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More drive for additive manufacturing

Additive manufacturing (AM) with its traditional area of application, prototype and tool making, is currently on the threshold of mass production. Innovative automation solutions are needed to make this leap, as deficits in process stability, for example, make the use of AM machines in series production unprofitable. With high-performance and highly connective automation solutions, these machines will become sufficiently fast, intelligent and process-reliable for series production. Bosch Rexroth customers can, for example, use the proven MTX, which is considered the most powerful CNC system solution on the market, in combination with disruptive solutions from the ctrlX AUTOMATION portfolio such as ctrlX DRIVE.

Additive manufacturing processes have become particularly popular in areas where small quantities, a high degree of individualization or a very complex geometry are required. However, the market is witnessing a growing number of additive manufacturing applications in mass production.

To achieve this, machine builders must minimize the previously high manual workload, the reject rate, and the time and effort required for quality inspection and successfully integrate the machines into the production line.

Most powerful CNC solution for additive manufacturing of the future

With the MTX CNC system from Bosch Rexroth, machine manufacturers have got the entire additive manufacturing process covered: from the import of CAD data to simulation and the actual printing process. The system includes a control scalable in both performance and function and offers the shortest cycle times of 0.25 ms in its most powerful version. This speeds up the printing process considerably. At the same time, it collects process data in real time and uses it to optimize the process flow. The strong computing power ensures highly dynamic, coordinated movements and overall process monitoring. The CNC solution is therefore characterized by very short cycle times and high machining qualities.

The CNC system MTX is the ideal solution for mastering the additive manufacturing tasks of the future. Its architecture is open throughout and ensures seamless communication with higher-level systems. It has standardized interfaces such as Sercos, PROFINET and OPC UA, which makes it easy to adapt to different hardware and software environments. End users can employ these open standards to integrate automated machine tools, for example, into heterogeneous IoT environments without additional effort. In addition, users can easily implement further IT applications.

Engineering can consistently be carried out via the central engineering software IndraWorks for project planning, parameterizing and testing CNC, PLC and HMI. Using a digital twin of the MTX and integrated software tools, several hundred machine tool types can be commissioned virtually and automatically.

Future-proof in combination with disruptive ctrlX AUTOMATION solutions

In addition to the actual control system with the respective software, Bosch Rexroth offers a wide range of servo drives with decentralized intelligence, highly dynamic rotative servo and linear motors as well as linear guides with an integrated absolute value measuring system. The MTX CNC system works perfectly with members of the ctrlX AUTOMATION family, such as with the world’s most compact modular drive system ctrlX DRIVE. In addition to space-saving dimensions, maximum scalability and energy efficiency, the user benefits from almost unlimited combination options.

The servo motors from the ctrlX DRIVE range combine compact dimensions and maximum dynamism with maximum accuracy in position, speed and torque values: all the best prerequisites for additive manufacturing. The user benefits from very simple installation, performance reliability and more compact machines.

The combination of the CNC system MTX with a ctrlX AUTOMATION family member, ctrlX CORE, is also well-suited for the increasingly important communication with the IoT world. The high-performance and communication-capable control platform meets the latest standards of automation technology. The control system supports more than 30 IT and PLC IoT standards, for example OPC UA as server and client as well as the widely used MQTT protocol. In connected environments, the Ethernet interface controls the data-intensive exchange of information with higher-level IT systems, HMI devices and cloud-based applications.

With ctrlX CORE, additive manufacturing market participants can also solve another key requirement: IoT security. This is because the system is secure by design and thus meets the highest IT/IoT security standards. It offers increased protection against viruses and Trojans. An integrated firewall enables the encrypted transmission of data via VPN as well as secure remote services.

At the same time, users are setting themselves up for the future by combining the ctrlX AUTOMATION components, as the migration to new solutions is possible at any time thanks to the openness of the automation platform. In addition, Bosch Rexroth’s numerous combination options and consistently open architectures provide the flexibility that market participants urgently need to remain competitive in an industry as dynamic as additive manufacturing.

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Portrait view of Peter Berens, Game Changer Manufacturing

Peter Berens

Game Changer



The future of industrial automation

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