Experts have long been convinced that electrification will revolutionize the use of mobile machines. The far more exciting question is at what point in time the topic will really gain momentum in terms of implementation. For us, this step has long since begun. We’re fully committed to the opportunities it opens up for manufacturers and users of mobile machinery.
Many of our partners are already working on concrete solutions for future-proof mobile machines. An example of this is one of Kalmar Cargotec’s projects: In cooperation with the expert for freight loading solutions, we’re working together on fully electric versions of its reachstacker and heavy forklift solutions. "We firmly believe that electricity is the power source of the future and have committed to making our full portfolio available as electrically powered by 2021. With this collaboration, we’ll be able to provide our customers with one of the most efficient solutions on the market for electric heavy vehicles with the help of Bosch Rexroth’s world-leading knowledge in hydraulic, electric and gearbox technology", says Seppo Heino, Vice President Counterbalanced Container Handling at Kalmar.
New concepts for heavy forklift solutions
Stefan Hultqvist, Vice President Forklift Trucks at Kalmar, agrees: "With the advances in battery and driveline technologies, electricity is now a viable option for heavier and more challenging forklift applications. Through the collaboration with Bosch Rexroth, our goal is to bring to market a heavy forklift solution that will help our customers hit their productivity targets in an environmentally friendly way.”
Image: Kalmar, part of Cargotec
New components for electrification
This is made possible thanks to our portfolio for electrification, which ranges from motors and inverters, hydraulic pumps and gearboxes, to software and system solutions. Our 700V electrification allows maximum design freedom for the electrification of existing and new vehicle architectures. The configurable motor portfolio, which consists of motor variants of different diameters, lengths and winding configurations, covers a power range up to 250kW. The associated power electronics meet the functional safety requirements according to ISO 13849.
Developing future-proof machines together
In addition, we’re engaged with the storage technologies available on the market that simplify integration into the overall system. Matthias Kielbassa, Project Director for the Electrification of Mobile Machines at Bosch Rexroth, is optimistic about the future: "We’re continually expanding our portfolio to include solutions for electrified mobile machinery and are working very closely with manufacturers such as Kalmar to enable them to enhance their market position in mobile machines in a way that is fit for the future. For Matthias Kielbassa, this also means that “we work in partnership with our customers to find the best solution for their individual applications – whether for diesel-hydraulic, partially electric or fully electric models."
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There’s no doubt that investment in Industry 4.0 will lead to a simpler and more efficient world. In order for a production process to become digitalized and technologically advanced, businesses must first seek credible solutions from experienced partners.
Building a future-ready business is vital to STILL, a major force in the field of integrated logistics. Which is why they looked to us to help modernize the manual workstations of the new assembly line at their production facility in Luzzara, Italy.
Founded on innovation
STILL offer a wide range of products for differing operational needs: from counterbalanced electric and diesel trucks to hand pallet trucks, tractors and complex three-way trucks for warehouses.
“We’ve always been innovators”, explains Loreno Leri, Head of Marketing at STILL Italia. “In 1945, we launched the EK 2000, a revolutionary electric pallet truck and from that moment STILL has been looking for innovative technologies, such as hybrid propulsion, a technology that only recently started to catch on in the automotive industry. Our commitment to the development of new, sustainable solutions is one of the founding pillars that made ‘Mission Zero Emission’ our motto.”
The business has been developing Industry 4.0 focused solutions for many years on projects ranging from complex warehouse trucks to warehouse software, horizontal logistics solutions and automation.
This commitment to innovation drew them to us when they decided to renovate the manual workstations of their new assembly line. STILL particularly liked the fact that our solutions have the potential to significantly reduce cycle times.
The intelligent solution
Our ActiveAssist acts like a personal assistant to assembly operators. Sensors, touchscreens, cameras and projectors help to guide employees through the various assembly phases.
This has multiple benefits, both for STILL and its employees:
Reliability is increased, enabling the workforce to deliver a more dependable output.
Efficiency is maximized.
Waste and potential risk is minimized.
It’s more flexible than conventional systems.
The end-user can program it easily.
