The fast track growth of industrial technology has led to the 4th industrial revolution and landed us in the midst of advanced robotics and automation technologies. With industry 5.0 on the horizon, technology companies are in a race against time to launch sophisticated solutions and products that play a critical role in the evolution of industrial automation technologies. Bosch Rexroth’s industrial PC-based IndraMotion MLC control system is one such technology that combines the motion control system with the windows operating system on one single hardware package. The fusion of the PLC logic control with the windows operating system has opened doors for endless possibilities.
Bridging the gap between IT automation and PLC
MLC offers the ideal basis for smart production machinery and plant automation. Machine manufacturers can now combine IT programs on a powerful hardware with real-time motion control. This technology bridges the gap between IT automation and PLC by combining internet of things (IoT) standards, high-level languages, ethernet communication protocols and applications based on windows. Existence of separate control and processing systems for complex applications has become history with the introduction of IndraMotion MLC. System processing tasks such as data capturing, measurement and analysis were done by a computer system, while the control of automation, was executed through PLCs. This raised the cost of the system and the sharing of data between the two hardware control systems extended the cycle times. IndraMotion MLC combines both processing and control on a single powerful hardware and further allows complex programming-based customization, greater degree of flexibility and significantly higher efficiency. Users may use high-level languages to build custom control functions and run it directly on the control in real time.
PC based IndraMotion MLC control
Specifically speaking, IndraMotion MLC allows manufacturers to combine real-time motion functions, IEC 61131-3 based motion logic system and robotics while the windows operating system runs in parallel. Both systems operate independently and rapidly exchange information. The industrial PC, depending on the application, increases the processing speed by as much as 100 percent and can link up to 99 servo drives as central intelligence through the Ethernet automation bus. Furthermore, this technology provides additional access to all key control system functions through high-level languages, via Open Core Interface technology. For instances, programming in Labview can be used to control a process completely and not a single line of PLC code is required. The direct access to all control components enables incorporation of IT automation applications, smart devices and implementation of virtual control modules without real machines. The package also includes a scalable firmware that is very useful for motion logic applications. Moreover, there are various predefined toolkits that simplify the coding process, reduce cost and save precious time.
Bosch Rexroth’s IndraMotion MLC control unit brings us one step closer to the industry 4.0 and even possibly prepare us to embrace industry 5.0. Through this technology, intelligent process control is realized with extremely fast communication between the windows operations and the control operations. The integration of IT and control operations has opened door for highly complicated tasks to be easily executed and controlled through high-level language programming, state of art IoT standards and implementation of efficient communication protocols.