Business/economy

Nomination for Future Prize as good example of collaboration Bosch CEO Denner: successful collaboration involving University of Jena, Trumpf, and Bosch secures Germany's innovative lead

  • Ultrashort laser pulses are new tool for mechanical engineering
  • 30 million products at Bosch by end of 2013 - three-fold increase likely in the medium term
  • Interdisciplinary collaboration
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  • November 06, 2013
  • Business/economy
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press release

Ditzingen and Stuttgart – Publicly funded projects involving companies and universities are one of the best ways of preserving and increasing Germany's innovative strength. For Volkmar Denner, the Bosch CEO, and Peter Leibinger, the deputy chairman of the Trumpf board of management, there is no doubt that this is true. “This path can be a decisive one for German industry,” Denner said in Ditzingen, near Stuttgart, on Wednesday. He believes such alliances are a good way of translating the results of research into innovative products faster, and of securing their economic benefit for Germany.

As a positive example of such an alliance, associates from Bosch, Trumpf, and the University of Jena have been jointly nominated for the Federal President's Future Prize. The three partners have worked to develop ultrashort laser pulses, from basic research to application as a new tool in industrial mass production. These high-energy pulses can be used to drill extremely small holes in the hardest metals, or to cut sapphires and diamonds.

They are fired at the material up to 800,000 times a second, ablating microscopically small surfaces. This gives rise to holes or incisions. Trumpf currently supplies the most powerful industrial lasers in the field. Bosch has already used the technology in its own industrial series production. Many of the basic principles behind this process are the result of work done at the University of Jena. The parties presented the technology to journalists on Wednesday. The winner of the award will be announced in Berlin on December 4. Two other teams are in the running for the federal president's prestigious award.

Speaking to journalists, the Bosch laser expert Jens König said: “At Bosch, this technology is on the point of making its impact felt in huge production volumes.” By the end of 2013, it will have been used to manufacture 30 million products at Bosch alone, he pointed out. “A three-fold increase is likely in the medium term.” One such product that has been especially successful is a fuel-saving gasoline injection system that uses 20 percent less gasoline. But the laser pulses can also be used to cut extremely hard glass for smartphones or to shape medical products such as stents.

Denner and Leibinger unanimously agreed that many of the fundamental principles behind the laser were set down years ago in the “PRIMUS” and “PROMPTUS” projects, funded by the Federal Ministry of Research. They added that one of the conditions for such funding is that the projects involve people from different disciplines who cooperate across subject boundaries. They feel that this plays a decisive role in generating new ideas for innovative products. “Such innovative strength is crucially important for our country. Politicians, society, and companies should never forget that,” Denner said. “The joint nomination for the Future Prize is an especially good example of such collaboration.”

The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. According to preliminary figures, its roughly 281,000 associates generated sales of 46.4 billion euros in 2013 (Note: due to a change in the legal rules governing consolidation, the 2013 figures can only be compared to a limited extent with the 2012 figures). Its operations are divided into four business sectors: Automotive Technology, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods, and Energy and Building Technology. The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its more than 360 subsidiaries and regional companies in some 50 countries. If its sales and service partners are included, then Bosch is represented in roughly 150 countries. This worldwide development, manufacturing, and sales network is the foundation for further growth. In 2013, Bosch applied for some 5,000 patents worldwide. The Bosch Group’s products and services are designed to fascinate, and to improve the quality of life by providing solutions which are both innovative and beneficial. In this way, the company offers technology worldwide 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 www.bosch.com and www.bosch-press.com, http://twitter.com/BoschPresse.

PI8377 - November 06, 2013

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