Business/economy

Software competence, virtual power stations, convenient recharging of electric vehicles, Industry 4.0 Bosch offers viable solutions for a connected world Sensor technology and the Bosch IoT Suite provide the technological basis

  • Viable technology for a smart power grid
  • Connected buildings and smart homes
  • Connected mobility solutions
  • Leading supplier and leading exponent of connected manufacturing
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  • February 17, 2015
  • Business/economy
  • Press releases
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press release

Stuttgart – The future is connected. Bosch expects that roughly 14 billion things will be connected over the internet by 2022. The supplier of technology and services recognized the potential that this offers at an early stage, and now offers many viable solutions. For example, Bosch sensors register vacant parking spaces, while “virtual power stations” use Bosch software to harmonize power generation and energy demand. Bosch is the global market leader for the micromechanical sensors that form the basis of many connected solutions. On top of that, it can draw on the software competence of Bosch Software Innovations, its software and systems unit. Its IoT Suite is the technological basis for many applications on the internet of things. The following are a selection of Bosch solutions for the connected world:

1.) Connectivity as the basis for mobility solutions

The “Charge&Pay for Mercedes-Benz” app facilitates the recharging of electric cars
Anyone who travels by electric car and wants to recharge it has to be well prepared. In Germany, there are some 3,000 publicly accessible and web-enabled charge spots, 230 operators, and many different charging cards and payment systems. For a recharging and payment process that is much simpler and more convenient for drivers, Daimler offers the “Charge&Pay for Mercedes-Benz” app, developed and supplied by Bosch Software Innovations.

Using this app, recharging from the public infrastructure will be just as simple as buying a parking ticket, since it works irrespective of provider. The app displays any vacant charge spots in the vicinity. Before recharging, customers find out how much it will cost at the respective charge spot. Identity verification is also handled by the app, and billing is done automatically via PayPal. Designed for smartphones, the service is available everywhere and at any time – without any contractual obligations or fixed costs.
For more details, go to: http://bit.ly/1zmTJyC

Flex Inspect diagnostic system, using augmented reality
Connectivity also plays a role when a car has to be serviced or repaired. Bosch has created a solution for repair shops that makes troubleshooting and repair work easier. In the repair shop or garage, the Flex Inspect diagnostic system can wirelessly read out the vehicle’s fault log, and also check the battery, tire pressure, and chassis geometry. This information is displayed on a tablet PC. On the basis of this data, a customer advisor can discuss the type and scope of repairs needed with the vehicle owner. A live diagnosis using augmented reality is part of this innovative solution. All the repair-shop mechanic has to do is simply point his tablet computer at the vehicle. Context-related information is then displayed on the image of the vehicle, in the relevant position. Next to where the battery is located, for example, a text box will show whether the voltage reading is sufficient.
For more details, go to: http://bit.ly/1KPRhHY; http://bit.ly/1vOHYnD

Bosch makes parking simpler and more convenient
The daily search for a vacant parking space in city centers or parking garages is frustrating and time-consuming. But it could soon be a thing of the past. Bosch has developed solutions that use sensors to generate real-time maps displaying vacant parking spaces. Wireless sensors installed on the pavement are one source of information for these maps. The sensors can recognize whether a parking space is occupied or not, and can share this information via the internet. The free parking spaces are displayed on a real-time map. Moreover, vehicles passing any vacant spaces will be able to report them. The ultrasound sensors installed in many modern vehicles register gaps between cars parked along the side of the road. As many vehicles are now online, this information can also be transmitted over the internet and displayed on a real-time map. Transmitting this information to users’ smartphones or directly to their cars’ navigation devices can help significantly shorten the often taxing search for parking.
For more details, go to: http://bit.ly/1FGpZQD

Fleet management for fleet operators and insurance companies
The new Bosch telematics services give fleet operators more clarity and a better overview. Via the interface for the on-board diagnosis system, the vehicle’s journey and performance data are transmitted to Bosch for analysis. Fleet operators can use the evaluated data to optimize things such as operating and maintenance times. Services such as an electronic logbook and a theft alert system are also available, thanks to the GPS installed in the vehicle. In this way, the total cost of running the vehicle is reduced.

2.) Connected energy for more sustainability

IT platform for a smart power grid
Since September 2014, a new software system featuring smart control via a secure wireless connection has been helping keep the Berlin power grid stable. The software was developed by Bosch Software Innovations in collaboration with the mobile network operator e*Message. This new technology makes it possible to flexibly manage thousands of local power generators and energy consumers, as well as to take them offline and online – safely, reliably, and cost-efficiently. Up to now, this has been done using ripple control, in which the commands are sent over the existing power supply grid. These commands are now sent by radio. In this way, energy consumers and power generating systems can be flexibly managed, collectively and individually, in a process that is either ad hoc, time-staggered, or scheduled. Depending on the weather, for example, night storage heaters can be switched on at different times each day, or photovoltaic arrays can be throttled or taken offline as required. This can prevent the grid from being overloaded. As the first German operator of a distributed grid, Stromnetz Berlin GmbH recently began using radio ripple control. This radio-based technology is manipulation- and breakdown-proof, as well as less expensive to run. In the future, the new Berlin-Britz substation will supply electricity to roughly 25,000 households and 1,400 businesses. It is the first substation to be fitted with this technology.
For more details, go to: http://bit.ly/1GPv9IW

