The 2001 merger between Robert Bosch and Mannesmann Rexroth was executed to create a technology leader in the hydraulics industry.
The combined entity, Bosch Rexroth, has provided technology for various industries, including mining and manufacturing, spanning back to its origins in Germany in 1795.
Bosch Rexroth is driving the next industrial revolution as both an operator and supplier of Industry 4.0 solutions. With a huge automation portfolio and an abundance of production experience within Bosch Rexroth’s Manufacturing plants worldwide, we can offer leading automation and manufacturing solutions – from single-piece to high-volume production.
“With Industry 4.0 and the presence that Bosch has in that marketplace, Bosch Rexroth has been able to grow our understanding and position in the market through developing technologies that benefit customers in managing equipment and reliability of hydraulic systems — and other associated parts of that system — with ease,” explains Rory Horrobin, Bosch Rexroth state manager, South Australia, Victoria.
Chief among the company’s industrial and mining output is its Online Diagnostic Network (ODiN), a self-learning predictive maintenance software that uses analytical algorithms to provide a clear indication of machine health.
The system integrates with Bosch Rexroth’s Hägglunds Drive Systems, which are designed for ease of communication between ODiN and the Internet of Things (IoT) gateway.
It can be used across a wide variety of fixed plant mining machinery, including everything from conveyors and feeders to kilns and crushers.
A series of sensors and machine feedback data is connected to a gateway device and securely up-loaded to the cloud, which is used to produce a health index.
This data includes factors such as vibration, temperature, force and analytical machine learning to produce a holistic overview of a machine’s health in both the short and long term.
“Optimised uptime of fixed plant is critical to be able to plan maintenance intervals for the longest possible period,” says Horrobin.
“This provides a significant benefit to the customer and allows reduced maintenance costs because the system is not being over-serviced. With fewer stoppages, we can then increase output through uptime.”
The system has been installed across various mining operations following three years of research and development.
A redeveloped coal processing site in Queensland used ODiN to identify the change in machine health and operating performance to detect a mechanical bearing failure on one of its apron feeders.
Through learning behaviour, Odin recognised the machine’s abnormal behaviour and alarmed the site to the issue.
Such warnings are delivered either by email or through mobile and desktop applications.
“It provided a fast and easy way to identify the issue and then further investigate the problem and solve the issue,” says Horrobin.
“So not only does ODiN provide a clear and analytical way of looking at devices on the machine, it can also understand that there are other implications to the machine and provide error analysis as well.”
Predictive maintenance technology is not new but a big part of ODiN’s USP lies in its service constituent.
The data it collects from machines is via a connective IoT gateway that then moves it to the cloud for analysis by Bosch Rexroth service experts.
This transpires in the form of regularly updated status reports from Bosch Rexroth technicians via the Rexroth service portal.
Additionally, the system is designed so that once data has been uploaded to the cloud, updates occur in the background with minimal impact to users.
These experts provide easily readable status reports and advise sites of the optimum times to schedule maintenance, maximising uptime and reducing unscheduled downtime.
While onsite visits may still be required from time to time, remote condition monitoring still allows engineers to address issues more readily.
“The systems have been fantastically received by mine sites,” says Horrobin.
“As many competitors in the marketplace can collect data, we are the number one in this market for analytics software that provides a simple interface and a self-learning program to understand your machine and understand how the machine works.
“With this interface it takes out the tedious task of understanding data.”