Waiblingen/Stuttgart – Bosch Packaging Technology continued growing faster than the packaging machinery industry in 2013, breaking the one-billion-euro sales mark for the first time. “We are exactly on track,” said Friedbert Klefenz, President of Bosch Packaging Technology. The company increased its sales in fiscal 2013 from 914 million euros to 1.1 billion euros, a rise of 22 percent. Adjusted for consolidation effects, that equates to growth of 6.4 percent. Leaving aside exchange rate effects, internal growth at Packaging Technology reached ten percent. By comparison, figures from the German association of mechanical engineers (VDMA) put growth in the German packing machinery industry at only four percent. In 2013, the company employed around 5,600 people at over 30 locations, 12 percent more than in the previous year. Bosch Packaging Technology, a market leader in processing and packaging solutions, will present details of its performance in 2013 at its annual press conference. Date:
May 8, 2014, 10:00 a.m. at Interpack trade fair in Düsseldorf, Germany
“We expect to maintain our growth rate in the current business year as well and reach the target we have set ourselves of 1.5 billion euros in sales by 2015,” stated Klefenz. Bosch Packaging Technology is among the fastest-growing divisions of the Bosch Group. In addition to its main markets of Europe and North America, the company posted above-average growth in Asia, while the markets of Africa and the Middle East continue to gain in importance as well.
Protecting food with state-of-the-art packaging technology One of Bosch Packaging Technology's growth drivers is its pharmaceuticals segment, which is profiting from the burgeoning global growth of this industry. “This clearly shows that ever more people around the world are gaining access to pharmaceutical products, and that can be traced back to growth in the market for generic drugs,” said Klefenz. What is more, the growing use of appropriate packaging is helping improve global food supplies. “We’re proud that our technology can make a contribution toward improving people's quality of life,” explained Klefenz. Worldwide, almost a third of all food produced is lost before it reaches consumers, and missing or inadequate packaging is one of the causes. That is why Bosch Packaging Technology was among the founding members of the United Nations' SAVE FOOD initiative launched at the Interpack trade fair in Düsseldorf in 2011.
Instead of site closure, good prospects for great majority of associates
Consummation of purchase agreement signed in November 2013
Bosch service organization and trading company have begun operations
Stuttgart/Arnstadt – The deal under which the production of crystalline photovoltaic cells and modules in Arnstadt will be sold by Bosch to SolarWorld has been closed. All the conditions for consummating the purchasing agreement signed in November 2013 have been fulfilled, including the approval of the antitrust authorities and the conclusion of a reconciliation of interests for the Bosch Solar Energy associates transferring to SolarWorld Industries-Thüringen GmbH. The parties have agreed not to disclose any details of contractual conditions.
In total, 1,000 of the currently 1,400 jobs at the Arnstadt location have been preserved. “We have achieved our goal of selling parts of the operation and relocating an alternative Bosch business, and in this way of offering jobs to as many associates as possible,” said Dr. Volkmar Denner, Chairman of the Board of Management of Robert Bosch GmbH. “In this way, we can offer a perspective for the large majority of associates instead of closing the site. We have invested a lot of time and considerable sums of money in making this possible.”
In addition to the roughly 800 associates who are transferring to SolarWorld, Bosch will employ a total of roughly 250 associates at the Arnstadt location. The Bosch service organization and trading company have already commenced operations. From the autumn of 2014, Bosch will also be manufacturing an automotive electronic product in Arnstadt. The preliminary preparations are currently underway.
In addition, negotiations are being held with the employee representatives to discuss the reconciliation of interests and social compensation plan for those associates not transferring to SolarWorld Industries-Thüringen GmbH.
Despite increased efforts by Bosch, together with the Thuringian government and state development corporation, the potential investor from the pharmaceuticals industry has abandoned its original plans to manufacture in Arnstadt, citing business reasons.
For the module plant in Vénissieux, France, it is planned to offer a comparable solution to the one for Arnstadt. Talks with a potential investor have now reached an advanced stage.
