Bosch Rexroth has successfully reduced downtime costs by 25 per cent at its factory in Homburg, Germany, after retrofitting production test rigs, some of which are up to ten years old, with Rexroth’s latest IoT Gateway technology. The test rigs were fitted with standard hardware and software, with each machine taking less than four hours to connect to the network. The upgraded test rigs are now able to provide documented data on status and process monitoring, replacing a complex manual analysis process and achieving a total return on investment in less than 18 months.

Fabian Borowski, who leads the Industry 4.0 initiative at the Homburg plant, said: “In Industry 4.0 we are seeing the opportunity to prepare our plant for the future, to produce more efficiently and deliver customised products quickly and at a high quality. However, during the transition, we always need to keep an eye on cost-effectiveness.”

He continued: “Our specialists estimated that it would take at least one working week for the modernisation of the test rigs, including the connection of the sensors and interfaces to the classical PLC systems. However, with web-based configuration, an electrician can complete commissioning within half a day – no knowledge of PLC is required.”

The Homburg plant is now retrofitting a further 22 test rigs with Bosch Rexroth’s IoT Gateway and sensors, with more machines in the Bosch Group to follow.