Control City

30 November 2008

This year Bosch Rexroth used the motto “Welcome to Control City” to focus on the presentation of its broad and modern control portfolio at the SPS/IPC/Drives show in Nuremburg. Our report comes from Dr. Steffen Haack, responsible for the Electric Drives and Controls division since the beginning of 2008, who made a presentation to the press.

Control City
Control City

Bosch-Rexroth’s presentation of “Control City” was one of the most innovative campaigns we’ve seen in recent times. There were even billboards in public areas of central Nuremburg advertising the concept.

Interested readers are invited to watch this presentation at

What is Control City all about? Here are some excerpts from Dr. Haack’s presentation.

“What do I see as my biggest challenge?”

In recent years, we have developed from a drive manufacturer into a system provider. This didn’t happen overnight; in order to achieve this, we have put a lot of energy into the development of a modern control portfolio. As a result, today we offer one of the most modern control system available on the market.

We have now reached the point where we can say: Good, we are almost complete and have satisfied customers—which we can be proud of. However, those who have until now known Rexroth only as a manufacturer of hydraulics and drives still need to discover us.

“What does Control City mean?”

We can explain this offer using the picture of the Control City: Just like a metropolis, we can offer countless opportunities with our controls, while still using integrated structures. Vibrant cities are the best image for trendsetting, openness, and competition. “If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere,” sang Frank Sinatra.

I would like to act as your city guide and give you a short overview of the highlights of Rexroth’s Control City.


The trend today is towards modularised machines, in order to combine customised customer solutions.

Control City covers PLC, motion, motion logic, robotic, and CNC controls. We offer all controls on scalable hardware specifications: Drive, controller, and PC-based. Just as much control as is required by the task: no less—but also no more. We do not just focus on electrical drives. With motion controls for electro-hydraulics, we develop all the specific advantages of fluid technology for automation.

Dr. Steffen Haack
Dr. Steffen Haack

For example, the company ILLIG offers the appropriate Rexroth hardware controls for all machine types and scales, and uses the same software project across the entire range.


PHOTO: Dr. Steffen Haack, Managing Director of Sales and Service of the Division Electric Drives and Controls, Bosch Rexroth AG



Design engineers want choice, but fear complexity due to different standards. Control City uses a unique and universal infrastructure: Rexroth controls comply with software standards such as IEC 61131-3, and also use motion modules according to PLCopen as well as engineering tools.

Single-point-of-engineering reduces the need for configuration and commissioning, as all tools can simultaneously centrally access generated data. This allows software developers to copy program modules that were developed once between the individual hardware versions.

Rexroth control support all current fieldbus and real-time Ethernet systems.

For example, the company Mikron uses the same hardware and software (MTX + MLD) in all areas, which is adapted to particular requirements through Rexroth firmware and its own HMI.


Traditionally, Rexroth has been in favour of open interfaces in the control world. This way we approach the open competition in a confident way. This too fits the control image: Proprietary systems are like small communities with limited selection, but city trends also have an influence here.

Whether fieldbus or real-time Ethernet—manufacturers who produce their solutions or third party components: In Control City, freedom, with efficient controls and open interfaces allow machine manufacturers to follow their own path without compromise.

Real-time Ethernet: Even with the current hot topic of which real-time Ethernet systems will be dominating the market in five years’ time, Rexroth is able to offer a multi-protocol solution that is just as easy to use as it is future-proofed. Users can activate different Ethernet protocols on the hardware, which reduces the number of options and offers the highest level of freedom.

Rexroth HNC100-3X controller
Rexroth HNC100-3X controller

For example, the machine builder TRUMPF operates its own HMI on the Bosch Rexroth interface, and completes the control technology with its own technological functions. This way, expertise can securely be used with a competitive advantage.


PHOTO: The Rexroth HNC100-3X controller for 1 to 4 axes supports not only PROFIBUS DP and CANopen, but also the SERCOS III and PROFINET RT fieldbus systems.



The IndraControl L control family for electric drives is a hardware platform for all Rexroth system solutions. There are seven different output classes to choose from. Waiting in the lower output range is the small PLC IndraLogic L10 with high performance values. 1 MB memory for programs, 2 MB for data and 32 kB for remnant data and an execution time of 150 microseconds for 1000 instructions from the instruction set. An Ethernet interface, eight digital inputs and four digital outputs guarantee comprehensive communication. The top model IndraLogic L65 has better connectivity to all kinds of network cards and faster processing speeds.

All models are engineered with the IndraWorks software framework. Because all controls are based on the open PLC according to IEC 61131-3 and motion components according to PLCopen, the code is compatible for all models. In principle, a program developed for an L40 will run on an L10. That way, program parts can be rolled out from a central control to smaller, local PLCs. The consistent programming concept allows this without any encroachments on serviceability.

With consistent, modular programming, machine manufacturers can create subprojects in parallel and optimize them to existing source code without any implications. With the software tool IndraWorks, even third-party devices can be integrated over FDT/DTM (Field Device Tool/ Device Type Manager) and safety functions retrofitted with no repercussions.

All tasks are performed using the comprehensive IndraWorks framework as a single point of engineering. It reduces the effort in development and commissioning, since all tools access stored data centrally at the same time. It is based on a project tree that clearly shows the components used. Devices and libraries are managed centrally and simply dragged & dropped into the project. No interfaces need be programmed within the application. IndraWorks is based on .NET technology. Object-oriented methods, context-sensitive agents, automatic indenting of source code and comprehensive online all help support the software developer.


Integrated safety technology makes proof of safety certification easier. The Rexroth “Safety on Board” solutions support this with comprehensive SafeMotion and SafeLogic functions. SafeLogic stands for programmable functional safety at safety level SIL3 according to IEC 61508. Controls are expanded for integration of safety-related functions using a functional module. On it are the necessary resources for safe logic processing. The IndraWorks Safety Manager provides configurators and libraries to facilitate programming of safety applications. Programming follows the PLCopen safety specification. In accordance with standards, the processing of standard and safety signals is absolutely non-reactive to one another. Changes to the standard application therefore have no influence on the safety application. This helps considerably to adhere to the regulations for functional safety according to new standards.

With the new machine directive, machine manufacturers are obliged to employ the latest technology for optimal personal protection at all times. This makes it necessary to keep an overview of the entire system, with all drive technologies, control components, system architecture and software. With Rexroth components, this is particularly easy, since the functional safety of electric drives, to hydraulic drives to safe communication and safe logic are integrated into a system concept. That way, machine manufacturers can keep their user protection at the state of the art while minimising their own validation effort.

See also the article "Bosch-Rexroth: Open for Inovation"

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