How to Profit from Strong Technology Partnerships: The Kontron COM Express® in Practice

Drive and control units are essential for machine and system construction and scalable, flexible multi-technology machines are on the rise in many sectors. One of the world’s leading suppliers of drive and control technologies is Bosch Rexroth. The company develops innovative concepts for machine and system builders and installs its solutions around the world. This success in product development is not possible without strong partnerships and an intensive know how exchange between different teams. Today’s blog is all about a very successful cooperation between Bosch Rexroth and Kontron. Bosch Rexroth has already used the first COM Express generation developed by Kontron in a very wide range of devices and today, embedded technologies from Kontron form the computer core of the new PLC controller in Bosch Rexroth’s Indra Motion MTX multi-technology machine.

 


At the beginning of the development process, the Bosch specialists were searching for compact and highly integrated computers with a standardized form factor which make it possible to integrate the most powerful CPU available at the time into the IndraControl L85 controller so that the machine steering axes can be operated in real-time and therefore significantly optimize process chains. This aspired baseboard design has of course many advantages of a custom, computer-board design but delivers better obsolescence protection, greatly reduced engineering effort, and faster time to market. And by using dual-core technology it is also possible to decouple from PLC-controlled workflows and to regulate the highly dynamic motion control. This freedom from feedback with regard to the tasks running in parallel increases the overall required performance of the IndraControl L85 control hardware, which Rexroth uses in the CNC IndraMotion MTX advanced system solution. And also the users profit from the new system design as all Indra Motion MTX commissioning, programming and operation are now extremely simple, which makes it significantly easier to work with the multi-technology machine.

 

Modular and powerful: What the COM Express® is all about

Each of Kontron’s COM Express® modules is based on the COM Express specification. This standardization allows designers to create a single-system baseboard that can accept present and future COM Express® modules. Furthermore, the baseboard designer can optimize exactly how each of these functions implements physically. They can place connectors precisely where needed for the application on a baseboard designed to optimally fit a system’s packaging. A single baseboard design can use a range of COM Express modules with different size and pin-out. This flexibility can differentiate products at various price/performance points, or to design future proof systems that have a built-in upgrade path. The modularity of a COM Express solution also ensures against obsolescence as computer technology evolves, because a properly designed COM Express baseboard can work with several successive generations of COM Express® modules.

 

No multi-technology without intelligent components

The Indra Motion MTX from Bosch Rexroth is a multi-technology machine that covers a broad range of applications and a jack-of-all-trades when it comes to functionality. Because of the open system platform, Indra Motion MTX advanced is ideal for OEM developments, resulting in broad and individual uses in a wide range of sectors. Users can lathe, mill, grind, cut and serrate with the machine, and can also punch and nibble. The unit can be used in combination with various base materials and is also suitable for machining wood and glass. The individually scalable CNC platform offers a wealth of innovative CNC functions as well as extremely short PLC and CNC cycle times to control up to 250 axes.

The IndraControl L85

Numerous innovative tools additionally ensure that tact times and energy consumption are optimized. In addition to integrated safety techniques and interfaces for Ethernet communication, the product’s base technology also includes an intelligent drive technology as multi-core support from a CNC core. Kontron’s COMe is an essential core element in Bosch Rexroth’s multi-talented Indra Motion MTX. In addition to the COMe cPC2 model already in use, Kontron is meanwhile also offering new generations of its COMe modules that can easily be added as an upgrade to already installed machines or installed into the new device series from Bosch Rexroth.

 

Lower risks, while saving time and budget

This use case shows the multifaceted way in which customers can profit from strong technology partnerships and computers with a standardized form factor. Looking ahead, Kontron customers like Bosch Rexroth can continue to expect modern, sustainable, and energy efficient solutions that meet their requirements and that are scalable for adjustment to growing needs and future innovations while concentrating on their core competencies.

If you want to learn more about how multi-technology goes embedded, you can download the whole application story under http://www.kontron.com/as-bosch-rexroth. For more information on the COM Express modules, please visit: http://www.kontron.com/products/boards-and-standard-form-factors/com-express.

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