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While expertise in hydraulic control technology was previously largely hardware-centric, Bosch Rexroth, the specialist for drive and control technology from Lohr am Main, is now making it available via apps. With H4U, hydraulic functions can now be easily implemented within the ctrlX AUTOMATION modular automation system - completely independently of the hardware.

Part of a consistently open ecosystem

With the H4U apps, hydraulic functions can now be flexibly designed and integrated directly into existing automation environments, for example in the ctrlX CORE compact controller, which in turn is part of the modular automation system with which Bosch Rexroth has been demonstrating the principle of app technology since 2019. As a fully open ecosystem, this modular system provides all the hardware and software components for complete automation solutions and features the ctrlX World partner world, into which third-party providers can integrate their solutions.

Industrial hydraulics as part of the smart factory

Steffen Winkler, Sales Director of the Automation & Electrification Solutions business unit at Bosch Rexroth, explains: "With its consistent hardware independence, H4U is also following Bosch Rexroth's path towards openness. This is an important and logical step, as software and connectivity are the drivers of the smart factory." Guido Hettwer, Head of the Industrial Hydraulics business unit at Bosch Rexroth, adds: "Bosch Rexroth is taking industrial hydraulics to the next level and transferring hardware-bound hydraulic functions into hardware-independent software modules. These integrate seamlessly into new and existing automation architectures. Hydraulic components already have a very high level of efficiency. However, there is still potential in the architecture and control technology of the hydraulic system, both for saving energy and reducing CO2 emissions as well as for increasing productivity. This is where our apps come into play."

Increasing productivity and sustainability in hydraulics

According to the manufacturer, H4U raises the success factors of usability, sustainability and performance for machine and system manufacturers and end users to a new level. Among other things, the solution provides functions that contribute to energy savings. Bosch Rexroth cites the hydraulic control of the pressure and volume flow (p/Q) as an example. In a press application with a multi-axis system, energy savings of 30 percent were achieved. The degree of saving depends on the load cycle and application conditions. With H4U, hydraulic systems can be tuned to be energy-efficient in advance. In addition, H4U enables increased flexibility, for example when converting production systems to meet changing customer requirements. It is no longer necessary to adapt the hardware in the automation environment.