Software for the Smart City Rheintal virtual power station
Smart City Rheintal is a consortium of several pioneering projects in the Vorarlberg region of Austria. The region has set itself the goal of achieving CO2-free energy autonomy by 2050. In the “smart grid” sub-project, Bosch Software Innovations is working with other partners to design and develop a virtual power station that will harmonize power generation and energy demand. This is especially important when using renewable energy, since a lot of solar energy may be available when it is not really needed. For this reason, a large number of photovoltaics arrays are being combined to form one single, virtual source of electricity. The output of this virtual power station can be controlled by increasing or reducing the injection of power from the photovoltaics arrays feeding into it. The actual and potential output of the virtual PV power station are both constantly measured and predicted on the basis of current weather forecasts. The more precise these forecasts, the better the possibility of planning power consumption appropriately. If, for example, there is likely to be a surge in electricity supply over the next two hours, the power can be used to recharge an electric vehicle that has been reserved for a trip in four hours’ time.
For more details, go to: http://bit.ly/1E6Q8XZ, http://youtu.be/FrYr5AL1eus, http://youtu.be/dz5mzGgv18w

3.) Connected industry – the fourth industrial revolution

One product, 300 variants, batch size 1
At its plant in Homburg, Germany, Bosch Rexroth uses over 2,000 components to manufacture more than 300 hydraulic-valve variants on just one production line. These valves control the flow of hydraulic oil in trucks and tractors, enabling load beds to be tipped or plows raised. Some of these valves have to be made just ten times a month, others several hundred times. This calls for a production process that is highly flexible. An innovative new assembly line can deal easily with this variety. It is also extremely flexible. At nine stations on the assembly line, different valve designs are manufactured – in parallel if necessary. The line consistently applies the principles of connectivity.

The nine stations automatically recognize each of the individual workpieces and call up the related processing schedule. Associates then know immediately what they have to do. They know what screws have to be turned and what seals have to be installed. In extreme cases, each valve is different – production with batch size one. All this is possible without complex retooling or excessive stocks at the individual stations. In addition, new variants can be included in the production process at any time. And that’s not all: on the basis of Bluetooth tags, the line recognizes each individual associate. Monitors mounted at the stations then show animated 3D films of the assembly process, tailored to each associate’s level of knowledge. This connectivity can go even further: the aim is to transfer customers’ manufacturing orders to the line direct, and to automatically schedule the best possible manufacturing process.
For details about the production line, go to: http://bit.ly/1uSEhpB

Individualized tests in Blaichach
At its Blaichach plant, Bosch manufactures the ESP electronic stability program, among other things. This system stabilizes vehicles, reduces the risk of skidding, and plays an essential part in making driving safer. During the manufacturing process, a lot of information is collected relating to each individual component. During preassembly, for example, a solenoid valve is made for subsequent installation in the ESP unit. For each individual valve, Bosch records large amounts of data about things such as tightness and the force needed to adjust the valve. Combining all this data in a computer shows how extensive the final inspection has to be. The scope of testing for “class A” batches is reduced. For example, certain leakage tests can be foregone. “Class B” batches are fully tested. This individualized testing of batches means less time is spent overall on inspection, which also means greater productivity and competitiveness.

4.) Smart home solutions

Open software platform for smart homes
People who live in smart homes can use their smartphones to conveniently control devices and appliances of all kinds, without having to worry about different technologies and makes. For this to happen, all the devices and appliances in a house – e.g. coffee-maker, central heating, lights, and blinds – have to be able to send data simply and securely to each other, as well as to smartphones and tablets. ABB, Bosch, and Cisco plan to establish an international joint venture that will develop and operate an open software platform for devices and applications in smart homes. As well as developing and operating the software platform, the companies want to make it possible for providers from the areas of household appliances, consumer electronics, home automation, and internet services to collaborate in a business ecosystem. The idea is that this ecosystem will make collaboration easier und help include different user requirements in the development of the software platform.
For more details, go to: http://bit.ly/1AomeML

Using the Home Connect app to operate household appliances
In addition to this, Bosch has already launched its first connected household appliances – an oven and a dishwasher – that can be operated by app. The Bosch Home Connect app is a world first, allowing household appliances belonging to different brands to be controlled from a single point. Using just one app, many additional functions can be used. In the future, it is planned to make appliance-related services available on the app as well. By the fall of 2015 at the latest, there will be connected appliances in every product category of BSH Hausgeräte GmbH.
For more details, go to: http://bit.ly/1AomeML, http://www.bsh-group.de/

5.) Intelligently connected energy systems

e.Control
Bosch also offers innovative solutions for intelligently connected, local energy systems: if a photovoltaics array is connected with advanced heat-pump technology, consumers can themselves use most of the solar electricity they generate, and in this way significantly reduce their energy bills. The heart of this system is e.Control, a smart control system. Connected with the electricity meter, it monitors flows of energy in the building. Priority is given to the power supply to the household appliances that are currently in operation. And if homeowners supplement their energy system with a Bosch hybrid battery, they can use even more of the solar electricity they generate themselves. The hybrid system keeps the heat pump supplied with sufficient electricity even when the sky is cloudy or after dark. The heat pump uses air or ground heat to heat the house and provide it with hot water. The energy management system provided by the Bosch solution detects when the heat pump needs electricity and covers this requirement with electricity from the photovoltaics array, provided the sun is shining strongly enough.
For more details about e.Control, go to: http://bit.ly/19n1LQV

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 www.bosch.com and www.bosch-press.com, http://twitter.com/BoschPresse.

PI8792 - February 17, 2015

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