Bosch CEO Denner: “It's simply a question of when”
Every second smartphone worldwide uses Bosch sensors
Stuttgart/Las Vegas – Bosch is helping to build the internet of things and services one tiny sensor at a time. In future, many objects will report their status over the net, and this makes a range of new functions and business models possible. At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Bosch will be presenting its tiny building blocks for connected living, along with possible applications. Known as MEMS (micro-electro-mechanical systems) sensors, they are no more than a few millimeters in size but hold enormous potential. They contain microscopic structures that are capable of measuring acceleration, air pressure, sound, temperature, or the earth's magnetic field. Fitted with a miniature battery and a tiny radio interface, these MEMS sensors can for instance send their readings over the internet to a user's smartphone. In theory, they allow any object in everyday use to connect to the internet so it can report on its status at any time on request – an ability that holds out plenty of promise for future applications.
Bosch sensors enable smartphones to feel MEMS sensors have long been the sensory organs for many of the mobile devices that are presented in their thousands at the world's biggest consumer electronics show. Bosch sensors enable modern electronic devices such as smartphones to “feel” and “hear” – so a smartphone “knows” how it is being held and whether it needs to rotate the image on its display. Meanwhile tiny MEMS microphones can record sounds and speech. The sensors are also applied in notebooks, tablets, smart watches, games consoles, or sports watches. Freight forwarding companies also stand to benefit, since such sensors will allow parts in storage in the warehouse to announce their number and location over the internet. Meanwhile, acceleration sensors affixed to delicate machinery will be able to confirm at any time that there has been no exposure to vibrations during transportation. What is more, if a crate fitted with such a sensor falls to the ground, the sensor can send out a warning email to a company headquarters anywhere in the world thanks to the internet.
“It's simply a question of when” “The question now is not whether the real and virtual worlds will merge thanks to sensors such as these. It's simply a question of when,” says Dr. Volkmar Denner, chairman of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH. “Sensors, batteries, and transmitters can now be combined in a single unit that is so small, energy-efficient, and inexpensive that they can be put to work in their billions. At the same time, mobile data and radio networks are accessible from almost everywhere. This means the foundations are already in place for the internet of things and services.”
Bosch supplies sensors for a wide range of applications in the automotive and consumer electronics industries. Bosch has been at the forefront of MEMS technology since it first emerged, and today it generates more sales in this market than any other supplier. Since the start of production in 1995, the company has manufactured well in excess of three billion MEMS sensors. In 2012, some 600 million sensors emerged from its state-of-the-art wafer fab in Reutlingen – or 2.4 million each working day. Now every second smartphone worldwide uses Bosch sensors.
“These networked sensors make it possible to recognize and interact with the surroundings. A whole range of new solutions will emerge, offering more comfort, safety, and energy efficiency – and saving users' time and money,” says Dr. Dirk Hoheisel, who sits on the Bosch board of management. “As of today, there's no limit to the new applications, functions, and business models that our sensors will allow. We see huge potential here.”
Connected to the world MEMS sensors were originally developed for use in cars, for instance in skid detection for the ESP® electronic stability program. Today each modern vehicle is home to up to 50 of MEMS sensors. They support significant safety and comfort functions such as “Adaptive Cruise Control” (ACC) or softer gear changing of automatic gearboxes. All these sensors have turned cars into suppliers of data for what is known as the automotive cloud, which is already providing drivers with valuable additional information in various situations and connecting them ever more closely to the world in real time.
Security and comfort anywhere, anytime At the CES, Bosch will be presenting how sensors are a key enabler of the Internet of Things and Services. A network of wireless sensors will constantly gather and report information about the immediate environment. Users can learn which doors are open or closed, how loud it is, and how the temperature, air pressure, and humidity at various points around the booth changed over the course of the day. An automatic vacuum cleaner featuring MEMS sensors and an integrated WiFi module continuously reports its position. Thanks to these combined sensors, the Bosch booth will showcase how devices connected to each other via sensors continuously exchange and provide useful information. Bosch recently announced that it will work together with ABB, Cisco and LG on an open standard to support a software platform for the smart home of the future.
