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To browse the web or read the paper, for shopping and banking – for many of us, smartphones and tablets are part of our everyday lives. Apps for many of our activities and simple finger-touch commands characterize modern communication technology. Now Bosch Rexroth is integrating these digital helpers into the mechanical world: with its Open Core Engineering software portfolio, for which the company received the Hermes Award last year, and its Open Core Interface technology, manufacturers can now use mobile devices to operate, control and service their machines.

Here's how it works: Manufacturers program apps for their machines on their smartphones or tablets. Open Core Interface ensures that the machine controls directly understand and execute these application programs. One example: Glaub Automation & Engineering is using the accelerometers in tablets to program axis movements. Previously, when users wanted to move an axis they had to enter several data items: distance, end position, acceleration, top speed and braking before the end position. The new app makes this process much easier: users simply place their thumbs on two stylized fingerprints on the screen, and when they tilt the device it moves the axis. The more the tablet tilts, the more the drive accelerates. When a thumb is lifted from the fingerprint, the axis stops. Bosch Rexroth shows how closely linked the IT and automation worlds have become at their exhibition stand with a live model assembly line including five autonomous stations, The products contain a chip that stores all the manufacturing operations performed at the stations. Apps indicate the current status of the entire unit and record the condition of individual components. Necessary servicing is predicted and automatically carried out during maintenance.

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