Rexroth’s Universal Translator

Early sci-fi featured travelers in space who had the good fortune of meeting alien life forms who spoke English. As audiences became more sophisticated, sci-fi creators came up with the Universal Translator, a device that caused everything said by an alien life form to be translated into English. This device also translated English into alien languages. On Star Trek, it was specified that the translator worked by sampling brain waves, which was hardly an explanation.

The Industrial Internet of Things is facing much the same problem now. Machinery uses different languages, and humans use different machine languages as well as different human languages. Whether by accident or by security, or profit-motivated design, getting machines to communicate with one another has generally meant buying all the machinery from one source. Getting humans to communicate with machines means buying new software and investing in training. Either way, the cool idea of a workpiece that manages its own production requires much better communication than industrial motion control currently commands.

Rexroth’s WebConnector uses WebSockets to connect drives and controls via Open Core3 Interface. Programs can be written with everything from HTML5 to C# to .NET. This means that machine builders can create diagnostic applications, data collection systems, and more in JAVAScript for end users. Web-based interfaces can be accessed with tablets. User interface developers don’t have to know machine languages, and any human language can be incorporated into a user interface. Shop floor data can be collected and used in ERP systems with the devices currently used for business intelligence.

This is one of the essential pieces for Industry 4.0. Rexroth has been an innovator and a game changer throughout the company’s history, and it’s happening again with something very close to a universal translator for IoT.

In the meantime, we can support your current Rexroth electric industrial motion control, including both legacy systems and the newest generation.

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