Efficiency measures lead to savings of around 530 million euros
Board of management member Struth: “Cutting CO2 emissions is a part of our social responsibility as businesspeople”
Stuttgart – Bosch is making progress when it comes to climate protection. Since 2007, the company has succeeded in reducing relative CO2 emissions related to value-added by more than 20 percent thanks to various energy-saving measures, such as the use of eco-friendly technologies in manufacturing and the installation of efficient heating technology in buildings. “The conservation of resources and reduction of CO2 emissions are a part of our social responsibility as business people. By using intelligent energy-saving technology, industry can make a significant contribution to climate protection,” said Dr. Werner Struth, the Bosch board of management member responsible for environmental protection. The measures aimed at saving energy are set to be expanded in the future. However, energy efficiency not only benefits the environment and society, but is also a key factor for companies in achieving a competitive edge, according to Struth. For Bosch, the lower energy consumption is already paying off financially. Between 2007 and 2014 alone, the company saved around 530 million euros in energy costs through in-house measures.
CO2 coordinators analyze energy consumption Bosch has implemented many projects aimed at supplying itself with renewable energy. Today, a modern hydroelectric facility supplies the company’s plant in Blaichach, Germany, for example. The location generates around three-quarters of the energy it needs itself. At various Bosch locations, specially trained CO2 coordinators are also searching for ways to save energy. These experts and their teams analyze the energy consumption of production facilities, for example. The information gained makes it possible to reduce the consumption of electricity and heat by switching off power consumers that are not currently needed, to name one method. Bosch also provides many of its solutions for more energy efficiency to industrial customers, who can achieve energy savings of up to 30 percent.
A few examples of how Bosch is saving energy:
Corporate research in Renningen, Germany: green roofs for climate control and photovoltaic arrays The company’s new research campus in Renningen features green roofs. Like a sponge, they absorb rainwater, which they release in small quantities during dry periods. Having the sun shine on the green surfaces rather than directly on the roofs saves energy on climate control systems within the buildings. To save even more power, all the windows of the main building have been triple-glazed. The building is also equipped with a sun-shade system that automatically lowers itself in bright sunlight. This combination cuts energy consumption by 20 to 30 percent – energy that the air-conditioning system would otherwise have needed for cooling. In addition, the photovoltaic arrays on the roofs of the campus buildings generate as much electricity as around 100 families use in a year, thus reducing CO2 emissions by 200 metric tons annually.
Beringen, Switzerland: thermal groundwater use At the Packaging Technology location in Beringen, Switzerland, a modern building is heated with the help of a subterranean groundwater basin. In this system, pumps extract up to 2,000 liters of groundwater a minute from a depth of 40 meters. They transport it to two heat pumps that generate heating energy by way of energy conversion. In summer, it is possible to cool the building directly by using the groundwater, as its temperature of around twelve degrees Celsius is significantly cooler than the temperature inside the building. To make this possible, the groundwater is heated in a closed-circuit system using a heat exchanger and then returned to below the surface. The building complies with the Minergie standard, a Swiss seal of quality for energy-optimized construction. The modern building and the use of groundwater saves 180,000 liters of heating oil and around 480 metric tons of CO2 a year during heating and cooling. Capturing this amount of CO2 from the air would require planting approximately 35,000 trees.
Worcester, United Kingdom: water recycling At the Thermotechnology location in Worcester, a new water-recycling system is helping ensure efficiency and resource conservation in manufacturing. Every year, the location needs around 110 million liters of water in research and development, in its long-term testing facilities, and in production. The new recycling system makes it possible to reuse cooling water from the production facilities. The recycling system saves twelve metric tons of CO2 and around 71 million liters of water annually – which corresponds approximately to the water consumption of 650 households.
