Factory of the future Bosch is partner in eta project for model energy-efficient factory Joint research project with TU Darmstadt

  • Target: up to 40 percent lower energy consumption
  • Bosch provides know-how and infrastructure support
  • Bosch is working for energy-efficient industry on many fronts
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  • June 11, 2013
  • Business/economy
  • Press releases

press release

Darmstadt – Bosch is an industrial and research partner for the “eta factory.” This refers to a project of the Technical University of Darmstadt, named “Energy-efficient factory for interdisciplinary technology and application research.” The objective of the project is to further reduce and improve energy consumption in industrial production. The project members believe that the energy-saving potential is as high as 40 percent. To put this to the test, researchers and users will optimize the energy efficiency of the eta factory under everyday conditions. A model factory will be set up for research purposes on the university campus. What makes the project special is its interdisciplinary approach to reducing energy consumption. All a factory's sub-systems, such as the building, technical infrastructure, and machinery and equipment, are considered as a whole and their energy requirements optimized.

Moving to new forms of energy
“Networking the energy requirements of individual manufacturing lines and peripherals such as the roof and the façade is a source of huge potential. The eta research project's integrated approach is the main reason for us to take part,” said Dr. Werner Struth, the management board member of Robert Bosch GmbH responsible for manufacturing coordination and environmental protection. “Not using energy in the first place, or using it efficiently is still the best way to usher in a move to alternative forms of energy,” Struth added. As well as specialist and process-related know-how, the Bosch subsidiaries Bosch Rexroth and Bosch Thermotechnik will contribute technical infrastructure. For example, Bosch Rexroth will supply the factory's production line. Bosch Thermotechnik's support includes an ORC (Organic Rankine Cycle) system.

Bosch: working on many fronts for energy-efficient industry
In global terms, the industrial sector is the second largest consumer of energy. This is why Bosch is working hard to improve the energy efficiency of its own manufacturing facilities. At the company's Homburg location in Germany, for example, Bosch energy experts have optimized the energy consumption of its energy-intensive cleaning systems. At the beginning of June, this systematic approach earned the location the “Deutscher Ideenpreis” (German prize for ideas). In addition, Bosch Rexroth offers its customers energy-efficiency advice. The Rexroth 4EE methodology (4EE stands for “for energy efficiency”) is also an integrated approach to optimizing production machinery. Here, energy use is optimized not only for individual stages of production, but also for entire manufacturing systems. And with its ORC systems, Bosch Thermotechnik offers a technology for the intelligent use of waste heat, which is one of the focal points of the eta project.

Bosch Group: 20 percent by 2020
The secondary sector accounts for more than 30 percent of global energy demand. The Bosch Group's aim for 2020 is to reduce the CO2 emissions of its manufacturing facilities by 20 percent from their 2007 level. Energy efficiency is to be improved by 20 percent. More than half of the 260 locations of this supplier of technology and services have been certified according to the international ISO 14001 environmental standard. More information is available online at

About the eta factory
Two universities, three research institutes, and twelve companies are involved in the eta project for a model energy-efficient factory of the future. Scientific leadership of the project lies with the Institute for Production Management, Technology, and Machine Tools of the Technical University of Darmstadt. It is supported financially by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology, the Federal State of Hesse, and industrial partners. The project will initially run for four years. Its findings are also to be used in the education of young scientists. An industrial committee will channel the findings into plans for the energy-saving manufacturing facilities of the future. More information about the eta factory is available online at

Video link: For an animated video of the model factory, click here:

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,

PI8173 - June 11, 2013

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