Optimizing energy efficiency Bosch wins DeutscherIdeenPreis for the Best Green Innovation

  • Energy efficiency protects the environment and boosts competitive strength
  • Second consecutive award for the Bosch location in Homburg, Germany
  • Bosch Group to cut CO2 emissions by 20 percent by 2020
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  • June 05, 2013
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Frankfurt am Main – Bosch has been selected by the German Institute for Business Management (dib) and the international expert organization DEKRA as the winner of the DeutscherIdeenPreis 2013 in the category ‘Best Green Innovation’. Through the systematic application of a new approach developed by its in-house engineers, the company’s Diesel Systems plant in Homburg, Germany, has optimized the energy efficiency of the cleaning systems used in the manufacturing of diesel injection components. As a result, the cleaning systems’ energy consumption has been reduced by some 25 percent – or enough to supply 1,400 households. At the same time, energy costs have been reduced by over 20 percent. This measure is part of an integrated approach to improving the locations energy efficiency. “Energy prices have increased enormously over the past few years, adding significantly to the cost burden on European industry. Efforts to improve energy efficiency thus pay off doubly, because they help not only to mitigate climate change but also to keep us competitive,” said Dr. Werner Struth, whose responsibilities as a member of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH include manufacturing coordination and environmental protection. In Germany, for instance, electricity tariffs for industrial users increased by almost 20 percent between 2008 and 2012.

Sustainability guaranteed by “energy requirements specification”
Bernd Schäfer, a project manager at the Homburg location, describes the systematic approach that was applied to optimize the energy efficiency of the cleaning systems. “We focused on three main points of leverage: correction, organization, and prevention.” A typical corrective measure is to reduce the temperature of the cleaning solutions. “Reducing the temperature by just a few degrees had no impact on the results of the cleaning process, but delivered a huge reduction in the systems’ energy consumption,” Schäfer says. The operators now also completely shut down the cleaning systems at the end of each shift and at weekends, which reduces energy consumption still further. Optimizing the performance of existing machinery is one thing, but it is equally important to act preventively. Schäfer continues, “We’ve drawn up a set of ‘energy requirements’ for the procurement of new machines and equipment, which defines the minimum energy-efficiency criteria that must be met by suppliers.” He adds, “We’re proud of this solution, which guarantees that no more energy guzzlers enter our workshops.” These criteria and all other creative ideas contributed by the engineers in Homburg have since been adopted as worldwide standards throughout the Bosch Group. Bosch associates in numerous locations are now applying the same principles to systematically identify potential sources of cost savings in their respective manufacturing activities.

Lower energy consumption means lower production costs
There are more than 150 cleaning systems in use at the Homburg location alone. They are used to remove swarf, emulsions, and oil from the diesel injection system components manufactured there. These cleaning systems account for around 15 percent of the energy consumed by the Homburg plant. The energy-saving measures for which the location received the dib and DEKRA award have considerably reduced energy consumption and costs. Moreover, CO2 emissions have dropped by almost 3,000 metric tons since the measures were introduced. In most cases, the substantial capital expenditure needed to optimize the performance of plant and equipment has been amortized within less than one year.
This is the second consecutive year in which the Bosch associates in Homburg have received a DeutscherIdeenPreis award. In 2012, their structured communications model to improve energy management was selected as the Idea of the Year. The purpose of the communications campaign, which is still in operation, is to raise awareness of energy issues among the workforce.

Bosch-Group: 20 percent reduction by 2020
Industry accounts for over 30 percent of all energy consumed worldwide. It is thus the sector with the second-highest energy consumption, after buildings (40 percent). The Bosch Group aims to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions by 20 percent by the year 2020, compared with the 2007 baseline. This means improving energy efficiency by 20 percent. More than half of the approximately 260 locations of this supplier of technology and services around the world are certified to ISO 14001, the global standard for environmental management systems.

The DeutscherIdeenPreis
The DeutscherIdeenPreis is an initiative led by the German Institute for Business Management (dib). The award was presented for the third time in 2013. In addition to prizes in the four categories of Best Green Innovation, Ideas for Upcoming Challenges, Ideas International, and Idea Angel, dib also awards a general prize for the Idea of the Year. The winners are selected by a jury composed of representatives of business, politics, science, and the media.

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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.

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PI8161 - June 05, 2013

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