Schweinfurt, Germany: combining extraction systems The Bosch Rexroth plant in Schweinfurt has reduced its energy consumption by almost four gigawatt hours per year, which corresponds approximately to the energy consumption of 1,100 households. CO2 emissions have decreased by more than 1,500 metric tons. Combining the grinders’ extraction systems, which had previously been separate, made a major contribution to achieving these savings. Like large vacuum cleaners, they remove fumes and vapors from cooling lubricants. Cooling lubricants are necessary to cool and lubricate the grinding disks that are used in manufacturing as well as for parts during processing. The exhaust air from several systems now flows through pipes to a few larger filters. Thanks to a regulated motor, the fans extract only as much air as is necessary.
Mellansel, Sweden: energy-efficient painting technology One of the most flexible and eco-friendly painting shops in the European mechanical engineering sector is located in Mellansel, Sweden. The machinery that is painted at this Bosch Rexroth plant includes heavy-duty hydraulic engines for recycling plants and mining. Engines that will subsequently come into contact with salt water are coated with several layers of corrosion-proofing. The temperature and the mix of water and color pigments are monitored closely so that excess heat can be recovered. As a result, energy consumption is 75 percent lower than it used to be. The switch to water-based paint also reduces the use of solvents by around 80 percent.
Nuremberg, Germany: oil tank converted into a modern refrigeration storage unit The plant in Nuremberg has converted a former oil tank into a refrigeration storage unit. Together with refrigeration systems, it now makes a contribution to the energy-efficient cooling of lubricants. These lubricants are used to combat the heat that is created during the turning and milling of parts. The refrigeration systems cool water in advance. As in a refrigerator, the water remains at a constant temperature in the tank of the refrigeration storage unit. It also uses the ambient temperature to cool the tank itself. By doing so, the converted tank saves around 300 metric tons of CO2 a year. Capturing this amount of CO2 from the air would require planting a forest the size of approximately 30 soccer fields.
Rodez, France: biomass cogeneration plant Bosch’s plant for diesel injectors in the southern French city of Rodez recently upgraded its heating system. As part of this, two of its three gas-fired cogeneration plants were replaced by a biomass cogeneration plant. It heats the buildings and supplies them with warm water. The new system has reduced the plant’s CO2 emissions by roughly 25 percent. In total, this adds up to annual savings of some 600 tons of CO2. The new system satisfies strict environmental regulations and exclusively runs on biomass from the local forestry industry.
Stuttgart-Feuerbach, Germany: retrofitted cleaning machines in diesel injection-pump manufacturing The Feuerbach site manufactures diesel injection pumps that are used for fuel injection in vehicles. Before the housing of these diesel injection pumps can be assembled, they have to be cleaned several times to get rid of particles of dirt and grease. This can take place between the grinding and hardening processing steps, for example. To do so, cleaning machines wash the parts in hot baths, whose temperature was successfully reduced from 60 to 50 degrees Celsius without affecting manufacturing quality. In addition, the hot water generated by the buildings’ air-conditioning systems is today used to heat the baths. This alone makes it possible to save around 100 metric tons of CO2 a year. When no parts are being cleaned, the system automatically switches itself into standby mode. All told, this allows the plant to save around 2,100 megawatt hours of energy a year – approximately the same amount that a medium-sized wind turbine generates in the same period.
New Bosch smart-home system allows things such as heating and lighting to be controlled using just one app
Focus on data protection and data security
Stefan Hartung: “An important strategic step toward pooling and expanding our range of solutions for the smart home.”
Stuttgart, Germany – Bosch is strengthening its business in solutions for the smart home. From January 1, 2016 the newly founded subsidiary Robert Bosch Smart Home GmbH will bring together the company’s smart-home activities, including related software and sensor-system expertise. In the future, the new company will offer many products and services for connected homes from a single source: for example a new solution that can report break-ins and help control the heating to save energy. From January 2016, customers will be able to order the first Bosch products in this field online. These include the Bosch smart home controller, a smart thermostat, and a contact for doors or windows. The premiere will take place at the CES 2016 in Las Vegas. Bosch’s smart-home solutions are aimed at a giant market: according to market experts, by 2020 alone some 230 million homes worldwide – almost 15 percent of all households – will feature smart-home technologies.
