurator offers users exactly the right motors, servo drives, mechanic and control systems. The heart of the subsystem, a piece of preinstalled operating software, guides users intuitively through the commissioning process. Thanks to visual programming, there is no longer any need to type in lines of code. The drive controllers automatically parameterise themselves as soon as they are connected. In the case of the Smart Function Kit for Handling, the software can even reference the linear axes.

Programming was yesterday

Users define what the subsystem is to do within the machine or line with the help of ready-made functional modules. These are simply selected from a library, arranged in the correct order via drag and drop and given the correct parameters. With plug and produce, Bosch Rexroth meets a key requirement when it comes to modern-day factory automation. Integration into higher-level systems and larger IoT environments is also straightforward, thanks to open interfaces and ready-made functional modules. The most important properties and benefits include:

  • Easy product selection, dimensioning, configuration and ordering via e-tools. This saves time, money and hassle, and everything fits together perfectly.
  • Plug and produce. The commissioning wizard, automatic drive parametrisation and axis referencing speed up the time to market and the ROI.
  • Zero programming. An intuitive graphical user guidance makes process configuration easier and requires no costly expertise.
  • Open interfaces make the subsystems IoT-capable and allow them to be integrated quickly into higher-level control and IT systems.

With the Smart Function Kits for pressing, joining and handling tasks, production companies can save huge amounts of time, avoid island solutions and pave the way to the Factory of the Future. But the development work goes even further. After all, Bosch Rexroth is gradually extending the Smart MechatroniX ecosystem to cover other areas of application. Already lined up are The Smart Function Kit Dispensing for dispensing tasks and the Smart Flex Effector, which gives linear and folding-arm robots almost human sensitivity opening up completely new automation scenarios. The toolbox for smart mechatronics is growing, but the aim remains the same: fewer resources, greater flexibility and a minimal time to market.


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