The global site of the UK's leading magazine for automation, motion engineering and power transmission
5 October, 2022

Twitter link

‘Desktop factory’ cuts set-up and running costs

10 April, 2007

Bosch Rexroth has developed a compact, modular system for manufacturing small products which, it claims, can save on space and running costs, as well as providing more flexibility when changing or modifying products. Rexroth originally developed the "desktop factory" technology to produce electropneumatic transducers at one of its factories, but is now offering the technology to external customers.

Rexroth desktop factory

The pilot installation, at a Bosch factory in Waiblingen, Germany, is said to occupy up to 75% less space and use 20% less energy than a conventional production line. "We are trying to reach overall investment savings of 10–20% throughout the product service life," explains Berd Feirabend, who manages production procedures and the construction of special machinery at the Waiblingen plant. "In some cases, it may even be 30%."

The technology is designed to produce items weighing up to 100g and measuring up to 100 x 100 x 100mm. The "factory" is assembled by using standard-width, single-purpose, A4-sized modules (in 220, 330 and 440mm widths) that slot into a frame containing a central power supply.

"Engineering efforts are considerably lower than with conventional system construction," Feirabend reports, adding that the ability to re-use the modules can result in considerable savings when changing products. "We were able to design a completely new platform within just three months," he says.

Other claimed benefits of the desktop factory approach include: the ability to use the same components from prototyping to full production; a reduction in scrap; and rapid identification of any production problems because of the "transparency" of the single-purpose modules.

  • To view a digital copy of the latest issue of Drives & Controls, click here.

    To visit the digital library of past issues, click here

    To subscribe to the magazine, click here



Drives Show 2024The next Drives & Controls Exhibition will take place in Birmingham, UK, from 16-18 April, 2024. For more information on the event, visit the Show Web site


"Do you think that robots create or destroy jobs?"



Most Read Articles