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A perfect match for the printing industry

Printing machines nowadays need to be versatile. Increasing individuality and packaging printing jobs with small print runs require quick changeover times and format changes if they are to be carried out profitably. At the same time, high precision and productivity must be guaranteed. On top of this, there is the increasing need for connectivity. Data need to be shared with other machine modules and higher-level systems. All of the problems surrounding the automation tasks to be performed by the printing and packaging machines can be solved individually with the MLC solution and the ctrlX DRIVE system from Bosch Rexroth.

Nowadays, suppliers of printing and packaging machines require maximum freedom in order to achieve integrated, modern machine automation. This includes maximum flexibility in all motion applications thanks to innovative software and firmware functions, simple engineering and open system interfaces. Through the combination of motion, robot and logic control as a flexible control platform, users are able to synchronize multi-axis applications particularly easily – in a freely scalable manner with a range of technology functions for central or decentralized solutions.

As a technological leader for motion control applications in printing machines, Bosch Rexroth makes it particularly easy to meet these requirements with the MLC solution. MLC is the most efficient motion control system available on the market with up to 192 axes. The solution features a comprehensive library module and offers technology functions which cover all printing requirements. These functions can be used for winder calculator and control, electronic gear synchronization with fine adjustment and much more. In addition, the tension control system which is easy to set ensures stable running in all zones of the entire machine.

Motion control with a suitable drive

Thanks to the wide range of servo drives, machine manufacturers can select exactly the right product to meet their needs – from a small drive with a constant 150 watt output over the entire power range to systems with up to 4 MW. The control units are centrally or decentrally grouped in machine modules within the control cabinet. Optionally, they can also be integrated into a machine without a control cabinet and require minimum space. By combining these systems according to requirements, every customer can achieve their optimum drive concept.

For example, the new ctrlX DRIVE controller, the most compact modular drive system currently available, can interact perfectly with the MLC motion control system. Users use the AxisInterface from the function block module as a proven and standardized interface for controlling all axes. With this convenient method, the high-precision synchronization of the highly complex multi-axis system for the printing machine can be set up very easily. Bosch Rexroth MS2N servo motors are the perfect team player in the ctrlX DRIVE portfolio. With compact dimensions, they combine highest dynamics with maximum precision of position, rotary speed and torque values. MS2N motors have a single-cable connection. This allows them to be connected to the controller’s digital encoder interface quickly and easily and identified immediately with their electronic nameplate. The motor properties are automatically carried over to the controller parameters without the user having to do anything. This ensures quick availability during commissioning, when reconfiguring the system or in the event of servicing. As a result, the servo motors of the ctrlX AUTOMATION platform are particularly suitable for printing processes owing to their high speed stability. Together with high-precision position encoders, they ensure maximum precision in applications.

These are merely examples of how Bosch Rexroth components can be combined to create ideal control and drive solutions for all types of printing machines and further processing plants.

Future-proof and secure thanks to IoT extensions and security

In addition, users can achieve security connectivity and IoT integration with ctrlX AUTOMATION platform solutions. The automation platform comprising software and hardware solutions has a Linux real-time operating system, completely open standards such as OPC UA, app technology for programming, web-based engineering and comprehensive IoT connectivity.

The unrestricted openness of the system as regards the standards and interfaces used and the integration of hardware and software makes it possible to put together a solution to meet specific needs using components from the Bosch Rexroth portfolio. It also allows existing systems to be gradually expanded or components to be replaced.

The aim is always to provide solutions which allow users to react flexibly and quickly to the constantly changing market requirements. Thanks to the numerous combination options, they can make their architectures stable, as modern as possible and future-proof. Thanks to the openness of the platform, migration to new solutions with ctrlX AUTOMATION can be achieved individually and easily.

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Portrait view of Andreas Gryglewski, Game Changer Consumer Goods & Handling

Andreas Gryglewski

Game Changer
Consumer Goods & Handling



The future of industrial automation

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