More openness and freedom in automation 


More openness and freedom in automation is the motto for the new developments in the world of ctrlX AUTOMATION. Bosch Rexroth has now opened up its Linux operating system, which was used exclusively on the control system ctrlX CORE for third-party providers. 

As a result of Bosch Rexroth’s move to open up its operating system, other automation component providers can also use ctrlX OS. This is the basis for collaboration between major players in the sector. 

The automation toolkit ctrlX AUTOMATION is a fully open overall system comprising hardware and software and the partner network ctrlX World. It provides all components needed for complete automation solutions. ctrlX AUTOMATION works with modern app technology and stands out with its openness and simplicity.

The easily combinable hardware and interplay with third-party software mean that modular and scalable solutions can meet all automation requirements. If the demands on the part of manufacturers and users regarding performance, speed and agility should grow, they can adapt their automation solutions at any time simply by installing apps and they can tailor them accordingly. This helps them cope with increasingly complex connectivity and digitalisation tasks without having to build up their know-how or put additional resources in place.

Programming can take place on the control system ctrlX CORE in an integrated development environment. With a full choice of programming languages such as Blockly, Python, IEC 61131, PLCopen or C/C#, functions can be created as apps and combined freely. These properties are crucial given the acute lack of specialist staff at the moment.


Available for third parties 

“We’d like to offer the users of automation solutions maximum freedom whilst relieving some of the burden from them. This means we’d like to free them from lock-in effects and stand-alone solutions. Our developments, therefore, aim to open up solutions as far as possible and allow connectivity and compatibility,” explained Steffen Winkler, Vice President of Sales, Business Unit Automation & Electrification Solutions at Bosch Rexroth. “We’ve recently taken the bold step of making our operating system available to other automation component suppliers. With ctrlX OS, it is now possible to take advantage of the benefits of our operating system for any automation topology. These benefits include Linux, security, its real-time capability, its microservice-based architecture and many others.“

The real-time-capable, Linux-based operating system, which was used exclusively on the control system ctrlX CORE, is now available as a separate solution for industrial environments. ctrlX OS is hardware-independent and thus connects even more automation components seamlessly to the entire ctrlX AUTOMATION portfolio, including the partner solutions from ctrlX World. It can also be operated with a virtual control system on hypervisor platforms, in the data centre, on edge servers or in the cloud. Software-based functions can be developed, installed, updated and operated even more easily and flexibly across all levels of the automation topology.


Modern automation is joint work 

Bosch Rexroth is also encouraging collaboration with ctrlX World partners. The partners expand the automation toolbox with hardware and, in particular, more new apps which can be downloaded from the ctrlX Store. There are already more than 60 partners, and 50 apps are available in the ctrlX Store, and at the recent SPS 2022 show, several partners showed how virtually unlimited automation works.


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