On February 5, 2014, aleo solar AG, based in Oldenburg and Prenzlau, Germany, signed an agreement to sell its module production in Prenzlau to SCP Solar GmbH. SCP Solar GmbH is a joint venture of the Taiwanese company Sunrise Global Solar Energy Co., Ltd., the Japanese company CHOSHU Industry Co., Ltd., and the U.K.-based Pan Asia Solar, Ltd. The buyer will also take over the “aleo” brand, and intends to create jobs for roughly 200 associates. As the main shareholder (90.7 percent stake), Bosch is providing finance to help aleo put this deal into practice. The aleo board of management has examined several options, including completely winding up the business operations. To give roughly 200 associates the chance of finding employment with the acquiring company, Bosch is accepting additional costs for this transaction running into seven figures. Financially, a complete winding up would have been the far more favorable option. Bosch is providing aleo with financial support for the transaction and for dissolving the residual business not included in the transation. This means that the bankruptcy of aleo can be avoided. The transaction is subject to approval by general shareholders meeting and the antitrust authorities, among other things.
Bosch is a leading supplier and leading user of connected industry
Bosch pools its own expertise and benefits from a broad-based footing
The real Industry 4.0 revolution is in business models
Hannover – “At Bosch, we’re not just making connected industry a reality, it already is – and its future is bright around the world.” These were the words of Bosch board of management member Dr. Werner Struth at the CeBIT Global Conference. The technology and services company is relying on its own expertise and on its broad-based footing to implement connected industry (“Industry 4.0”). “We have all the competencies we need to turn connected industry into reality, both for ourselves and for our customers and partners,” Struth continued. Bosch is not only a leading supplier but also a leading user of these technologies. The company already offers software and hardware solutions for connected industry, and has successfully introduced aspects of connected industry at its own plants, including standardized data exchange between companies.
Exploratory approach and broad-based footing “Worldwide, we’re currently running some 50 pilot projects to put beneficial use cases for connected industry to the test,” said Struth, whose responsibilities as a member of the Bosch board of management include manufacturing systems. The company’s approach is both centralized and decentralized: it gives the various projects attached to different Bosch units a great deal of freedom in how the functional specifics of each use case are defined. Meanwhile, it sets up a central organizational unit to act as global coordinator for the various initiatives, in particular as regards a unified software and hardware architecture. “Working in this way allows us to realize economies of scale in how we grow our knowledge base,” Struth continued. “The exploratory approach we’re taking leads to new, inspiring, and innovative solutions.” He went on to say that from the user’s point of view it is important for technical standards to be defined that allow easy configuration of systems, and that it is also essential to give due weight to security considerations.
With more than 260 manufacturing sites worldwide, Bosch has extensive manufacturing know-how, stretching from the manufacturing of millions of automotive components to the customized manufacturing of packaging machinery. This know-how is complemented by the software expertise of the company’s own software and systems unit, Bosch Software Innovations.
The real revolution is in business models Struth pointed out that the current phase is centered on two key tasks. One of them is to develop further enablers for connected industry, for instance data recording and transmission using RFID (radio-frequency identification) tags or web-enabled sensors, along with data mining. The other task is to develop beneficial use cases and new business models. “In what people are calling the fourth industrial revolution, the real revolution will be in new business models. And those who stand to gain from connected industry are those who can develop user-oriented solutions,” Struth stressed.
Promoting the move toward alternative forms of energy
Turnkey solution based on lithium-ion technology
A constant supply of renewable energy: while others are still heatedly debating about the move to alternative forms of energy, a housing complex near Frankfurt is setting new standards. As much as possible, the complex is designed to be self-sufficient in its energy needs. Not only that: it also saves its residents money in the process.
Stuttgart and Kelsterbach – The move toward alternative forms of energy is taking shape in Kelsterbach, a town close to Frankfurt, Germany. Bosch is supplying a flexible energy storage system for a housing complex that is currently under construction there, which comprises 180 townhouses. The system has an installed capacity of 135 kilowatt-hours. “On paper, this is the equivalent of the daily power requirements of ten average four-person households,” says the Bosch project manager Wolfgang Mollenkopf. The customer is Süwag Erneuerbare Energien GmbH, which is promoting the move toward alternative forms of energy with a concept of its own. The start of operation is planned for the middle of May.
