Digitalization has entered the production environment with Industry 4.0. Its central element is the factory of the future, where the shop floor is linked to the IT infrastructure. Bringing existing resources onto a connected network is essential for digitalization, and the new IoT Gateway from Bosch Rexroth delivers that connectivity seamlessly.
Connectivity without the hassle
Connectivity plays a central role in the factory of the future. Connecting machines, materials, products, and workers is a prerequisite for increasing productivity and for new services and business models.
changes to existing machine programming needed when connecting through the IoT Gateway
The aim of the I4.0 Connectivity research project was to develop a solution that also enables existing machines to be easily readied for Industry 4.0, without any engineering effort. Devised as a retrofit kit, it includes sensors that can easily be fitted to existing machines, a networking gateway and analysis software for making good use of the acquired data.
A key to success was pooling the broad scope of competencies at Bosch in order to achieve this goal. The focus of Bosch Research was on the development of software for the gateway. From colleagues at Bosch sensor engineering to automation engineering experts from Bosch Rexroth and IT specialists from Bosch Software Innovations, all partners were involved in the implementation of this overall concept. In addition, users from Bosch plants provided practical application scenarios as input and enabled the technologies to be evaluated in a real manufacturing facility.
Industry standard communication
The collaborative effort gave rise to a gateway based on modern IT technologies and an open architecture, developed in an agile process using the SCRUM method. We put together a joint team with our partner Bosch Rexroth very early on in the development phase, enabling a smooth transfer of findings into the development of the product and a rapid market launch.
The new IoT Gateway, presented to the public for the first time in 2016, is an important building block for networking machines and helps prepare factories to meet future requirements. For I4.0 research, the data obtained in this way opens up new possibilities and enables new insights into interrelationships in production.
Bosch developed the IoT Gateway to connect existing production infrastructure over networks built on open standards. The device makes it possible to bring current production elements along for the ride in an Industry 4.0 world.