Automated assembly lines: Enablers for the Factory of the Future
Lean manufacturing is a key factor in the Factory of the Future. In order to implement a lean production strategy, automation is playing an increasingly important role in assembly. An automated assembly line relieves staff workload, reduces unit costs and improves quality and productivity to ensure an economical relationship between effort and benefits. When it comes to automation in assembly, there are no standard solutions for all applications – individual modules which interact synergistically are needed instead.
Whether it be for the automated assembly line, stand-alone modules or subsystems that can be integrated – solutions made up of compatible modules which allow a high level of cost-effectiveness and future-proofing are required. Bosch Rexroth offers all the components for automating assembly. With ctrlX AUTOMATION, suitable hardware and software as well as services are available. At the heart of the system is a high-performance, compact control unit – which is either drive-based or can be used as an embedded controller. It is app-based and can thus be expanded scalably by adding functions, e.g. in the area of motion and robotics. Flexible interfaces and IoT integration allow the connectivity which is so essential in the Factory of the Future. Given the radical openness of the solutions from the world of ctrlX AUTOMATION and other Bosch Rexroth components, the combination options are virtually unlimited.
Modules – i.e. stand-alone machines responsible for specific processes such as end-of-line tests – have various requirements when it comes to automation. With the automation toolkit ctrlX AUTOMATION, a full range of solutions is available and these can be combined as necessary. Thanks to their scalability, the control platform ctrlX CORE and the drive system ctrlX DRIVE can work together with ctrlX I/O and ctrlX SAFETY solutions as needed. Connection options to higher-level systems and third-party controllers increase flexibility. With additional apps in categories such as HMI, mechatronics, sense & vision and many others, individual requirements can be met quickly and easily.
Subsystems are intelligent electromechanical solutions that usually cater for a specific process. Given its compact design, it is advisable to use the control system ctrlX CORE in ctrlX DRIVE as one unit. The web technology offers intelligent concepts which make commissioning, servicing and diagnostics as well as operating the mechatronic system easier. Thanks to individually developed apps, manufacturers can also integrate their own process know-how and make it available throughout the world via the ctrlX Store. As an extended digital service, fleet management can be carried out remotely via the ctrlX Device Portal – simple software deployment, data backup and maintenance or remote maintenance for service purposes are also possible in this way.
Example configurations for assembly line applications:
Complete assembly line
which includes handling, transport, joining and end-of-line test stations
into which process functions such as joining, pressing, screwing, clamping and feeding can be integrated