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Configuring automation solutions intuitively

Little child kneels in front of laptop and looks at the ctrlX Configurator

Why study the portfolio first? Imaginative names for the various product families, various number codes for the different products: anyone who wants to put together an individual high-performance PC or notebook needs patience and should look at the product ranges from the various component manufacturers. During online configuration, it is important to consult the documentation to find out whether the individual components such as the CPU, main board and graphics card are compatible and take into account details such as the power supply rating and cooling. Users therefore have to take their time and deal with the nomenclature of the product portfolio. Many engineers experience this problem when configuring automation solutions too. With ctrlX AUTOMATION, we have therefore used another approach: users configure their automation solutions online and intuitively with well-known designations.

End-to-end tool chain

With ctrlX AUTOMATION, our ultimate aim is to change the technology currently available and be two steps ahead. This applies not only to our hardware but also to the software and engineering. Our approach involves an end-to-end tool chain with online services for configuration, simulation and web-based engineering. The ctrlX Configurator is the start of this customer journey. It covers the first steps – for everything from the initial information and product selection to configuration, consultancy and a quotation for individual solutions. As a result, users can configure complete and consistent automation solutions themselves.

Why are we “TWO STEPS AHEAD”? Because many established online configurators are actually product selectors. At the start, users have to specify for example the drive series with which they would like to begin their configuration. The only way to find out whether the series is the right one is to look at the technical specifications in the product catalog.

The biggest drive in the smallest series or the other way around?

In order to use the ctrlX Configurator, users do not need a detailed knowledge of the Rexroth portfolio and the names of the individual products or series. They put together their topologies graphically using the manufacturer-neutral product library and connect them together. An automatic rule verification in the background checks the arrangement and shows possible connection conflicts straight away. The procedure is even quicker with the application templates for complete axes and Cartesian systems in which typical combinations are already pre-configured.

Let us go back to the PC example briefly: with its base size, the CPU decides which main boards can be used, thus restricting the choice of all other add-ons. Unfortunately, the same applies in automation too. For example, many manufacturers offer a number of drive series which overlap in terms of their performance. Should I choose the biggest drive from a smaller series or the smallest drive from a bigger series? This decision has consequences – after all, they often have different interfaces, functionalities and options. A user needs to know this in advance, otherwise they might not realize that an option is missing until the end of the configuration.

Dynamic consistency check

In contrast, ctrlX AUTOMATION selects the drive on the basis of application data such as speed and torque. All other variables such as interfaces or functionalities are identical over the entire power range. The ctrlX Configurator determines the dimensions of the drive and motor and chooses suitable components from the portfolio. The system always suggests the least expensive variant. The power supply too is automatically calculated during the axis configuration.

The user can flexibly change the topology during the project and the software will automatically adapt the components. For optionally configuring the ctrlX CORE control system, the user selects the appropriate option and then selects the desired software apps in a dialog.

The tool always shows the current configuration status in a dynamic manner and checks the consistency on a model and rule basis. For example, are the products correctly configured? Have all necessary hardware or software components been taken into account? As a result, the ctrlX Configurator can help to prevent unpleasant surprises.

Users can save their projects and open them up again at any time. They can also download directly all necessary information: the summary of the individual configuration in PDF format for individual components and the entire project takes into account the properties of all selected products. The CAD and the EPLAN data are also available for immediate download.

Time is money, and quick engineering begins with a straightforward configuration. And to return to the high-performance PC once again: It is a question of putting together the perfect solution for the application as quickly as possible and with as little research in technical documents as possible – this is exactly what the intuitive ctrlX Configurator does.

If you have any questions or require further information regarding ctrlX AUTOMATION, please contact us:

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Norbert Sasse

Game Changer
ctrlX Configurator

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New freedom in engineering

Find out how ctrlX AUTOMATION helps you to put individual solutions into operation much faster and to program functions easily and flexibly in any language.

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