“We are very satisfied with this partnership”, concludes Massimo Zucchelli, Industrial Engineering Manager of STILL Italia in Luzzara. “We chose ActiveAssist because it meets our need to have an intelligent system that is able to guide the operators in selecting the right material for the right type of truck, reducing human error and simplifying the management of the whole assembly line.”
Author: Luca Pantaleoni
Job title: EU sales manager
Author: Sebastian Oschmann Job title: System Development, Concepts & Simulation
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Want to increase productivity with a solution that offers you even greater versatility? That was the challenge we took on with Bliss-Bret and their complex and innovative new forming press for the aeronautic industry.
Rising to the challenge…
Bliss-Bret have been specialists in the design and manufacture of custom-made presses for over 100 years. Our task was to help them build a brand-new press with the ability to form, bend and hydraulically straighten aircraft wing structures.
…with industry changing innovation
Our simplified solution makes complex forming operations at the end of machining easier and more reliable. It’s also able to perform several operations in a single cycle. This will be of interest to any manufacturer that wants to increase the productivity of their manual forming operation. Because poorly performed forming means waste, which can be extremely costly.
Complexity. Made simple and efficient
In order to reduce cycle time and increase quality, reliability and operator comfort, new kinematics were introduced to automate two manual operations. Both the control of the positioning of the parts on the table and the adjustment of the tilt of the slide, were developed to deliver high precision and stringent repeatability standards.
All the parameters of each forming operation also had to be recorded and transmitted to a third party system to ensure full traceability of the parts. This has become a familiar requirement to us, which we’re able to meet, thanks to our range of connected components.
The joint project team opted for a refined architecture, with a single control point for 7 synchronous axes: 4 electric axes for positioning the parts and 3 hydraulic axes for actuating the slide. This key achievement was made possible thanks to the MLC multi-technology motion control solution.
Discreet and energy-efficient
The central cylinder is capable of deploying a force of 340 tonnes with a set pressure accuracy of 0.5 percent. The angle of the slide is perfectly controlled (± 2°), even under the effect of high offset forces, with a positioning accuracy of 0.01mm. Despite its remarkable power, the press is surprisingly quiet and energy-efficient – the result of an end-to-end optimized design solution. Particular attention was also paid to the ergonomics of the human-machine interface, which allows the operator to easily control the slide position with a joystick.
The team designed, manufactured and delivered this new generation press in less than a year.
A digital twin of the hydraulic system and control command confirmed that the synchronous control would operate with the required accuracy.
"Bosch Rexroth convinced us with its technological approach and ability to provide us with a complete automation solution: hydraulic systems, electrical systems, PLCs and HMIs", says Bertrand Pillot, Head of the Automation Design Office at Bliss-Bret.
Find out more.
Author: Denis Florent
Job title: Sales engineer Bosch Rexroth France
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One of the core tasks of intralogistics is to optimize the material flow from the source to the destination and point of use. After all, the more efficient the material flow, the fewer stocks need to be held for production, reducing the volume of tied up capital. With ActiveShuttle, we have developed an Autonomous Guided Vehicle (AGV) to increase efficiency in intralogistics, decrease stocks and clear up temporary storage space.
In our robotics webcast, Victor Robertus explains how the ActiveShuttle increases efficiency in intralogistics and how easy it is to use.
Usually, transport tasks in intralogistics are still carried out manually, be it individually or in milk runs. Most intralogistics concepts center around continuously supplying work stations with the required material. This is why in addition to the central warehouses, most factories have warehouses close to production as a buffer – which in turn increases stocks. With ActiveShuttle, we have developed an Autonomous Guided Vehicle (AGV) to increase efficiency in intralogistics, decrease stocks and clear up temporary storage space. This ensures timely and automated replenishment at the assembly lines.
One well-known concept is the lean provision of components and assemblies using a tugger train. However, this process has a number of disadvantages. First, semi-automatic or manual loading and unloading of the tugger trains can result in low capacity utilization. Second, the movement of goods can increase the risk of accidents for people and other transport systems. Transport requirements often have to be recorded manually, which can result in longer replenishment times and incorrect part deliveries. In this case, requests to an ERP system are not sent or are delayed. One core issue is ensuring that the warehouse is informed of requirements on time in order to guarantee that the assembly lines are replenished in a timely manner.
