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There are worlds between conventional automation using proprietary MES systems and the new world of cloud-native, open microservices. All the more impressive, therefore, how Bosch Rexroth’s fledgling open automation platform is growing and finding important partners in the industry for a digital ecosystem. Most recently Dell Technologies, Nokia and KUKA.

The ctrlX Automation Ecosystem (Graphic Bosch Rexroth)

In addition to WAGO, Dell Technologies, Nokia and KUKA have also decided to use the operating system for digital automation of manufacturing, which was developed by Bosch Rexroth and is now open, for their offerings. At the same time, ctrlX World, the community of users of the ctrlX Automation Platform for their own applications, launched by Bosch Rexroth, is growing.

“Automation needs to evolve away from proprietary systems – towards open, modular and scalable microservices architectures that enable the profound transformation of industry in terms of digitalization, connectivity and sustainability. ctrlX OS is the enabler for this,” said Steffen Winkler, Sales Manager Business Unit Automation & Electrification Solutions at Bosch Rexroth, in a press release on the SPS in Nuremberg.

WAGO was the first partner, offers ctrlX OS on its own devices and develops applications for it. Johannes Pfeffer, Vice President Business Unit Automation: “WAGO is currently about to launch the Edge Controller 400 and Edge Computer with ctrlX OS at the SPS trade show.”

The partner community ctrlX World is also growing. Industrial companies can now choose from solutions for 150 use cases from 90 partner companies in 16 main categories here. In total, more than 60 apps are available on ctrlX OS devices.

The demand for apps and interfaces in the field of robotics is growing. Currently, seven partner solutions for this are available for download in the ctrlX Store: from simple programming to the integration of cobots and industrial robots to additional software such as for planning the optimal palletizing algorithm.

In addition to existing partner companies such as Fanuc, KUKA has joined as another leading robot brand. Thus, there is now a KUKA connection and integration, based on the KUKA.PLC mxAutomation interface. This will be used by the company Mairotec in its app “MAIRobot” and will be shown in an exhibit at the SPS 2023 trade fair at the Rexroth booth in Hall 7, Booth 450.

Dr. Kristina Wagner, Senior Vice President Automation Software Factory at KUKA, is quoted in the press release as saying: “Bosch Rexroth and KUKA have big plans together and plan to connect their ecosystems ctrlX World and Robotic Republic. Here we come full circle again, that suppliers combine their strengths and co-creation is simply the future.”

This year, the SPS in Nuremberg will apparently become a crystallization point for composable software, the use of which in industry is currently focused primarily on the automation of manufacturing.