Information integration for machines ties PLCs with mobile devices, higher-level systems
Bosch Rexroth, won the 2013 Hermes Award at Hannover Messe, for its Open Core Engineering project, which integrates PLC and information technology for industrial applications. This was the first time that the award has been given to a software development.
Open Core Engineering was developed to allow greater flexibility and efficiency in the automation process, by enabling remote maintenance and operation through smart devices and apps, combining advanced industrial algorithms with everyday hand-held devices.
Commenting on the award committees’ decision, Dr. Jochen Köckler, member of the managing board at Deutsche Messe AG, said: “This solution makes a major contribution to integrated industry and will accelerate the trend towards networked industrial production.”
During a press event at Hannover Messe, Dr. Karl Tragl, chairman of the executive board of Bosch Rexroth, commented on the award-winning solution. He said: “Connecting all production processes is becoming increasingly important. Until now, the direction and the speed of this have been dictated mainly by IT experts and end users. But, from our perspective, machinery manufacturers with their process and engineering expertise should be the ones in the driver’s seat.
“Bosch Rexroth has always seen itself as a pioneer for an open automation world. For that reason, we are now turning to complete openness and taking entirely new paths. Effective immediately, we are opening our control core and closing the gap between the different programming languages. Via a new interface from Bosch Rexroth, engineers and software developers are now able to access the control kernel using nearly any high-level language in the IT world and to program new machine functions.
“This allows our customers to easily integrate superordinate systems into the machine based on classic IT technologies. They have a wide range of possibilities for independently implementing new features through software programs and to seamlessly integrate mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. For example, they can write their own smartphone apps that directly access the control unit. That is the future of automation. And it is the way machinery manufacturers stand out from the competition with innovative ideas.”
– Suzanne Gill is editor of Control Engineering Europe; this article appeared on www.controlengeurope.com on April 17, 2013, and was edited for CFE Media by Mark T. Hoske, content manager, Control Engineering, and Plant Engineering, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Article from Control Engineering Europe: Award-winning integration solution puts machinery manufacturers in the driving seat