In the Factory of the Future everything is connected from field level to cloud based IT systems. Automation solutions fit into this environment only with open standards. They must be easy to (re)configure and encompass predefined app-based functions. At the same time they must enable the highest degree of freedom and flexibility to adapt to the individual needs of businesses.

Communication is everything

In the Factory of the Future, it’s connectivity that counts. We already use open standards such as Multi-Ethernet and IO-Link in all drive technologies. Increasingly, the internationally accepted Open Platform Communications Unified Architecture standard is being used for cross-machine-to-machine and machine-to-IT applications. With the real-time extension, Time Sensitive Network for Open Platform Communications Unified Architecture and the new mobile radio standard 5G, all components and modules and machines will be able to exchange information with real time IT in the near future. The result: Total transparency in the Factory of the Future.

Making information visible

The interactive communication platform ActiveCockpit already captures all relevant data of a production line and processes it in real time. This means that employees on site can react immediately to deviations and initiate optimization measures. New apps continuously extend the functionality and simplify the connection to backend systems. In the future, ActiveCockpit will be the individually configurable turntable and marketplace for all communication tasks related to the manufacturing process.

Networking old with new

Existing machines will integrate into networked environments with little effort: Users can easily achieve this with the IoT Gateway software. With an embedded control system or a Box IPC, it networks machines and modules retrospectively and turns them into communication-capable IoT devices. All devices connected to IoT Gateway software in a network can be centrally managed via the Device Portal. Users will soon be able to install both functional and security updates worldwide at the same time. In the future, IoT Gateway software will preprocess large amounts of data decentrally and initiate transactions with cryptographic currencies.

IoT Gateway software

IoT Gateway software connects new and legacy machines easily and cost efficiently. It does not intervene with the automation logic of the machine controls. The transferred data helps to optimize production processes and product quality.

Now: Bosch Rexroth offers a complete ecosystem from sensor to cloud solutions according to Bosch IT security standards. The IoT Gateway software is easy to integrate thanks to OPC UA (server/ client). It can be also used with 3rd party controls.

Next: As the next step IoT Gateway software will enable users to digitally manage all connected IoT devices remotely. It will encompass scalable IoT upgrade packages for legacy machines and a Software Development Kit (SDK) for creating individual applications. In addition, security functions such as encrypted data transmission and increased protection against viruses will be available.

Beyond: In future the IoT Gateway software will be able to pre-process data and handle local analytics. Users can implement payment via cryptocurrencies like IOTA.

Software for practice

The Nexeed software solutions from Bosch simplify the monitoring and optimization of all manufacturing processes in day-to-day business – as demonstrated every day in numerous Bosch plants. They network all devices and instances from the sensor to the cloud. Nexeed Automation creates maximum transparency and the Nexeed Production Performance Manager helps employees to make the right decisions about maintenance and quality in production faster. We are currently developing further functionalities to help users improve the availability of their production equipment.

A better view with sensors

Operating conditions can be monitored with sensors that detect wear before it leads to downtime. Rexroth is already installing additional temperature and vibration sensors in the profiled rail systems with the Integrated Measuring System – Absolute value measuring system. They enable condition monitoring directly at the scene of events. A new generation of networkable sensors like Sense Connect Detect Sensor and Cross-Domain Development Kit will collect decentralized operating data and transmit it via app. Their use is extremely simple and they can be placed into operation without prior knowledge or experience. We’re showing a first application at the Hanover Fair to demonstrate to machine manufacturers and users how they can gain new data directly from the workspace. From this, they can gain fresh insight to help them optimize the production processes.

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