Major business potential “Setting up the Bosch smart-home subsidiary is an important strategic step toward pooling and expanding on our range of solutions for the smart home. Smart homes facilitate new services that make their occupants’ lives easier, and they offer major business potential,” says Dr. Stefan Hartung, the member of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH responsible for the Energy and Building Technology business sector. “The Bosch smart-home system is easy to install and operate: one system, one app, one user experience. Our solutions relieve users of tiresome routine tasks while offering them more convenience and safety,” adds Dr. Peter Schnäbele, the future managing director of the Stuttgart-based Robert Bosch Smart Home GmbH.
Data protection and data security given top priority Bosch smart-home solutions meet the highest standards of data protection and data security. These standards are taken into account right from the start of the product development process. To this end, Bosch has also set up a center of competence for product security. Customers and users have full transparency and decide for themselves how their data are used.
New services and an app make life easier Bosch smart-home system solutions mean that a single platform is sufficient to interconnect the heating, lighting, smoke alarms, and appliances in a home. All these can then be operated simply using a smartphone or tablet. The core of the system is the Bosch smart-home controller, a central control unit that connects the components with each other and to the internet. In the future, users will be able to use the Bosch smart-home app to combine the basic functions of unrelated devices. For example, the door and window contact solution reports whether a window is open. When this happens, the system can automatically turn down the heating in the relevant room, in line with the user’s preference settings. What is more, users can check their smartphone anytime, anywhere to see whether doors and windows are open or closed. In future versions of the door and window contact solution, the system will sound the alarm if a window or door is broken open when the occupant is absent – meaning there will no longer be any need for a separate alarm system.
Compatible with other manufacturers’ devices When it comes to connectivity, Bosch believes open standards and open platforms will make the technology as user-friendly as possible. For this reason, the Bosch smart-home system is modular and expandable, and it is easy to connect compatible devices made by other manufacturers to it.
Simply.Connected. Visit Bosch at CES 2016 in Las Vegas, NV, USA:
Tuesday, January 5, 2016, 8 to 8:45 a.m. local time: press conference with Dr. Volkmar Denner, chairman of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH, at Mandalay Bay Hotel, South Convention Center, Level 3, Banyan Rooms A-D.
Wednesday, January 6 through Saturday, January 9, 2016: Bosch booths showcasing solutions for smart homes, smart cities, and Industry 4.0 at the Smart Home Marketplace, Sands Expo Center, #71517, and showcasing connected mobility at North Hall, #2302.
Follow the Bosch CES 2016 highlights on Twitter: #BoschCES
Contact person for press inquiries: Christian Hoenicke, phone +49 711 811-6285
Schools should be supported with better technical equipment
Sensors enable valuable analysis of production data
Hundreds of millions of euros can be saved annually
Stuttgart/Berlin – Many German companies are not yet able to fully tap into the potential of Industry 4.0. The reason? There are thousands of jobs for experts in connected manufacturing, but not enough qualified people to do them. “We are in urgent need of specialists who are not only familiar with products and production lines but are also able to analyze huge quantities of data,” said Dr. Werner Struth, member of the Bosch board of management. Looking ahead to the upcoming National IT Summit in Berlin, he added that Industry 4.0 “requires experts who can look beyond the borders of their area of expertise.” Struth's responsibilities at Bosch include coordinating manufacturing at the company's more than 250 plants worldwide. One of the exhibits at the IT Summit will be an online map highlighting 100 examples of Industry 4.0 in Germany. Of these, 15 are Bosch projects. “They illustrate how Industry 4.0 improves efficiency and competitiveness,” said Struth. He also hailed the arrival of the current reference architecture model for Industry 4.0, as it provides a common footing for Germany to benefit from the potential of connected manufacturing. As he put it, “This is the basis upon which connected companies will become connected industry.”