Contribution to a decentralized power supply The energy storage system meets one of the greatest challenges of decentralized power supplies. The housing complex's combined heat and power unit and solar power station do not always generate power when it is needed. Thanks to the battery, the extra power can be stored and made available later on. “We are pleased that our technology is helping Süwag implement its pioneering concept,” says Cordelia Thielitz, who is in charge of stationary energy storage systems at Bosch.
The highest possible level of self-sufficiency “Enka,” as the new housing complex is called, is being built on the site of a former factory. The construction company Deutsche Reihenhaus AG is building 180 townhouses there. A mixed-use development and a business park will be built in a second phase of construction. When completed, the neighborhood should be able to meet a large share of its own energy needs, since it will be equipped with two combined heat and power units in addition to peak load boilers, solar power, heat storage, and electricity storage systems. The system will use the power generated in the complex in the best way possible. The efficient combined heat and power unit will meet the base load. A natural gas-powered internal combustion engine in the unit will generate electricity with the help of a generator. The heat generated in the engine as a result of combustion will be used to heat buildings or water.
Since less power is consumed at night, the large Bosch battery stores energy and releases it whenever it is needed, for instance in the morning. “It's a similar picture with solar energy,” says Cordelia Thielitz. “The sun shines and delivers a lot of energy during the day, when families aren't generally at home. The battery stores the energy until it is needed in the evening.” In terms of its power supply, Süwag aims to make the complex as self-sufficient as possible. “Every kilowatt hour that doesn't need to travel great distances reduces the need to invest in and expand the grid. It also makes integrating renewable sources of energy into the wider system easier,” the company says.
Consumers within the residential complex are directly connected to the power generation system. As a result, there are no transmission charges or similar costs. And for residents, electricity rates are significantly cheaper than usual. The Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences is providing the project with scientific support.
Turnkey energy storage systems The Bosch turnkey energy storage system makes use of lithium-ion technology. The storage unit is some seven meters wide, about 60 centimeters deep, and 1.8 meters high. It is located in a machine room on site. Its capacity and electronics are precisely aligned to the needs of the complex's power grid.
The storage system has an output of 50 kilowatts and can be charged or discharged within two hours. Thanks to its inverter, power can be fed into and drawn from the customer network. The right battery system management and Bosch experience in the area of battery charging and discharging increase battery life. Bosch plans, engineers, and builds a range of storage systems, up to megawatt-hour capacity. In this way, Bosch makes an important contribution to sustainable power supplies, true to the company's strategic imperative “Invented for life.”
Background: energy storage systems Energy storage systems are a key element in the move toward alternative forms of energy. They make it possible to better utilize wind and solar power, whose availability can fluctuate widely. Solar power can be made available at night, and wind power can be stored for times when winds slacken. A Bosch-commissioned study published by Öko-Institut e.V. in Freiburg rightly describes energy storage as a strategically important field of technology. Such systems will play a decisive role in the development of a decentralized power-supply infrastructure.
First and foremost, they can compensate for fluctuations in power generated from the wind and the sun. At the same time, they can act as a buffer for use in the event of unforeseen fluctuations. As a result, energy storage systems make it easier to integrate renewable sources of energy into existing power networks. This makes them an important part of smart grids, as well as an alternative to network expansion. Moreover, they help harmonize power supply and demand.
Background: combined heat and power units Combined heat and power (CHP) units generate electricity and heat with either fossil fuels or renewable sources of energy. CHP uses the same amount of energy to generate twice the benefit. With conventional technologies, heat and power are generally generated separately. CHP combines the two, thus reducing the need for fuel. In a study written for the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, the government energy agency EnergieAgentur.NRW writes: “Its application offers enormous potential for protecting the climate and conserving resources.” If a CHP unit is needed to generate heat on a cold winter's night, for instance, the power generated at the same time can be stored in the battery until the next morning.