Dr. Steffen Haack, member of the executive board responsible for the Industrial Applications business unit and coordinating the sales organization of Bosch Rexroth AG
Industry 4.0 will not only trigger innovations in production technologies – the automation industry itself will also undergo fundamental changes. But at the same time, it will be difficult for many players in the automation industry to part with approaches to which they have become accustomed. Again and again, I encounter the wishful thinking from those with whom I speak, proposing to “go it alone” in Industry 4.0, being the first, staying ahead. On the other hand, there are areas into which news about the exciting potential of Industry 4.0 has not yet reached.
Here, Bosch Rexroth has taken a decidedly different course. Together with partners from the world of IT, we are systematically sounding out the potential of Industry 4.0 and broadening our experience with a variety of small steps. This in turn influences new drive and control solutions, especially in the development of interfaces with the IT world.
From our perspective – and we hope, that of the broader automation industry, much of the path forward has already been successfully laid: For Industry 4.0, Bosch Rexroth offers a comprehensive portfolio of intelligent and open solutions, from intelligent drive technology and highly functional and high-performance control technology, all the way to a wide software portfolio for engineering.
But if many automation tasks have already been accomplished, why is Industry 4.0 implementation lagging so far behind in factories and production halls? The answer: The gap between the worlds of Industry and IT is not yet closed. In order to speed up implementation in this area, Bosch Rexroth is collaborating with numerous companies from the world of IT. In many cases, the aim is to link existing knowledge with available solutions based on open IT standards.
At the Bosch Rexroth trade fair booth, Dassault Systèmes, MathWorks, National Instruments, and Oracle IT companies, as well as the Eclipse Foundation, are presenting just such connections for PLC IPC drives. Thanks to Rexroth Open Core Engineering, they are connecting their solutions through various tools, languages, and platforms, using Bosch Rexroth’s automation portfolio to form a homogeneous, comprehensive solution. In the process, these partners are able to transfer their knowledge and expertise to the machine world in terms of simulation, process, and company software. It demonstrates how machine manufacturers enable this evolutionary bridge building between PLC automation and IT-based solutions as collaboration proceeds, leveraging the value of intelligent integration to make Industry 4.0 a working reality for the world of automation.