In-vehicle infotainment, electric vehicle charging, and more In addition to MEMS sensors, Bosch will demonstrate technologies enabling the connected vehicle, including next-generation telediagnostics, electric vehicle charging, in-vehicle infotainment and driver assistance systems. Bosch is sponsoring the “Driverless Car” experience at CES 2014, where the milestones toward driverless mobility will be explored and demonstrate technologies such as automatic park assist, predictive emergency braking and “mySPIN” smartphone integration in a designated area outside the fair. The company will also illustrate several areas of competence, including eBikes to inverters for energy storage, start-stop vehicles to HD video surveillance and intrusion control to net-zero enabling thermotechnology.
Bosch booth at the 2014 CES Las Vegas Convention and World Trade Center (LVCC), South Hall 1, Stand 20812
Bosch events at the 2014 CES Press conference with Bosch board of management member Dr. Werner Struth: Monday, January 6, 2014, 8 a.m. (Las Vegas local time), Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, Level 3 - Banyan Ballrooms A-D, 3950 Las Vegas Blvd. South
Automotive Technology is the largest Bosch Group business sector. In 2012, its sales came to 31.1 billion euros, or 59 percent of total group sales. This makes the Bosch Group one of the leading automotive suppliers. Its roughly 177,000 Automotive Technology associates worldwide mainly work in the following areas of business: injection technology for internal-combustion engines, alternative powertrain concepts, efficient and networked powertrain peripherals, systems for active and passive driving safety, assistance and comfort functions, technology for user-friendly infotainment as well as car-to-car and Car2X communication, and concepts, technology, and service for the automotive aftermarket. Bosch has been responsible for important automotive innovations, such as electronic engine management, the ESP® anti-skid system, and common-rail diesel technology.
Bosch Sensortec GmbH is a fully owned subsidiary of Robert Bosch GmbH. It develops and markets micro-mechanical sensors for consumer electronics, mobile phones, safety systems, industrial technology and logistics. The product portfolio includes triaxial geomagnetic and acceleration sensors, triaxial gyroscopes, barometric pressure sensors and a comprehensive software portfolio for various applications. Since its foundation in 2005, Bosch Sensortec has emerged as the technology leader in the addressed markets. The Bosch Group has been the global market leader for MEMS sensors since 1998 and has to date sold more than 3 billion MEMS sensors.
Akustica is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Bosch Group and a top supplier of silicon microphone products that are improving voice-input quality in a host of voice-enabled applications, from mobile handsets, tablets, and headsets to internet telephony on notebooks and PC camera modules. The company offers worldwide customer support services, from design-in services to post-production quality assurance. Akustica is a global organization with corporate headquarters in Pittsburgh, PA, regional offices in Taiwan and Shanghai, and a worldwide team of distributors.
The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. In fiscal 2012, its roughly 306,000 associates generated sales of 52.5 billion euros. Since the beginning of 2013, its operations have been 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 roughly 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. Bosch spent some 4.8 billion euros for research and development in 2012, and applied for nearly 4,800 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."
System connectivity in the fields of mobility, energy, safety, and communication
“Monaco 3.0” pilot project uses the technological potential of the internet of things and services
Monaco to become a highly connected city by 2015
Monaco/Paris/Stuttgart – Since mid-November 2013, the Principality of Monaco has been using new Bosch technologies for digital connectivity. This marks the first step in implementing the cooperation agreement signed in July 2012 by the Principality of Monaco and the Bosch Group. The agreement aims to find the best possible way of realizing the concept of a connected city.
The project will initially focus on mobility. City infrastructure and public services – such as bus networks, parking lot management, paper and waste collection, and information on roadwork – will be connected virtually, providing local residents with real-time information. This will make it possible for citizens and visitors to the principality to interact with local government directly and without red tape. Communication between various service providers will also be improved. If one of the hilly city’s many elevators or escalators is not working properly, residents and visitors will be able to immediately find out where there is a functioning alternative or inform services if there is a need for maintenance.
