The world of automation is changing. This also requires completely new service concepts. Learn more about the new service world, which demands future-proof and reliable solutions throughout the entire product lifecycle in our whitepaper.
ctrlX SERVICES: Engineer easily
Both machine manufacturers and users are keen to achieve efficiency gains through automation. The trend here is for increasingly simple processes. And engineering is no exception. Solutions that support people and lighten their load are highly sought-after. This is where ctrlX AUTOMATION and its ctrlX SERVICES come into play. In keeping with the motto “Engineer easily”, the software as a service provides kits of components, for example the Software Development Kit (SDK) designed to make software development easy, a virtual control environment and digital twin and simulation solutions designed to ensure that reliable processes are achieved throughout the development stage, commissioning and operations.
The ctrlX SERVICES are a key part of Bosch Rexroth’s fully open automation platform ctrlX AUTOMATION. They support an extremely wide range of different automation processes with software, software as a service and classic service products. Various solutions are provided, specifically for engineering, which enable the type of simplicity and agility that are increasingly required to be achieved.
Software Development Kit : Creation and provision of apps made easy
- Development of apps, including for the control platform ctrlX CORE
- Quick and easy implementation of individual applications
- All necessary tools and libraries, etc. integrated
The Software Development Kit (SDK) is an integral ctrlX SERVICES tool designed to provide developers with an impressive amount of freedom. This assistance system for developers can be downloaded directly from the App Zone of the ctrlX AUTOMATION Community but, in the future, it will also be possible to download it from the GitHub development platform. It provides numerous ways of individually developing applications and making them available. As such, among other things, where necessary it enables apps to be developed for the Linux-based control platform ctrlX CORE. The latter can be freely and flexibly expanded with new functions at any time.
The scope for action is practically endless thanks to the support of numerous programming languages such as C++, Python and C# to name but a few. Developers can integrate their own in-house developed apps into the system and thus use all the available security mechanisms. The apps communicate with the system or with other apps via the ctrlX Data Layer.
In addition to tools, libraries, documentation and code samples, the SDK also includes a description of the REST API that can be used to connect new software projects. A detailed manual supports the setup of the development environment.
ctrlX COREvirtual: Virtual control environment for all types of tests
- Virtual replica of the real-life control with identical software and functionality
- Works without any hardware in a PC environment
- Tests of PLC/motion programs, communications tests and much more
ctrlX COREvirtual also functions in keeping with the motto “Engineer easily”. It supports users in the virtual control environment as it provides a virtual replica of a real-life control consisting of hardware and software. One or more virtual controls can be created very easily using a web-based approach. This enables users to err on the side of caution. As such, they can, for example, easily carry out pre-commissioning and test automation functions. ctrlX COREvirtual is often, for example, used to test PLC and motion programs. Even communication between a control and the I/O level of a system can be easily checked using the virtual replica.
As such, processes, functions and commissioning can be simulated without any control hardware whatsoever – with full functionality yet with zero risk.
Digital twins and simulations: connecting the real world with a virtual one
- Reliable processes throughout the development stage, commissioning and operations
- Optimized production processes and shorter lead times thanks to accurate prognoses
- Simpler and more efficient development of software and hardware
Digital twins and simulation models also use faithful mock-ups of reality. Bosch Rexroth also offers various different solutions here via ctrlX SERVICES. Firstly, users can create all sorts of different virtual replicas of Bosch Rexroth’s automation products. Secondly, they can use corresponding partner apps from the ctrlX World for various digital twin applications.
Digital twin applications and simulations can be used not only to visually reproduce machines or plants but also to visually better understand and optimize real procedures and processes – without having to intervene in reality. Engineering or production processes can therefore be made more efficient and reliable.
ctrlX SERVICES and their individual components therefore make the lives of developers and engineers easier in a number of different ways. Users receive support where necessary across all their automation processes, can implement individual apps easily, develop software and hardware more efficiently and achieve process reliability. As a result, they save time across workflows, benefit from faster time-to-market and achieve higher quality and increased productivity.
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