This is what the use of the ActiveShuttle looks like in practice: It receives a transport task and drives to the picking station in the central warehouse. There, it picks up a dolly equipped with small load carriers and transports it directly to its destination, dropping it at a supermarket or at a workstation, for example. On its return journey, ActiveShuttle transports empty containers or containers filled with processed parts to the next destination.
Thanks to our Locator, a software component for reliable location and orientation assistance, the ActiveShuttle can find its way in any natural environment. Neither infrastructural changes nor expert knowledge are required for commissioning – all it takes is one manually controlled tour of the plant. On this first drive, the ActiveShuttle creates a map of its environment, which is saved to the vehicle or to a server. If several vehicles are in use, they all use this same map. They can then immediately identify their location without any prior knowledge. When a vehicle notices a change in the environment, for example because a new storage space has been set up, it will communicate the information to the server, and the server will automatically update the map and pass it on to all other vehicles in the fleet. Vehicles that are subsequently integrated will use the Locator to obtain server data during the commissioning process and can start to work immediately.
The ActiveShuttle Management System is responsible for coordinating the ActiveShuttles, live mapping and assigning the individual transport tasks. Via open standards, it communicates with all widely-used inventory management systems or the company’s software.
Acquainting the ActiveShuttle with its environment and controlling it is fairly simple. Using any end device, operators open the web-based, intuitive interface with a familiar menu structure. They start the orientation drive from the start menu and connect the vehicle to the ActiveShuttle Management System. No programming knowledge is required for this.
In daily operation, everything runs automatically. From their desks, intralogistics workers can access evaluations of individual vehicles or the entire fleet. Live mapping offers them a complete overview at all times and allows them to transparently retrace every single transport task.
Would you like to know more? Have a look at our robotics webcast.
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With CIMSmart, like with previous CIMS versions, it’s possible to measure and monitor piston position and temperature with no contact between sensor and cylinder rod, and no-wear parts. The CIMS has been operating in thousands of hydraulic cylinders across the globe for over 20 years, but the introduction of CIMSmart really marks the next generation.
Cylinder Integrated Measuring System: CIMSmart measuring system works with ultraprecision even in the harshest conditions, such as dredging vessels, offshore platforms, ship loading and unloading systems, tunnelling machines and bridges. Automatic compensation for the elements and external factors means that position and temperature can be monitored at all times, thus allowing for preventive maintenance and therefore less downtime.
Rexroth’s CIMSmart technology has been designed for durable measurement under rugged operating conditions, as well as precise and dependable measurement results: advanced algorithms are employed by the microcontroller to allow for local variations in air gap, temperature and magnetic resonance that otherwise may have an impact on the accuracy of sensor signals.
In response to the growing need for increased range and also volume of measurement data, CIMSmart has broken new ground by leveraging the inherent capabilities of the CIMS technology to provide data on operating temperatures, stroke distribution and total travelled distance, combined with multiple types of historic data about the usage of the large hydraulic cylinder.
Increased control through smart monitoring
Measurement of varying stroke-length intervals can be acquired and incorporated into other analyses. Data can be collected that provides information about the seal system’s life and condition, by measuring distance travelled at both high and low speeds, since the wear rate is higher at lower velocities. We can build a comprehensive picture of peak motion rates by collecting data on maximum acceleration and deceleration, associated motion direction LHC temperature and time stamp. This can aid in troubleshooting and failure analysis.
Monitoring operating temperatures of the cylinder can show operators a correlation between their cylinders’ performance and environmental condition, and by capturing a range of operating temperatures can help to estimate seal wear. Failure analysis is simplified, thanks to retrievable diagnostic output for sensor status, error codes and sensor identification through a PC or PLC.
Easy to install, easy to analyze and backward compatible
No manual calibration is necessary for the commissioning/installation of the CIMSmart sensors, just plug & run. Newly produced cylinders can be equipped with the smart sensor before delivery, and if you have cylinders in the field equipped with CIMS, previous sensor types MkI and MkII can be replaced on location through our service department. Rexroth personnel can upgrade the firmware of the type MkIV on location to extend its functionalities.
For advantages in performance measuring, thereby enabling service and preventive maintenance planning click here.
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