Engineers from Bosch Rexroth said “Open Core Engineering”, a software which connects automated machinery and IT, is “generation 4.0” in food production technology.
The tool, accessible from iPhones, Google Androids and tablets, was launched for the first time at Europack Euromanut CFIA tradeshow in Lyon, France, this week.
Thierry Jules-Rosette, motion-control engineer at Bosch, said the popularity of Open Core Engineering will spread from the US to European countries once customers are educated about “open systems”.
Problem? Swipe your iPhone
“We need to go step-by-step. In Germany and the US they have an advantage – there is more opportunity for these applications. In France we expect the technology to become more popular within two years. It’s about educating customers.”
In the video above, a Bosch manager demonstrates one use for the software, which communicates with machinery via wireless internet. By tilting an iPhone, he can trigger a sensor in the background into motion.
“But apart from fun things like this, there are real applications,” said Jules-Rosette.
“Yesterday a big customer [at the Europack show] discovered this and started looking at applications for his own machines.”
“Open” technology such as this has boundless applications for control and inspection in the industry, he added. It can be used to “run a standard machine like a handling system or a test bench.
“Customers don’t need to develop special software.”
Within food production, the technology would be most useful to maintenance managers, according to Jules-Rosette.
“In the food industry, if you halt production, you need to restart as soon as possible. Maintenance people try to open software only when there’s a problem, so they start to forget how it works,” he said.
With Open Core Engineering, clients do not need to work directly with software. Instead, they can control machinery with an application on their smartphones or tablets.
“You can open up a diagnostic in the app, which will display an error message. We can create an app suited to them, depending on the customer.”
‘Change the way people think’
Bosch believes the popularity of Open Core Engineering will explode in popularity, but not until manufacturers win over clients.
“It’s a new generation of technology. We need to change the way people think, to explain more and more that it’s an open system," added Jules-Rosette.
“In future, the machine’s industrial application will be open to the world.
“If I’m a machine engineer, I can connect in Australia or New Zealand, and I have maximum information on how many hours it’s running. I can give an idea to my customer about machine efficiency, productivity, flexibility, and maintenance. Plus you can restart equipment more and more quickly.”
The company has begun persuading senior management of the technology’s benefits, said engineers, since it was launched in certain countries late last year.