Smart Machines & Factories
Helping engineers become connected
Published:  28 November, 2018

Bosch Rexroth has launched the CPS i4.0 training system as part of its commitment to help engineers prepare for the connected future. Smart Machines & Factories reports.

The latest addition to the company’s training offering, the new Cyber Physical System (CPS) i4.0 is designed for production-related work and IT tasks, aimed at technical personnel and managers in both commercial and educational organisations. Combining hardware and software, it creates a networkable cube assembly system to teach skills including programming movement sequences in standard languages, component-led production via RFID, and connecting production data with ERP and MES systems.

This comes at a time when the Internet of Things is rapidly changing the way the world works, especially in production facilities. Mass-produced microcontrollers, for example, are being increasingly used. Low cost, intuitive and programmable using the C-family of standard languages, they can be quickly networked and automated by personnel with the right training – and CPS i4.0 covers this throughout the engineering chain.

The system itself comprises a workbench with components for transporting the cubes, identifying their properties, and storing and transmitting data. Incorporating a conveyor belt, pneumatic actuators, and an wide array of sensors, its intelligence comes from its Bosch Rexroth universal XDK microcontroller. Acting as the development platform, this transmits programming and sensor data over WLAN, with trainees working directly with up to twelve sensors – such as accelerometers – and four actuators. All hardware and software used is industry standard so what you find on the rig is the same equipment as the shop floor.

Dave Stirling, technical training manager, at Bosch Rexroth, said: “Experts across the world agree that the age of Industry 4.0 is upon us, and it will fundamentally change how we all work. So, it’s never been more vital to be ready for it, and CPS i4.0 is another way we’re helping to make this happen, ensuring engineering and manufacturing businesses can future-proof not just their machines, but their people too.”

CPS i4.0 uses Bosch Rexroth’s IoT gateway to process data locally and network with higher-level systems – including uploading data to the internet, to be accessed with a browser, making it easier and more convenient for trainees to get started.

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