Digitalized processes, increasing customization, short lead times and further requirements are changing how engineers work in industries such as mechanical engineering. As such, they need tools that can support them in carrying out their daily tasks, some of which are completely new to them. Bosch Rexroth is therefore gradually expanding its ctrlX AUTOMATION platform and related ecosystem with apps for modern engineering. These help, for example, to speed up the engineering process as software development is accounting for an increasingly large proportion of the time involved in mechanical engineering.
“We have created an ecosystem for our automation platform whereby not only do we provide solutions but our partners can also provide their own solutions. This ensures that users have an increasingly large number of apps to choose from which they can easily download. One of the aims of our product range is to help make engineering tasks easier”, says Hans Michael Krause, Head of Product Management ctrlX World at Bosch Rexroth.
One of Bosch Rexroth’s engineering partners is the CODESYS Group, which is known for its CODESYS automation suite and the related product portfolio. Together with Bosch Rexroth, the software manufacturer provides automation specialists across different industries with a comprehensive, open solution for programming PLCs based on IEC 61131-3.
In addition to their existing technology partnership, Bosch Rexroth and the CODESYS Group are now also ramping up cooperation with regard to applications. As such, CODESYS as a product partner now provides a range of apps in the ctrlX World, the ctrlX AUTOMATION platform’s ecosystem. This means that users now have useful additional functions at their disposal. The range of apps includes, for example, comprehensive libraries for communication in the IIoT and for motion control, modern visualization solutions, and tools for the professional development of control applications.
“Bosch Rexroth has been deploying our CODESYS IEC-61131-3 automation platform since 2003 – in thousands of applications all around the world. This also now applies for ctrlX AUTOMATION. Users of the automation platform can use our standard automation software to develop their applications and hence simplify and speed up their work using numerous CODESYS additional components”, says Dieter Hess, CEO of the CODESYS Group.
What’s more, Cordis Products B.V. also helps ctrlX AUTOMATION users with the engineering process through low-code software development. The Cordis SUITE solution can be seamlessly integrated into ctrlX AUTOMATION. During the development process, the software enables users to focus solely on the machine’s behavior rather than having to concentrate on implementing the control program. The latter is automatically generated, imported into the control project, compiled and downloaded to the PLC. The Cordis SUITE low-code platform is available as engineering software for ctrlX AUTOMATION in the ctrlX Store.
“Low-code software development opens up a whole new world in industrial automation. The development process is three to five times faster and provides an error-free code. As an example, when machines’ operating data are collected and stored, every variable, every parameter and every status created in the UML module is automatically made available to the outside world at the press of a button. The low-code model also automatically generates structured data and therefore unlocks big data”, says Benno Beuting, Managing Director of Cordis Products B.V.
SELMO Technology GmbH has also joined the ctrlX World. The company has developed the SELMOstudio engineering tool. This is a modeling tool for a digital process model which generates an executable model directly in a PLC program and the HMI. As a PLC program, the model controls and monitors the machine. SELMOstudio is available as engineering software in the ctrlX Store.
“In order to launch our new technology on the market, it was important for us to join the ctrlX AUTOMATION ecosystem. The kit of components available in relation to Bosch Rexroth’s automation platform covers everything you could need for engineering in the digital world. Together, we are meeting industry’s need for stable and fail-safe systems that are easy to operate and maintain”, explains Reinhard Haslauer, Business Development Manager at SELMO Technology GmbH.