“Bosch technology and solutions will enable Monaco to be a leading connected city. As a result, Monaco is a pioneer in making innovative use of the technological potential of the internet of things and services,” says Volkmar Denner, chairman of the Robert Bosch GmbH board of management. The Principality of Monaco and Bosch also plan to work together on efficient energy-saving solutions, and in this way to make a contribution to sustainability.
Bosch is connecting the virtual and physical worlds and driving the development of the internet of things and services. Today, the company already plays a leading role in the development and use of intelligent sensors. Bosch’s competence in systems integration and control will create tangible benefits for tomorrow’s city dwellers.
Contact person for press inquiries (Germany): Andrej Heinke, phone: +49 711 811-38195
Contact person for press inquiries (France): Harald Frank, phone + 33 1 40 10 76 70
Consistently high levels of investment in research and development
Innovations that bring real benefit and increase quality of life
Stuttgart/Munich – Dr. Christof Bosch has been awarded the 2013 Diesel Medal for “Outstanding contribution to innovation” on behalf of the Bosch Group. This medal was awarded by Germany's Institute for Inventions (Deutsches Institut für Erfindungswesen) in recognition of the exceptional technological leadership and innovative strength apparent across so many areas of the company, as well as the sheer ingenuity demonstrated by this leading global supplier of technology and services. The award was presented in the Hall of Fame at the Deutsches Museum in Munich, Germany's premier technology museum, by the chairman of the institute, Dr. Heiner Pollert, and the chairman of the Diesel Medal board of trustees, Prof. Alexander Wurzer. Christof Bosch was joined by four of Bosch's 2013 “Inventors of the Year” in accepting the award on behalf of the over 42,000 researchers within the Bosch Group.
There is a long tradition of innovation at Bosch. The company lodged its first patent in 1897, and by 1909 there was already a department dedicated to patents, brands, and licenses. It is a history that has made itself felt in the public consciousness: “Bosch is a stalwart of the German industrial scene. For the German automotive industry, Bosch has been – and remains – a crucial technological partner that is at the very forefront of ground-breaking developments. The award of the Diesel Medal for outstanding contribution to innovation recognizes the top spot Bosch has occupied for so many years. And given my responsibility for development as a member of the management board at BMW AG, it is something that gives me particular pleasure,” said Dr. Herbert Diess in his tribute to Christof Bosch.
Bosch corporate constitution proves its worth “Robert Bosch GmbH's special ownership structure guarantees the entrepreneurial freedom of the Bosch Group, making it possible for the company to plan over the long term and to undertake significant upfront investments to safeguard its future,” said Christof Bosch at the Diesel Medal award ceremony. “I am delighted that our researchers' innovation has been brought to the attention of a wider audience and rewarded with this Diesel Medal.”
“In a series of guidelines, as he called them, Robert Bosch set down his tenets for successfully managing a company,” Christof Bosch continued. “Here he says that a company should in fact serve the community – that what benefits business and what benefits society are two sides of the same coin.” Today, these principles live on in the twin institutions of Robert Bosch GmbH and Robert Bosch Stiftung. The company is now continuing along the path of dynamic development that Robert Bosch set out for it, while Robert Bosch Stiftung fulfills his vision of social engagement for the common good. Including a foundation in the company structure is almost unique in Germany, and serves as a model for how to successfully continue a family business after the founder has died. It guarantees the autonomy of the company and allows it to pursue the “strong and meaningful development” its founder Robert Bosch would have wanted.
About Dr. Christof Bosch As the Bosch family spokesperson, Christof Bosch is a long-standing member of all the company's important governing bodies, which gives him a significant say in the direction the company takes. He is a member of the board of trustees of Robert Bosch Stiftung, a partner in Robert Bosch Industrietreuhand KG, and a member of the supervisory board of Robert Bosch GmbH. These wide-ranging functions give him a broad insight into all aspects of the company, allowing him to support the long-term and sustainable corporate strategy of the Bosch Group that his grandfather, the company founder Robert Bosch, would have wanted.
