The open ctrlX AUTOMATION platform is now an industrial ecosystem.
Since it was launched, the solution has evolved from an open automation platform into an industrial ecosystem. The partner network is growing all the time, adding hardware to the ctrlX AUTOMATION ecosystem and an increasing number of apps that are available for download from the ctrlX Store.
ctrlX CORE was designed to be an open system, using open-source Linux as an operating system and moving away from proprietary hardware requirements. This design feature makes it very easy to expand hardware functions and capabilities based on market feedback and customer requirements. Throughout 2022, Bosch says it will continue hardware performance expansion and introduce its own ctrlX IO portfolio.
ctrlX WORKS makes it easy to create, provide, and use functions. In addition to simplicity, the priority here is the rigorous use of web technology. With ctrlX WORKS, engineering can be carried out on ctrlX CORE using a web browser. A comprehensive portfolio of libraries and components for typical automation applications is also available.
In 2021, a wide range of functions for even more efficient engineering processes were added. For example, ctrlX CORE can now handle Docker images too. With the Software Development Kit (SDK), which is available to all developers on GitHub, users can now develop their own apps even more easily.
A development environment for Python and Google Blockly which is integrated into ctrlX CORE is another highlight. As a result, users can now carry out development directly on the ctrlX CORE hardware.
When it comes to automating engineering processes, ctrlX WORKS offers a simple, clearly structured script interface, the Automation Interface. Recurrent engineering processes can be automated using simple scripts. This reduces the work involved by 80 to 90%.“With the improvements made to ctrlX WORKS, we have once again reduced the engineering outlay, significantly increased the possibilities for users, and raised virtual engineering to a new level.” — Steffen Winkler
To ensure that users can solve their automation problems in the best way possible, Bosch Rexroth paid particular attention to accompanying services in 2021. With ctrlX SERVICES, which was introduced last year and is being gradually expanded, users are offered support over the entire product lifecycle.
This year, the focus was on the ctrlX Store that was unveiled recently; Users can download numerous apps from Bosch Rexroth and third-party providers. The ctrlX Store offers online access to all available apps and libraries for creating applications.
The ctrlX AUTOMATION ecosystem—and the scope of functions—can be expanded easily by downloading additional apps or integrating partner applications.
The ctrlX Store provides customers with a self-serve option for downloading and purchasing apps for ctrlX CORE. Many of these systems are working manually now and by the end of the year, Bosch says its back-end systems will be fully automated to allow customers to implement desired features on their own.
Bosch Rexroth offers the ctrlX Device Portal for launching new software functions, centrally managing and maintaining device settings or remote maintenance. The solution allows a complete service—from remote maintenance and backup/restore to the private software repository.