Opportunities for business and society Bosch CEO Denner sees potential for Germany in networked production Germany needs a competitive industrial base

  • Need for cohesion between industry and IT sector
  • Bosch plays two roles in integrated industry
  • New technologies give rise to new business models
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  • June 06, 2013
  • Business/economy
  • Press releases

press release

Berlin – The digital networking of industrial production is moving forward, and Bosch sees major potential for Germany as a result. According to Dr. Volkmar Denner, the chairman of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH, Germany is well prepared for the next Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0). "Thanks to the close cooperation of suppliers, users, research, and educational institutions, Germany is well-positioned to seize the opportunities arising from this development," said Denner at the annual conference of the ZVEI, the Zentralverband Elektrotechnik und Elektroindustrie (Germany's central association for the electrical engineering and electronics industry) in Berlin.

Industry: the driver of economic development
Denner emphasized that the advent of Web 3.0, the internet of things and services, has given rise to two major opportunities in Germany's industrial production. First, German companies develop, sell, and export technologies and products for industrial networking. Second, the use of these technologies enhances the efficiency and competitiveness of German industry. The manufacturing industries account for over 20 percent of Germany's gross domestic product (GDP), and thus continue to play an important role in the country's economy. "The example of Germany shows that the industrial sector and the maintenance of its competitiveness continue to be drivers of economic and social development," said Denner. This is why countries like the United States, for instance, are attempting to (re-) industrialize their own economies. The European Commission (EC) has also published strategic papers addressing this topic. To ensure a healthy economy, the EC recommends increasing the industrial sector's share of GDP to 20 percent by 2020, up from 15 percent today. The Chinese government is focusing increasingly on the sophisticated manufacture of high-quality products.

Next step: applications and products
According to the Bosch CEO, German companies are leaders in the realm of mechanical engineering, and this regardless of the growing competition from Asia. In the IT sector, too, German companies have extensive know-how and a skilled workforce in the areas of embedded systems and automation technology. With the "Platform Industry 4.0", which is supported by the BITKOM, VDMA, and ZVEI associations, a framework has been established for the implementation of networked production. Now, said Denner, applications and related products must be brought to market quickly. He called on the conference participants to take part in implementing the digitization strategy. "Germany's companies must play an active role in shaping the path to networked production. We cannot afford to fall behind."

Bosch: playing two roles on the path to Factory 4.0
Denner also sees Bosch playing two roles on the path to the networked factory. While the company uses technologies and software to network its own manufacturing base, it also develops solutions in this area. For instance, a software suite developed by Bosch Software Innovations networks equipment in order to optimize the entire maintenance process. While seamless data sharing is one of the challenges of industrial networking, Bosch has already implemented a successful concept at the diesel injector manufacturing facility in Homburg, Germany. Here, the entire injector production process – from the supplier to the carmaker – is controlled by RFID technology (radio frequency identification).

Web 3.0: not an end it itself – new business models required
Denner, who is also responsible for corporate research and development, expects the internet of things and services to give rise to a new quality of technical collaboration. Bosch aims to connect a broad range of technical devices and systems to the internet. However, a great deal of development work is required on the path to Web 3.0, and many customers must still be persuaded of its benefits. Today, many people remain unaware of the possibilities of Web 3.0. "Web 3.0 is not an end in itself. The increasing digitization of all areas of life is giving rise to new business models, and this offers significant market potential," said Denner.

According to Bosch forecasts, more than six billion things will be connected to the internet and to each other by 2015, among them vehicles, security systems, personal computers, and smart phones. However, sensor-based information will be required if the internet of things is to experience a breakthrough. "Data must turn into knowledge, and knowledge must turn into benefits. Bosch will exploit the technical possibilities of Web 3.0 to develop lucrative services and business models that will improve people's quality of life."

More information about „Platform Industry 4.0“ is available at

More information about the internet of things and services is available at the blog of Bosch Software Innovations at

Videofootage (download-link):
Integrated Industry – footage – manufacturing and logistics Common Rail Injector

The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. It employs roughly 375,000 associates worldwide (as of December 31, 2015). The company generated sales of 70.6 billion euros in 2015. Its operations are divided into four business sectors: Mobility Solutions, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods, and Energy and Building Technology. The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its roughly 440 subsidiaries and regional companies in some 60 countries. Including sales and service partners, Bosch’s global manufacturing and sales network covers some 150 countries. The basis for the company’s future growth is its innovative strength. Bosch employs 55,800 associates in research and development at 118 locations across the globe. The Bosch Group’s strategic objective is to deliver innovations for a connected life. Bosch improves quality of life worldwide with products and services that are innovative and spark enthusiasm. In short, Bosch creates technology that is “Invented for life.”

The company was set up in Stuttgart in 1886 by Robert Bosch (1861-1942) as “Workshop for Precision Mechanics and Electrical Engineering.” The special ownership structure of Robert Bosch GmbH guarantees the entrepreneurial freedom of the Bosch Group, making it possible for the company to plan over the long term and to undertake significant up-front investments in the safeguarding of its future. Ninety-two percent of the share capital of Robert Bosch GmbH is held by Robert Bosch Stiftung GmbH, a charitable foundation. The majority of voting rights are held by Robert Bosch Industrietreuhand KG, an industrial trust. The entrepreneurial ownership functions are carried out by the trust. The remaining shares are held by the Bosch family and by Robert Bosch GmbH.

Additional information is available online at and,

PI8155 - June 06, 2013

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