IMS drives cost savings at Bosch Rexroth

Drive and control specialist Bosch Rexroth has reported two years of maintenance-free production at its plant in Schweinfurt, Germany, following the installation of its own Integrated Measuring Systems (IMS) on its machine tools, a move that has saved the company tens of thousands of euros in maintenance and running costs.
The plant, which manufactures precision linear motion components such as profiled rails, runner blocks and ball screw drives, as well as entire linear motion systems, has not experienced a single instance of machine downtime, while producing materials with a repeatability of ±0.25 µm.
Bosch Rexroth has now converted its cost savings into a “Total Cost of Ownership“ tool, which allows manufacturers to calculate their own savings, as well as the potential savings for mechanical engineers and end users.
Until 2014, Bosch Rexroth relied on optical position sensors, or glass scales, to achieve the desired accuracy with its metal-cutting equipment. These solutions were expensive because they required regular cleaning and maintenance. At times, they were even responsible for machine failures because they were prone to introducing contaminants. As a result, Bosch Rexroth installed IMS, which can detect the absolute position of an axis down to ±3 µm/m, into its ball and roller runner blocks.
“Accuracy requirements are becoming more exacting in virtually every metal machining application,” says Stefan Dorn, head of advanced engineering and technical product management for linear motion technology. “To meet this challenge, Bosch Rexroth has been using its maintenance-free IMS solutions in upgraded machine tools for more than two years. Since replacing the glass scales, we have achieved five-figure savings in terms of maintenance costs and availability.”
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