Drives & Controls November/December 2023

n NEWS Mitsubishi Electric has appointed Mike Cairns as director of its UK Automation Systems Division (ASD), following the retirement of the previous director, Roger Payne, after a 37-year career. Cairns will be responsible for the entire UK operation. He will also be responsible for the Mitsubishi Electric’s Wave hand dryers. Before joining Mitsubishi, Cairns was commercial director of Proactive Analytics, and before that was EMEA sales director and a board member at Ishida Europe. He also worked as an account manager at Rockwell Automation for 12 years. The electric drivetrain specialist Saietta has appointed David Woolley as CEO. He has 35 years of international experience including being CEO of the Swedish pump-maker Concentric for more than a decade. Since 2017, he was CEO of the technology investor VIE Kapital, focusing on the transition to electric vehicles – specifically the development of motors, controllers and software. Woolley joins Saietta as it starts series production of its eDrives in the UK and India Bosch Rexroth has announced that Dell Technologies, Nokia and the robot-maker Kuka are now supporting its ctrlX industrial automation ecosystem, joining Wago, which earlier this year announced plans to use the real-time Linux-based OS for its mid- and high-performance controllers. The latest signings will give a boost to Rexroth’s ambition to establish ctrlX as a universal open system for automation applications. Rexroth reports that the ctrlX World partner network, which is a key part of the ecosystem, is also continuing to expand, with 150 applications from 90 partner companies now operating, and users able to choose from 16 application categories. There are also more than 60 apps that can be used with ctrlX OS devices. “Automation needs to move away from proprietary systems towards open, modular and scalable microservices architectures that will enable a profound transformation of industry in terms of digitalisation, connectivity and sustainability,”says Steffen Winkler, VP of Rexroth’s Automation & Electrification Solutions business. “ctrlX OS is the enabler for this. “We’ve managed to win over new partner companies such as Dell Technologies and Nokia,”he adds. “As a result, we’re now getting involved in areas outside factory automation. We’ve now got partner companies on all levels of the automation pyramid and can thus offer a whole range of benefits on a technological level.” Bosch Rexroth originally developed ctrlX for use in-house with its own ctrlX Core controls, but earlier this year it opened up the system to thirdparty suppliers. They can use the hardware-independent ctrlX OS to connect their components to the ctrlX Automation portfolio, including items developed by partner companies on Rexroth’s ctrlX World platform. Wago, the first external company to support ctrlX, is launching an edge controller and edge computer based on the OS. “Together, we’d like to strengthen ctrlX OS and develop it further,”says Johannes Pfeffer, vicepresident of Wago’s automation business. ctrlX OS has potential applications beyond industrial control systems and edge PCs. As a virtualised system, it can also run on edge servers near machines and production lines, in data centres, and in the cloud. Rexroth is working with Dell to offer ctrlX OS as an out-of-the-box software module for Dell’s NativeEdge software platform which is designed to simplify edge operations and provide zero-touch implementation and zero-trust functions. Nokia is integrating ctrlX OS into its MX Industrial Edge (MXIE) onpremises OT edge system. Various applications can run on this and it supports private 5G wireless network technologies. Nokia MXIE users will be able to install ctrlX OS as an application at the click of a mouse and run applications with reduced latency. Robotics is seen as a particularly promising area of application for ctrlX. Partners, including Fanuc, are already offering robotics products to download from the ctrlX Store, ranging from programming and integration tools for cobots and industrial robots, to software for optimising palletising algorithms. Dell, Nokia and Kuka join Rexroth’s ctrlX open automation ecosystem New partner companies are joining Bosch Rexroth with the aim of creating an open automation platform.