Rexroth – Hydraulics meets automation: Bosch Rexroth with new apps for software-driven mechanical engineering

  • Hardware-independent software solutions for hydraulics and automation  
  • Design and use hydraulic functions the easy way with H4U   
  • ctrlX AUTOMATION gains hydraulic apps  


Bosch Rexroth creates new freedom in hydraulics: With the H4U (Hydraulics for You) software platform and the ctrlX AUTOMATION toolkit. In the past, know-how relating to hydraulic control technology essentially focused on hardware. Now, it is available in apps. With H4U, you can use hydraulics functions the easy way – independently of the hardware. ctrlX AUTOMATION has thus gained hydraulics apps too. The effects of these functions include greater energy efficiency. At booth D26 in hall 6 at HANNOVER MESSE, Bosch Rexroth will demonstrate the benefits of these two solutions and their synergies.

Mechanical engineering of the future will be software-driven. Bosch Rexroth has therefore transferred the control functions of hydraulics, which are traditionally hardware-agnostic, into hardware-independent software modules. The company is thus using apps to make functions easily accessible and usable in this area too.

With H4U, hydraulic functions can be flexibly designed and directly integrated into existing automation environments – also ctrlX AUTOMATION. The H4U.apps run on the compact ctrlX CORE control system for example. Bosch Rexroth’s automation toolkit has relied on the principle of app technology since 2019. As a consistently open automation platform, ctrlX AUTOMATION provides all hardware and software components for complete automation solutions and complements the ecosystem with the partner network ctrlX World, into which third-party providers can integrate their solutions.

Steffen Winkler, Vice President Sales Automation & Electrification Solutions Business Unit at Bosch Rexroth, explained: “With its rigorous hardware independence, H4U too is following the path Bosch Rexroth has taken towards openness. This is an important and logical step. After all, software and connectivity are the drivers for the smart factory.”


“Bosch Rexroth is raising industrial hydraulics to the next level and is turning hardware-agnostic hydraulics functions into hardware-independent software modules. These integrate seamlessly into new and existing automation architectures,” said Guido Hettwer, Senior Vice President Industrial Hydraulics Business Unit at Bosch Rexroth. He added: “Hydraulic components are already very efficient. However, the architecture and the control technology for the hydraulic system still offer potential for saving energy, reducing CO2 emissions and increasing productivity. This is where our apps come in.”


Increasing productivity and sustainability in hydraulics

H4U raises the success factors usability, sustainability and performance to a new level for machine and system manufacturers as well as end users. The solution includes functions which help to save energy. One example is the hydraulic control of the pressure and volume flow (p/Q). An energy saving of 30 percent was achieved in a press application with a multi-axis system. The degree of savings depends on the load cycle and application conditions. Hydraulic systems can be tuned in advance for energy efficiency.

H4U also allows greater flexibility, e.g. when adapting production systems to meet changing customer requirements. It is no longer necessary to adapt the hardware in the automation environment.

Implementing the apps on existing control hardware saves time and money as end users no longer need to provide additional training. In addition, the software modules can be used to simulate entire machines, systems and production processes and, for example, to calculate the energy savings in advance. This saves time during engineering and commissioning.

At HANNOVER MESSE 2023, Bosch Rexroth will be presenting various H4U.apps such as the xF position/ force control for hydraulic axes at booth D26 in hall 6. The apps can be experienced live on ctrlX CORE. Anyone who is interested can also discover the benefits of ctrlX AUTOMATION and apps from all areas of automation.


EMR Analysis


More information on Rexroth: See the full profile on EMR Executive Services

More information on Dr. Steffen Haack (Chairman of the Executive Board with Responsibility for Engineering Activities and the Product Area New Business, Rexroth): See the full profile on EMR Executive Services

More information on Steffen Winkler (Vice President Sales, Business Unit Automation & Electrification Solutions, Rexroth): See the full profile on EMR Executive Services

More information on Guido Hettwer (Senior Vice President Industrial Hydraulics Business Unit, Rexroth): See the full profile on EMR Executive Services

More information on H4U by Rexroth: + The new digital dimension of Hydraulics. Bosch Rexroth takes the integration level of industrial hydraulics into the next digital dimension and transforms hardware-bound control functions into hardware-independent software modules.

Hydraulic functions can be flexibly designed with the new H4U platform and directly integrated into existing automation environments. This transformation to software offers multiple benefits for end users as well as machine and system manufacturers.

Hydraulic systems can be optimized for energy efficiency and contribute to the achievement of climate targets.

More information on ctrlX AUTOMATION by Rexroth: + ctrlX AUTOMATION surmounts the classic boundaries between machine controls, the IT world and the Internet of Things. With a Linux real-time operating system, consistently open standards, app programming technology, web-based engineering and a comprehensive IoT connection, ctrlX AUTOMATION reduces components and engineering costs by 30 to 50%.

A whole new world of automation is emerging. Because rigid, complex automation systems no longer meet the requirements in markets that are characterized by ever shorter product life cycles and ever fiercer competition. In addition, it is important to exploit the potential of digitalization and networking by combining control technology, IT and IoT in a meaningful way. As a consistently open automation platform, ctrlX AUTOMATION provides all the building blocks for complete automation solutions with the ctrlX World ecosystem. The system is modular, scalable and covers the requirements for almost all applications as needed. Automation without limits.


More information on HANNOVER MESSE 2023 (April 17-21, 2023, Hannover, Germany): + At the world’s leading trade fair for industry, some 4,000 companies from the mechanical engineering, electrical and digital industries as well as the energy sector will showcase technologies and solutions for a connected and climate-neutral industry. From the digitalization and automation of complex production processes and the use of hydrogen to power factories and the use of software to register and reduce carbon footprints.



EMR Additional Notes:

  • Carbon Dioxide (CO2):
    • Primary greenhouse gas emitted through human activities. Carbon dioxide enters the atmosphere through burning fossil fuels (coal, natural gas, and oil), solid waste, trees and other biological materials, and also as a result of certain chemical reactions (e.g., manufacture of cement). Carbon dioxide is removed from the atmosphere (or “sequestered”) when it is absorbed by plants as part of the biological carbon cycle.
  • Decarbonization:
    • Reduction of carbon dioxide emissions through the use of low carbon power sources, achieving a lower output of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere.