Business/economy

International industry conference Bosch ConnectedWorld 2015 in Berlin Bosch CEO Denner warns: “The connected world is not some distant dream. It's already here.” Internet of things and Industry 4.0 offer huge opportunities

  • Proper understanding of connected solutions is decisive for success
  • Solutions have to focus on users
  • Partnerships and open standards are also required
  • Support for start-ups and innovative business models needed
  • Single European digital market an urgent priority
Berlin – “Connectivity is an all-encompassing trend, one that will affect all walks of life. Especially for a strong economy like Germany, this connectivity offers major business opportunities,” said Dr. Volkmar Denner, the Bosch CEO, at Bosch ConnectedWorld 2015, an international conference in Berlin.
At the two-day industry conference, Bosch and companies including Cisco, Volkswagen, Trumpf, GE, and Daimler are presenting a range of new solutions in areas such as connected industry and connected mobility. Roughly 800 experts are meeting to discuss business models and technical solutions, and to exchange experience. Industry 4.0 (connected industry) in particular offers Germany a historic opportunity to improve its competitiveness as an industrial location. “However, this opportunity will pass us by if German companies are too slow to take action. Germany has to quickly meet the requirements for connected industry; otherwise, the country will be squandering the competitive advantage its strengths currently give it over other regions,” Denner said.

Success depends on systemic understanding
Around the world, engineers are developing solutions for the internet of things. “At present developments are very much driven by technology. But in an area like this, technological know-how and excellent work alone are not enough. We have found that the right systemic understanding is decisive for the internet of things,” Denner said. When developing connected solutions, therefore, Bosch takes three levels into consideration: the first is connected things, which use sensors to collect data and in this way help create a virtual image of the real world. The second is secure software platforms that connect these things with the internet and with each other, that analyze data, and that make new services possible. The third is the applications and services that are developed on the software platforms and create value-added for customers.

Users in focus
In Denner's view, customer focus and customer benefit are critical for successful solutions on the internet of things: “Any connected solution has to focus constantly on users and their problems, and less on products or technologies.” For this reason, he said, a company's first thought when developing new solutions should always be its customers and their wishes. “We have to offer our customers solutions and functions that make their lives safer, more secure, and more convenient.” In Denner's view, a consistent user focus is crucial if connectivity is to succeed. Moreover, he added, alliances involving different companies are an important driver of connected solutions. Joint projects and “eco-systems” need uniform standards and open platforms as a basis, Denner said, since only then can fully compatible solutions deliver the greatest benefit for customers and consumers. In Denner's opinion, it is precisely this cooperation among companies, even those in different industries, that forms one of Germany's major strengths. “For example, we have to build broad clusters for Industry 4.0 in order to pool expertise, knowledge, and resources,” Denner said.

Collaboration with start-ups and establishment of a venture capital scene
The Bosch CEO is concerned that established industries are increasingly being challenged by new providers with clever business ideas. It was for this reason that Bosch set up the IoT Lab with the University of St. Gallen in 2012. On a scientifically sound basis, this joint “think-tank” explores and tries out new business models for the internet of things. “German industry is still technologically innovative. But to hold its own on the internet of things, it also has to create new, innovative business models,” Denner said. One thing that might help here would be if traditional industrial companies were to collaborate more closely with internet start-ups. For their part, internet start-ups need more financial support as they scale their business ideas up to the relevant market size. “Europe has waited long enough for a functioning venture capital industry rich in financial resources,” Denner said. If they cannot be assured investment, German or European start-ups will never be as big or successful as their U.S. counterparts.

Single digital market and responsible use of data
Denner sees a further crucial disadvantage for European companies in the extremely fragmented European market, which is the result of differences in data and consumer protection regulations. “We need a single digital market in Europe. This will allow us to launch connected solutions just as successfully in our home market as U.S. or Chinese companies can in theirs,” Denner said. In this connection, he called for rapid introduction of the EU's General Data Protection Regulation. Denner, who is also responsible for research and advance engineering on the Bosch board of management, underscored how important data protection is to society's widespread acceptance of connected solutions. “The internet of things can become a reality only if people put their trust and confidence in it.” That's why Bosch is committed to making the handling of customer data extremely transparent. Denner continued: “We are completely open about how we use our customers' data. We will tell our customers what data we want to use for what purpose, and we will ask them for their express permission.”

Bosch saw the internet of things coming years ago
The Bosch Group's strategic objective is to create solutions for a connected world. For many years, the company has been preparing systematically for the connected world, not least by expanding its own software competence. Bosch Software Innovations GmbH is the Bosch Group's software and systems unit. In the form of its Bosch IoT Suite, it provides all Bosch divisions, as well as external customers, with a versatile software platform for the internet of things. Moreover, Bosch is the leading supplier of MEMS sensors (microelectromechanical systems), which are a key technology for the internet of things. On its path to the connected world, Bosch is linking its expertise in the “world of things” and the “world of software.” In doing so, the supplier of technology and services is relying on both products and new business models, such as connected fleet management or proactive maintenance of manufacturing facilities.

Bosch ConnectedWorld – where industries meet to discuss tomorrow's world
The Bosch ConnectedWorld event is an annual conference on the subject of the internet of things. This year, some 800 international experts are meeting in Berlin to talk about current areas of application and new business models. In addition to the Bosch CEO Dr. Volkmar Denner, the conference speakers include Ulrich Grillo, president of the Federation of German Industries, and Dr. Richard Mark Soley, CEO of the Industrial Internet Consortium.

Internet:
Details about the Bosch ConnectedWorld Conference, February 17-18, 2015
http://bit.ly/1zkBMTv
Bosch Software Innovations blog – What established companies can learn from start-ups
http://bit.ly/1JWRdTC
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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
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
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The internet of things Bosch acquires middleware specialist ProSyst Software for smart homes, mobility, and connected industry

  • ProSyst employs around 110 associates in Cologne, Germany, and Sofia, Bulgaria
  • Software enabling device connectivity over internet of things
  • Established Java and OSGi specialist for gateway software and middleware
Berlin, Stuttgart – Bosch Software Innovations GmbH, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Bosch Group, intends to acquire the company ProSyst. Agreements to this effect were signed on February 13, 2015. ProSyst employs some 110 associates in Cologne, Germany, and Sofia, Bulgaria. The company specializes in the development of gateway software and middleware for the internet of things. These facilitate the interaction between connected devices in the smart home, connected industry, and mobility segments. The company’s customers include leading appliance manufacturers, automakers, and chip vendors, as well as telecommunications and energy service providers. The acquisition is subject to approval by the antitrust authorities. It has been agreed that the purchase price will not be disclosed.

Device management for the internet of things
ProSyst’s solutions are built on the Java programming language and OSGi technology. “On this basis, the company has been developing successful gateway software and middleware that serves as a link between devices and the cloud for more than ten years. This link is essential for interconnecting buildings, vehicles, and machines,” said Rainer Kallenbach, the president of Bosch Software Innovations. “In Bosch, we have a strategic partner with a strong global sales network. This alliance means that we can play a bigger role in the growing market for the internet of things and decisively expand our global position,” said Daniel Schellhoss, the founder and managing director of ProSyst. Applications for Java and OSGi include the smart home and industrial manufacturing segments. Software that is written in Java and combined with OSGi technology can be automatically installed, updated, and uninstalled remotely without the need to reboot the device each time. This remote access is frequently realized via gateway software, which also ensures that devices can be intelligently controlled. For example, the software can receive and assess information on electricity prices or weather forecasts, and then pass it on to the central heating system to increase its operating efficiency.

Uniform networking for central heating systems, household appliances, and security cameras
The ProSyst software also assumes a kind of “translator” role. If things such as central heating systems, household appliances, and security cameras are to be interlinked in a smart home, they must all “speak the same language.” This is especially difficult when the products are from different manufacturers, use different communication protocols, or are not web-enabled.

“In combination with the Bosch IoT Suite from Bosch Software Innovations and the Bosch Group’s expertise as a leading producer of sensors and appliances, the ProSyst software will enable our customers to launch new applications on the internet of things more quickly and be one of the first to tap into new areas of business,” Kallenbach said. “The ProSyst software is highly compatible with the Bosch IoT Suite, our platform for the internet of things. Above all, it complements our device management component by supporting a large number of different device protocols. This will allow us to achieve an even better market position than before.”

The Bosch Software Innovations subsidiary is a provider of one-stop solutions in the area of the internet of things. Service activities round out the company’s offerings. Its core product is the Bosch IoT Suite. Bosch Software Innovations employs around 550 associates around the globe at locations in Germany (Berlin, Immenstaad, Stuttgart), Singapore, China (Shanghai), and the U.S. (Chicago and Palo Alto).

Contact:
Anita Bunk
Phone: +49 (7545) 202-493
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