Bosch Rexroth Creates Industry 4.0 Communication Architectures and New Platform in Collaboration with Industry Partners

December 05, 2021 by Stephanie Leonida

Bosch Rexroth teams up with WAGO, Nokia, and ifm electronic to provide their new ctrlX World platform built for digital transformation.

Bosch Rexroth AG (Bosch Rexroth) is a global manufacturer and supplier of drive and control technologies. Bosch Rexroth’s product offerings cover gear technology, industrial hydraulics, linear motion technology, production assistants, components for mobile robotics, and more.

Recently, the company announced collaborations with industry partners concerning the creation of flexible Industry 4.0 communication architectures based on its complete automation solution, ctrlX AUTOMATION, and its user/partner ecosystem, ctrlX World


The new ctrlX World partners WAGO, Nokia, and ifm come together at Bosch Rexroth in Ulm. Image used courtesy of Bosch Rexroth


ctrlX AUTOMATION consists of different hardware and software components. It provides users with a Linux real-time operating system, completely open standards, app technology for programming, web-based engineering, and IoT connectivity.

The capabilities of ctrl AUTOMATION can be explored under Bosch’s other platforms, including the following:

  • ctrl CORE
  • ctrl MOTION
  • ctrl PLC
  • ctrl IoT
  • ctrl HMI
  • ctrl WORKS
  • ctrl I/O
  • ctrl DRIVE
  • ctrl IPC
  • ctrl SAFETY


Video used courtesy of Bosch Rexroth


The main draw of the platform is its openness and the openness of its surrounding ecosystem. Previous and new product families from Bosch Rexroth can be combined to create the most suitable automation solution to fit a specific application. Furthermore, companies from various industries can be assured of the long availability of all product generations, which can make timely and costly change-overs avoidable.

Programmers and developers can modify elements of the ctrl AUTOMATION system to use the desired development environment and desired programming languages and implement further system functions at any time as apps and open-source software. This could help to advance the development of innovations and process improvements.


New crtlX World Partners

A new crtlX World partner, WAGO, has brought in its tested I/O systems for signal processing tasks and flexible sensor and actuator connections in ctrlX AUTOMATION. The WAGO systems serve to complement the ctrlX I/O range and support a wide range of industry-specific communication protocols.

Another ctrlX World partner, Nokia has brought in the new Model Factory at Bosch Rexroth’s Customer and Innovation Center in Ulm. 5G allows machines and transport systems to communicate, allowing real-time data exchange, monitoring, and machine maintenance.

By using Nokia’s network alongside ctrlX AUTOMATION, private wireless usage scenarios can be developed. Components, modules, subsystems, and system solutions can identify themselves, recognize their tasks, and can be deployed rapidly.


The ctrlX user interface. Image used courtesy of Bosch Rexroth


ifm electronic GmbH (ifm) has also become a partner of ctrlX World and has provided its I/O-link sensors and masters for full integration into ctrlX AUTOMATION. Software from ifm is installed on the same engineering PC as ctrlX WORKS.

With support from ifm, ctrlX AUTOMATION can provide users with “diagnostic and parameterizing options from a central point. Plug and play is particularly important for our customers during commissioning,” said the CTO of the ifm group of companies, Benno Kathan.

In the same news release, Kathan added, “Via the ctrlX World, we can make all of these benefits available to users.”

In addition to these new partners, Bosch Rexroth is continuing to work with other partners, specifically ones they've had long-standing relationships with.


Bosch Rexroth and Gerhard Schubert GmbH

In another news release, Bosch Rexroth announced the continuation of a development partnership with Gerhard Schubert GmbH, which began nearly 40 years ago.

The partnership has been extended for another four years. It focuses on the joint development of projects, namely, developing and introducing the latest generation of cabinet-free drives based on the ctrlX AUTOMATION toolkit.

Bosch Rexroth is continually expanding their technologies and they are hopeful that these partnerships, old and new, will help them achieve their goals.