Automation platform lifted to the next level with ctrlX I/O

Automation platform lifted to the next level with ctrlX I/O

Bosch Rexroth presents the next stage of its open industrial automation platform ctrlX Automation: With the launch of ctrlX I/O, the platform, which is characterized by app technology, receives additional interfaces to the field and control level. On the one hand, the I/O portfolio serves for horizontal and vertical integration, and on the other hand it represents a functional extension of the ctrlX CORE control platform. In the future, comprehensive communication and performance extensions as well as I/O modules geared towards future technologies such as 5G, TSN and AI will be available. The new integrated automation solution opens up a wide range of possibilities in terms of connectivity and networking in the increasingly digitalized industry.

ctrlX Automation overcomes the classic boundaries between machine control, IT world and the Internet of Things. With the real-time operating system Linux, consistently open standards, app programming technology, web-based engineering and a comprehensive IoT connection, ctrlX Automation reduces component and engineering effort by 30 to 50%.

ctrlX I/O as an enabler for greater flexibility and sustainability

Steffen Winkler, Sales Manager of the Business Unit Automation & Electrification Solutions at Bosch Rexroth, explains: "With ctrlX Automation we uncompromisingly rely on standardized, industry and manufacturer independent interfaces and communication standards. With the new ctrlX I/O portfolio, we will be able to offer users even greater flexibility and sustainability in the future. The more connected an automation solution is designed, the more flexible the solutions equipped with it are in practice. Connectivity is the basis for the digital factory. The potential of Industry 4.0 can only be fully exploited through communication from machine to machine, to system and to operator".

ctrlX I/O enables flexible machine topologies and seamless integration of the sensor/actuator level at the field level in a simple way. At the control level, higher-level control systems, MES and cloud solutions can be easily connected. Furthermore, ctrlX I/O is a functional extension of the ctrlX CORE control system with technology and hardware options such as memory expansions, USB and Ethernet interfaces and much more.

Nearly unlimited interface portfolio

ctrlX I/O is based on EtherCAT, which is the basis for real-time data processing. Profinet and IO-Link are also supported. This offers users a nearly unlimited portfolio of powerful and freely combinable interfaces. More than 30 communication standards such as OPC UA and MQTT ensure seamless connection to IT and IoT systems. Analog and digital inputs/outputs allow the connection of standard sensors and actuators. Small and stepper motors can be controlled directly from the I/O level via encoder interfaces and drive modules.

Machine manufacturers can freely combine modules and extensions. Apps from the software and engineering toolbox ctrlX Works, which are tailored to ctrlX I/O, map numerous technology functions.

Less engineering effort and further advantages for the smart factory

ctrlX I/O supports the principle of ctrlX Automation "more productivity, fewer components, less engineering". For developers, this means the greatest possible degree of freedom in the implementation of modular machine concepts and holds enormous potential for savings.

ctrlX I/O fits into the switching cabinet in the same compact form factor as ctrlX Core in a space-saving way and offers up to 16 I/O points on a 12 mm width. The well thought-out ergonomic mechanical design and push-in technology allow easy tool-less installation as well as quick exchange of modules through removable peripheral connectors. The clever diagnostic concept at module and channel level reduces downtimes. The robust design with protection class IP20 ensures maintenance-free and trouble-free operation in the control cabinet. The system can be flexibly expanded with performance functions.

Steffen Winkler summarizes the new development: "ctrlX I/O supports our customers in creating future-proof machine concepts. In combination with ctrlX Automation, we are thus driving forward intelligent networking within automation and setting new standards. This supports our clear growth strategy, also in new markets".