Integrated or Modular Motion Control?

Rexroth works with many machine builders to create the just-right machine for end users. The Open Core Engineering initiative helps machine builders achieve great results with Rexroth motion control without needing special custom code. But many industrial machines still are designed for a high level of integration and specialization.

One reason for this is the feeling that machines built to work together will naturally work together better. This seems logical, and it has convinced plenty of manufacturers to scrap all their old equipment and buy into a completely new system. Another reason for that sheltered operating system is just that — the desire to sell whole systems to manufacturers. It’s more profitable to put in your entire line.

One major packaging machine manufacturer has taken a different tack, though. Winpak used to sell its controller and tough-screen interface together as a single integrated unit. Now they sell their controller with a USB port so programmers can plug in with a laptop. As they explain in a recent Packaging World interview, “We have 40-year-old machines in the field running around the clock six days a week.”

We see the same situation with Rexroth electric industrial motion control systems. At system upgrade time, there’s a temptation to throw the baby out with the bathwater, but it’s really not necessary. As Winpak discovered, planning ahead can make it not just possible, but cost effective to bring in new technology with retrofitting in mind. The servos and drives can be legacy components, but engineers or interface designers can work with the controller using the languages they already know and love. Their new idea also makes remote maintenance simple.

This is just one example of how what we might think of as a modular approach can help manufacturers get the best use of their current machinery even as they add new components. Rexroth’s historic commitment to modular design has made it possible to change out components quickly and minimize downtime. Now it makes it easier to make best use of new machinery in combination with Rexroth motion control from any time depth.

Next time you hear “convenient, all-in-one…” think twice.

Next time you need Rexroth electric motion control support, don’t think twice. Contact us immediately. We provide support for all Rexroth electric motion control systems, legacy or cutting edge.

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