Plant tour: Behind the scenes at Bosch Rexroth
Plant tours, business prospects, and R&D spending were highlights of Bosch Rexroth’s recent 2nd Global Technology Summit, which catered to some 80 technical editors and analysts from around the world. Topics included industrial and mobile hydraulics, electric drives and controls, pneumatics, linear motion systems, and semiconductor manufacturing.
Plant tours, business prospects, and R&D spending were highlights of Bosch Rexroth’s recent 2nd Global Technology Summit, which catered to some 80 technical editors and analysts from around the world. Topics included industrial and mobile hydraulics, electric drives and controls, pneumatics, linear motion systems, and semiconductor manufacturing. Speakers advised: Seek complete systems, robust controls, and energy efficiency; use standards; strive for innovations; and invest in R&D. Plant tours demonstrated the concepts.
Optimizing work flow and manufacturing space has been a focus of a modernization program at Bosch Rexroth’s mobile hydraulics plant for manufacturing axial pumps in Elchingen (close to Ulm). Transition to a “pull system” (or kanban) for the flow of parts is now being implemented. A SAP system has overall control of plant activities.
“Desk-top factory” technology at Waiblingen demonstrated automated techniques to optimize manufacturing spaces and production costs for automotive control products. Space reduction of 30% is not unusual. Intelligent desk-top factory design also promises to cut time to develop, install, and make production line changes.
Systematic development of innovations, need for delivering complete systems, and importance of applying global standards were themes from Manfred Grundke, chairman of the executive board of Bosch Rexroth AG, at the event. Grundke was upbeat about business prospects.
R&D, raising component and system energy-efficiency, improving product power density, and lowering noise/particle emissions via electrohydraulic diagnostic condition monitoring are among technology trends receiving full attention at Bosch Rexroth, says Reiner Leipold-Büttner, member of the executive board responsible for engineering and manufacturing. He referred to the company as a “partner throughout the complete lifecycle of customer projects.”
Electrohydraulic flow matching (EFM) enables faster pump/control valve response time, more robust flow control, and energy-efficiency, according to Bruno Hartmann, vice president of sales International Mobile Hydraulics. These characteristics are some of the market drivers, adding ruggedness for the off-road sector of hydraulics, which he clearly differentiated from industrial applications typically associated with factory automation.
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