Study: demand for experts still rising However, some areas still lack skilled workers. A study conducted by the German Engineering Federation (VDMA) suggests that this is a major hurdle to developing new information and automation technology. Viewing the sector as a whole, the study calculates that more than 4,000 jobs need to be filled. And demand is predicted to continue rising considerably through 2018.
Education offensive for the connected world A broad-based education offensive aimed at children could help in overcoming this challenge, said Struth. “We have to lay the groundwork for confidently navigating the digital world at a young age. Young people have to be capable of doing more than just using the apps on their smartphones. They should also know a programming language, because that's the only tool that will allow them to make their ideas reality.”
“Connectivity is a universal trend” To be able to teach these fundamental skills, schools and teachers need to be equipped with the necessary know-how and the right technical infrastructure. This would also help raise general awareness of the importance of data protection, added Struth. “Clear rules for data protection and for handling production information are essential if companies are to work together in an atmosphere of mutual trust.”
Changes to education are needed at the university level as well, Struth said. “Students should be in a position to network and share their knowledge with each other. There's no need for everyone to be an expert in a given subject. Most of the time, it's enough to be able to clearly formulate and communicate the requirements to an expert. This means engineers need to be increasingly IT savvy – so that they can, for example, get the most out of evaluating the data streams that sensors send from production lines,” he added.
15 Bosch projects on Germany's online Industry 4.0 map When it comes to Industry 4.0, Bosch is both a leading provider and leading exponent. The company has already made connected manufacturing a reality in many different ways. Of the 100 applications of Industry 4.0 in Germany on the online map, which will be presented at the summit, 15 of them are at Bosch locations. One of these is the plant in Nuremberg, where automatic transport robots streamline the plant's material flow thanks to their collective, connected intelligence. Another is the Homburg plant: on the connected production line there, Bosch manufactures 200 different hydraulic valves out of some 2,000 components – an excellent example of efficient production for batch sizes of one.
Saving hundreds of millions of euros Looking at Bosch's more than 250 plants worldwide, Struth expects Industry 4.0 to save the company hundreds of millions of euros annually in the years leading up to 2020. “Every bit of time and money we save strengthens the competitiveness, and thus the appeal, of the products we manufacture.”
Common understanding of standards The summit in Berlin will be looking at several issues, including cross-sector solutions in the area of Industry 4.0. To make these solutions possible, the “Industrie 4.0” alliance has introduced a comprehensive concept, the reference architecture model for Industry 4.0 (RAMI 4.0). This model charts the gradual shift from today's manufacturing to Industry 4.0 and promotes a common understanding of standards. Bosch was heavily involved in drawing up the reference architecture. “RAMI 4.0 provides a good deal of guidance as we seek to precisely define what Industry 4.0 is and how to develop it further. It helps us identify overlaps and gaps in the standards we need for this effort so we can rectify those problems,” said Struth. He emphasized that Germany was well on its way to benefiting from the opportunities offered by connected industry.
Contact person for press inquiries: Thilo Resenhoeft, phone: +49 711 811-7088
About the “Industrie 4.0” platform According to its founders, the “Industrie 4.0” platform is the leading alliance for guiding the digital structural transformation of industry in Germany. It unites all entities that are shaping Industry 4.0 and pools the strengths and knowledge of a wide range of players – from companies, associations, unions and the worlds of industry and politics. The platform is managed and led by Sigmar Gabriel, the German federal minister for economic affairs and energy, and Dr. Johanna Wanka, German federal minister for education and research, and includes high-ranking representatives from business, academia, and trade unions.
About the National IT Summit The National IT Summit brings together players from the areas of politics, business, academia, and society to help shape the digital transformation in Germany. Their efforts are based on the federal government's Digital Agenda. The idea is to make full use of the opportunities offered by digitalization in business and society.
