The new freedom in automation
Statement – press conference 2022
Steffen Winkler, CSO Business Unit Automation & Electrification Solutions, Bosch Rexroth AG
“With our automation toolkit ctrlX AUTOMATION, developed on the principle of the “smartphone for industrial automation”, we took a radical step towards openness in automation back in 2020. In 2021, the leap from an open platform to an industrial ecosystem was achieved. After all, co-creation is the future – the best innovations only come about with bundled domain knowledge and solution competence. In recent months, we’ve been working hard to develop the next products and solutions.
And we’re going further still to allow even greater freedom and openness in industrial automation. In the past, our real-time-capable, Linux-based operating system was used exclusively on the control system ctrlX CORE. However, ctrlX OS is now available as a separate solution for industrial environments too. It’s hardware-independent and seamlessly connects even more automation components to the entire ctrlX AUTOMATION portfolio, including the partner solutions of the ctrlX World. Software-based functions can be developed, installed, updated and operated even more easily and flexibly across all levels of the automation topology. As confirmed by the market, we offer the very latest, most open and most secure operating system for automation technology. We’re now taking the bold step of making this operating system available to other automation component suppliers, once again demonstrating our commitment to maximum openness.
Because everything is extremely flexible in the Factory of the Future, we’ve also made a decisive leap forward when it comes to developing transport systems. With the planar system ctrlX FLOW6D, we’ve raised contactless, high-performance transport and position to the next level. The free-floating transport platforms, so-called movers, are moved on a horizontal, vertical or overhead working surface. Each mover acts in six degrees of freedom at high speed and with great precision – without any friction or pollution. Integration into ctrlX AUTOMATION results in an overall solution with a compact control system and apps to increase the range of functions.
The fact that we’re right on target with our radical openness is shown by the various awards we’ve received for our products as well as the encouragement we’ve received from the market. Nowadays, more than 600 customers around the world use ctrlX AUTOMATION and more than 60 third-party providers have joined the partner world ctrlX World. And the numbers look set to grow significantly. The partner network expands the ctrlX AUTOMATION ecosystem with hardware and, in particular, more and more new apps which can be downloaded from the ctrlX Store.
All of this encourages us to keep opening up the ctrlX AUTOMATION world for the benefit of customers and partners and to create an automation world which knows virtually no boundaries.”