Dr Steffen Haack, the Senior Vice President for Sales at the Factory Automation industry sector of Bosch Rexroth, explains how machine building companies can reduce time-to-market by accelerating engineering processes.
Machine manufacturers are faced with increasing time pressure. Users are making short-term investments and it is more important than ever for machine manufacturers to come up with new machine concepts ahead of the competition. The majority of the time involved in manufacturing machinery is often dedicated to engineering activities - the entire process from project planning and construction to programming and start-up. Simplifying and accelerating engineering processes gives machine manufacturers a decisive competitive advantage as a result of shorter time-to-market.
Efficient engineering calls for a standardised automation approach across all technological borders. The increasing electrification of drive technology lays the foundation for shifting engineering tools and functions to software programs. In doing this, Rexroth has been able to integrate all drive solutions seamlessly into the automation process. Using hardware that is largely similar enables machine manufacturers to realise customised versions for their customers even faster than before.
And there is more: predefined features for electric and hydraulic motion profiles free up machine manufacturers from time-intensive programming activities. The IndraMotion MLC system solution, for example, shortens engineering processes for complex electric and hydraulic controls. The pre-programmed software takes all of the particularities involved in fluid technology into account. All the user needs to do is set the parameters for the movements. The first machine manufacturers to use IndraMotion MLC said they were able to cut engineering activities for their machines in half.
Intelligent software tools open up possible savings when it comes to electric drive technologies as well. One software tool by Rexroth reduces the work involved in starting up handling axes to entering few data. The tool independently accesses whatever other electric and mechanical data is required. The result: starting up these axes only takes three minutes instead of the up to 90 minutes it used to take. By increasing productivity like this, Rexroth makes it possible for machine manufacturers to manage a shorter time-to-market, giving them a decisive competitive advantage.
Bosch Rexroth will be demonstrating may of the principles and products mentioned above at the 2012 Hannover Messe. Or to find out more, go to www.boschrexroth.com.