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IoT technology makes inroads into logistics

30 April 2018

Bosch Rexroth has launched a new EDG valve block to translate IT commands into physical movement sequences for customised, connected warehouse processes.

With the Internet of Things (IoT) fast becoming ubiquitous, the technology is making big inroads into the logistics industry. The connectivity of virtual cloud-based business transactions with logistics processes is being adopted rapidly – which is why Bosch Rexroth has designed its electrohydraulic EDG valve block, to accurately and directly control working hydraulics on forklifts through IT systems.

Modern warehouses contain a wide variety of goods, and forklift operators need to comply with a large number of specifications while moving them, especially the delicate kind. In light of increasing warehouse sizes and wide variety of goods, forklift drivers can easily mishandle items, resulting in damage. The IoT approach ensures that delicate goods are handled gently, and offers complete traceability of the handling process. Sensors on the forklift detect the type of goods to be moved. Information is then sent via gateways to the Rexroth BODAS ECU on the forklift, which translates the information into setpoints for the EDG valve on the machine. Equipped with independent load-sensing (LS) pressure limitation, the implement functions can be smoothened in the case of delicate goods. As a result, the support function offered by this IoT solution has a direct influence on the implement hydraulics’ force, acceleration and other parameters, thereby providing relief to the driver.

The solution launched at Hannover Messe, as part of Bosch Rexroth’s ‘Factory of the Future’ concept: a vision of manufacturing facilities equipped with intelligent technologies and connected, efficient solutions that take full advantage of the advent of Industry 4.0 and the IoT.

Speaking about the launch, Deep Mukherjee, Product Support, Mobile Applications at Bosch Rexroth, said: “Our world runs on the complex logistics operations happening in warehouses all over the globe. And with ever increasing demand on forklift operators, unintentional mishandling can equal damaged goods. Our thinking with the EDG valve block was to use IoT principles to directly link IT systems with sensors and hydraulics on the forklift itself, making sure goods are moved with the appropriate care, precision and reliability, and accompanied with full handling traceability wherever they go – essentially making warehouse work that bit smarter.”

Primarily designed for 1 to 3.5-tonne forklifts, but also suitable for those above 3.5 tonnes, the EDG valve block has a modular, sandwich-plate design, and the optimised flow in the cast-iron components greatly improves efficiency. Flow volumes of up to 120 l/min are possible by exchanging the inlet element. For more information, please contact your local Bosch Rexroth representative.