“60 years of the Diesel Medal” On the initiative of Eugen Diesel, the son of Rudolf Diesel, the Diesel Medal was launched in 1952 and awarded for the first time in 1953. It is Germany's oldest innovation prize, and is awarded by the charitable Deutsches Institut für Erfindungswesen. Now in its sixtieth year, the Diesel Medal helps to raise the public profile of inventors and innovative companies and to support their work.
SolarWorld plans to take over production of cells and modules
Second investor plans to manufacture pharmaceutical products at the Arnstadt location
Bosch intends to manufacture an automotive product in Arnstadt in the future
Realization of the entire concept subject to approval by the antitrust authorities as well as to other framework conditions.
Stuttgart/Arnstadt – Bosch plans to sell its Arnstadt manufacturing operations for cells and modules to SolarWorld AG. The buyer intends to employ roughly 800 associates. An agreement to this effect was signed today. A second investor plans to lease shopfloor space in order to manufacture pharmaceutical products under clean-room conditions. This would create roughly 100 jobs. A declaration of intent has already been signed.
Bosch intends to relocate the manufacture of an automotive electronic product from the Bosch location in Hatvan, Hungary, to Arnstadt, as well as to set up a service organization and a trading company for handling existing obligations. Over the medium term, this may preserve roughly 250 further jobs. The realization of the entire concept is subject, among other things, to approval by the antitrust authorities. The parties have agreed not to disclose any of the conditions of the agreement.
In the weeks ahead, Bosch and the investors still have to conclude extensive preliminary work. This includes the necessary negotiations with the employee representatives.
Solution for the Arnstadt location SolarWorld has drawn up a business plan for the Arnstadt plant that envisions a central, lasting role for the Arnstadt location as part of the SolarWorld group. Bosch will now quickly start negotiations with employee representatives to discuss the practical implementation of the plan. Earlier this year, it was possible to give the location’s 91 apprentices a guarantee that they could complete their training in other vocational programs, both within and outside Bosch.
“This makes it likely that we can offer jobs to roughly 1,100 of our presently 1,500 associates in Arnstadt. The negotiation process was a lengthy one. But if the deals are put into practice as planned, it will allow us to give a great majority of associates a perspective. We have invested a lot of time and considerable sums of money in making this possible,” says Dr. Volkmar Denner, chairman of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH. “Instead of closure, our aim was to find purchasers with a viable industrial concept and a good reputation, and that take a long-term view that offers prospects for the future,” Denner says, explaining Bosch’s approach. “With today’s signing, we have reached an important milestone,” he adds. “However, various conditions still have to be satisfied before this solution can be put into practice. They include final signing with the investor from the pharmaceuticals industry and successful talks with employee representatives.”
Complex framework conditions In March 2013, Bosch announced it was ending its activities in crystalline photovoltaics. “In order to preserve as many jobs as possible, we cast our net wide in our search for an investor. We mainly looked for buyers involved solely in photovoltaics. In addition, we approached many companies from outside the industry. Within Bosch as well, we made great efforts to find products that could be manufactured in Arnstadt,” says Dr. Stefan Hartung, member of the supervisory board of Bosch Solar Energy AG and the member of the Bosch board of management responsible for the Energy and Building Technology business sector. In its search for a solution, Bosch received constructive support from the Thuringian state government and the Thuringian development corporation.
Further negotiations Attempts are being made to find comparable solutions for the module factory in Vénissieux, France. Bosch is holding talks with investors from the photovoltaics industry as well as other industries. Here too, Bosch is examining the possibility of manufacturing a product from a different division at the location in the future.
As already announced at the beginning of October 2013, the search continues for a buyer for the stake Bosch holds in its subsidiary aleo solar AG, based in Oldenburg and Prenzlau, Germany. It is also working with the directors of aleo to examine all the options available. These include the complete or partial sale of the operative business of the aleo solar group. Whether and when a transaction will come to a successful conclusion remains to be seen.
As already announced in March 2013, Bosch Solar CIS Tech GmbH in Brandenburg an der Havel, Germany, and Bosch Power Tec GmbH in Hamburg will continue to be run as before.