Motion Control & Drives

Bosch Rexroth facilitates cabinet-free drive technology

October 2015 Motion Control & Drives

Reallocating control functions to the individual machine modules allows machine engineers and operators to make maximum use of valuable site space, enhancing their production capacities. The cabinet-free drive technology, IndraDrive Mi from Bosch Rexroth, enables this idea to be implemented in automation applications across numerous industries and production sites.

The IndraDrive Mi merges its drive electronics and motor into an integral unit. This combination virtually eliminates drive electronics housed within a cabinet and drastically reduces the wiring required to connect the individual components. With the integrated drive control unit, drive functions, motion control and flow logic merge into an open automation platform. Complex motion tasks can be handled with the motion logic system, which is fully designed in accordance with IEC 61131-3.

“The cabinet-free drive technology extends the possibilities to modularise machine concepts,” Georg Venter, divisional manager, Tectra Automation, explains. “Machine manufacturers pre-assemble machine modules and then connect them to one another at the cabinet without any further work.”

Central to the reallocation of drive control components are the Bosch Rexroth decentralised supply and mains modules. “This is how machine manufacturers can integrate all drive components directly into the machine without needing a cabinet,” Venter explains.

The mains module includes a mains filter, mains regulator and mains protection in a single unit. The supply module includes an energy-recovering power supply, control electronics and brake resistors. The connection of the machines or modules to the power supply is carried out directly and without deviation via the cabinet. This reduces wiring in the assembly by as much as 90%.

A newly developed hybrid plug for adjacent near-motor drives further reduces assembly work. These protected connector pieces for communication and power supply are simply plugged into adjacent IndraDrive Mi units by assembly technicians.

IndraDrive Mi supports all of common Ethernet-based protocols, including Profinet, EtherNet/IP and EtherCAT, all on a single piece of hardware with the multi-Ethernet interface via the automation bus Sercos. The hardware remains identical, with selection occurring purely via software parameters. A connection to Profibus can be created via a gateway.

The motor-integrated and near-motor drive modules are designed in accordance with IP65-class protection for dust and water stream protection.

Up to 20 IndraDrive Mi modules can be connected in series in a cable harness up to 200 m long. The drive-based control by Bosch Rexroth coordinates up to nine IndraDrive Mi as slaves in real time.

For more information contact Georg Venter, Tectra Automation, +27 (0)11 971 9400,,

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