Agricultural robot gets rid of weeds automatically and without herbicides
Sensors and an app improve asparagus yield
Market launch of the Bosch startup Deepfield Robotics
Stuttgart, Germany – Dual premiere at Agritechnica, the world's largest agricultural technology trade fair in Hannover: the Bosch startup Deepfield Robotics is presenting connected sensors for improved asparagus yields, as well as its Bonirob agricultural robot (hall 9, booth F02). Both innovations are designed to improve agricultural quality and yield. To achieve this, Bosch has combined its expertise in sensor technology, automated navigation, algorithms, and image-recognition software. The advances in plant breeding made possible by these Bosch solutions will play an important part in helping to feed the constantly growing global population. Agricultural yields need to increase by roughly 3 percent a year to keep up with population growth.
The Bonirob agricultural robot By automatically analyzing plants, the flexible Bonirob agricultural robot can also contribute to this progress. The robot is the same size as a compact car. It uses video- and laser-based positioning as well as satellite navigation to find its way around the fields. It knows its position to the nearest centimeter. With the help of cameras and computer-based image analysis, it recognizes and classifies plants. The is especially useful for plant breeders, who have to painstakingly analyze thousands of plants for plant size and color, fruit size and form, and insect damage. Based on these findings, they then decide which plant strains are worth pursuing further. The Bonirob is named after this plant appraisal process, which is known in German as Bonitur. “This automatic screening saves a lot of time and effort,” says Professor Amos Albert, the director of Deepfield Robotics.
Weed control with minimum environmental impact However, Bonirob does not only speed up the plant-breeding process. On the basis of leaf shape, it can distinguish between crops and weeds. With the help of a precisely controlled rod, it gets rid of weeds mechanically, rather than with weed killer. Undesired plants are swiftly rammed into the ground. At the 2015 European Robotics Forum in Vienna this spring, Bonirob was singled out for a 2015 euRobotics Technology Transfer Award. The judges praised the idea of equipping the robot with modules for different tasks. Such modules, or “apps,” are available for tasks such as measuring soil density, mechanical weed removal, and plant breeding. In September, the German Federal Minister of Food and Agriculture Christian Schmidt presented the agricultural robot with the Deutscher Innovationspreis Gartenbau, a national award for innovation in horticulture.
Connected asparagus sensor In Hannover, the Bosch startup is also presenting a radio sensor for better asparagus yields. Under the name “Deepfield Connect – Asparagus Monitoring,” the sensor measures the temperature in the beds where the vegetable is grown and transmits it to farmers' smartphones. Farmers can use this data to track the temperature changes of their crops in detail and optimize the growing conditions. In September, the Agritechnica innovation committee awarded this solution its silver medal. In explaining its decision, it stated that the wireless sensor increases the share of marketable produce and therefore boosts farmers' incomes. The system also saves time and money, as farmers need to visit their fields less frequently.
Sensors help set the optimum temperature Asparagus grows especially well between 18 and 22 degrees Celsius. One way farmers maintain this temperature is by covering the mounds with strips of two-sided foil: one side is black, the other white. To heat the mounds using sunlight, the foil is laid with the black side facing up. To cool them when it gets too warm, the foil is laid with the white side facing up. The Bosch solution consists of several sensors embedded at various depths in the ground to measure the temperature. Cables send the temperature readings to a small box, which transmits the data via radio to a cloud that is based on the Bosch IoT Suite. From there the data is routed to an app on the farmer's smartphone. The Bosch IoT Suite is a comprehensive software solution that can be used to develop, provide, and operate applications in the internet of things.
Other Bosch innovations At Agritechnica, Bosch Rexroth is presenting many innovations related to hydraulics, electronics, electrics, and software. They include a flexible mobile hydraulics valve platform for tractors. One of the highlights of the Bosch Automotive Aftermarket division's exhibition is the Bosch Surround View System, which gives the tractor driver a bird's eye view of the vehicle's surroundings and serves as an aid when maneuvering. A hybrid system for the off-highway segment is also on display (hall 17, booth G08).
Agritechnica trade fair In Hannover from November 10 to 14, the Agritechnica trade fair is presenting the future of agricultural technology. At the world's largest trade fair of its kind, exhibitors from some 50 countries are presenting innovations for professional crop production.