32nd German Logistics Congress in Berlin Asenkerschbaumer: connectivity offers great opportunities for logistics Bosch is driving the development of Industry 4.0 forward

  • Bosch already connects vehicles, freight trains, and machinery
  • Asenkerschbaumer: “We are deriving new service-oriented business models from connectivity.”
  • Success factors: key competencies, uniform standards, open platforms, collaboration, fast internet, data protection
Berlin – Bosch believes connectivity offers great potential. Speaking at the 32nd German Logistics Congress in Berlin, Dr. Stefan Asenkerschbaumer, deputy chairman of the Bosch board of management, said: “Within logistics and also companies, there is still a lot of inefficiency. The internet of things offers tremendous opportunities where this is concerned. Manufacturing and logistics, as well as the movement of goods and freight transport, are becoming more effective, safer, and more flexible through connectivity.” In the future, the flows of goods at companies, as well as between customers and suppliers, will manage themselves. The necessary foundation for this is provided by real-time information recorded by sensors and intelligent software. This will create additional business potential for Bosch.

Connectivity is the key driver in the value-added chain
“Connectivity offers the opportunity to transform largely rigid value-added chains into dynamic value-added networks,” Asenkerschbaumer says. New technological solutions make it possible to correct deficits in transport logistics, for example, such as delayed information and a lack of transparency. In addition to common GPS technology, it is now possible to use web-enabled sensors to precisely localize logistics items in real time, in transit between the supply-chain partners. As a result, quality issues can be identified early on during the transport. Incoming goods inspections can be performed more effectively, and reorders can be placed while the goods are in transit. And road transport logistics is not the only area to which connectivity can be applied. Together with the Swiss rail freight company SBB Cargo, Bosch aims to develop rail logistics into a connected transport system.

Manufacturing inventories reduced by nearly one-third
Efficient, connected production is a part of every dynamic value-added network. At Bosch, there are already around 100 such projects. On a multi-product line at its Homburg location, for example, Bosch uses more than 2,000 different components to manufacture some 200 variants of mobile hydraulic control modules. The result is economical production of batch sizes all the way down to one, nearly 30 percent less inventory, and as much as ten percent more productivity. In this regard, Asenkerschbaumer emphasizes: “Connected logistics and manufacturing systems can respond with considerably more flexibility to sudden shifts in demand and breakdowns within the value-added chain.” In the future, Bosch wants to integrate all manufacturing sites into a global production network.

New business models for the connected world
“Connectivity amounts to more than the interplay of different objects and systems. We are also deriving new service-oriented business models from it,” Asenkerschbaumer says. For example, Bosch offers a system that enables freight forwarding companies to use data from the vehicles’ control units to monitor the wear and tear of their fleets online. As a result, maintenance and repairs can be planned at an early stage. Moreover, thanks to “Eco.Logic Motion,” the company is helping to improve driving strategy. At the heart of it is an electronic horizon, which uses existing navigation data in the vehicle to adjust driving strategy to the topology of the terrain. This function makes it possible to reduce fuel consumption by up to five percent. Bosch is currently developing “Eco.Logic Motion” into a dynamic connected horizon. Danger spots behind the summit of a hill or after a bend can then be detected by the vehicle in good time, and it can ease off the accelerator in preparation. “That is another step towards ensuring the economic efficiency and safety of connected transport solutions,” Asenkerschbaumer says.

Growing importance of cross-company collaboration
“An essential factor for achieving future success in the connected world is the development of key competencies,” Asenkerschbaumer says. It is also increasingly essential to be able to develop and implement new business ideas and models quickly, which is why greater overall collaboration is important, he adds. Broad clusters have to be formed in order to pool knowledge and resources. “A cross-company, logistical value-added network will only be efficient if all partners create the necessary conditions for this purpose,” Asenkerschbaumer says. Joint projects and so-called ecosystems must therefore be based on uniform standards and open platforms.

Quick implementation of a common digital market in Europe
Asenkerschbaumer believes there is considerable ground to make up when it comes to the extensive expansion of fast broadband networks. Yet in his view, this is the only way that continuous transport monitoring of cargo will work. Asenkerschbaumer also identifies data protection and the creation of a common digital market as a further key requirement for the acceptance and success of connected solutions. “Connectivity can only succeed if our customers can be sure that their data is being properly handled.” Bosch explicitly asks its customers for their consent to use their data.

Information about the event and BVL
Bosch on Industry 4.0
Interactive Industry 4.0 infographic
Press release: Bosch brings freight trains to the internet

Industry 4.0 – an overview

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  • October 28, 2015
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Strong Indo-German ties Chancellor Merkel and Prime Minister Modi at Bosch in Bangalore Investment of INR 650 crores (100 million euros) in 2015

  • Merkel and Modi gain insights into Bosch’s research and vocational training activities in India
  • Indian engineers contribute to Bosch’s activities in data mining and smart manufacturing
  • Smart manufacturing to be an integral part of all 14 Bosch plants in India by 2018
  • Since it was set up in 1961, the Bosch Vocational Center (BVC) has trained some 2,500 apprentices
Bangalore – On October 6, 2015, the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the German Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel visited the facilities of Bosch in Bangalore. The visit is part of the chancellor’s three-day state visit to India, which focuses on innovation and technology, as well as skill development. At Bosch, the high-level delegation found out about the company’s research, engineering, and vocational education activities in India. “Our commitment to developing talent and the competence of our local engineers are part of our success story in India,” said Peter Tyroller, the member of the Bosch board of management responsible for Asia Pacific. He emphasized the significant contribution that Indian engineers have made to Bosch’s success story in India, as well as to their current importance for the company’s worldwide activities in many strategic areas such as data mining and smart manufacturing. “India is a key location in our global innovation network. To further strengthen our presence in the country, we plan to invest INR 650 crores (over 100 million euros) in 2015,” Tyroller added. The company recently opened a new site for the manufacturing of automotive components in Bidadi.

Over the medium and long-term, the company expects to see positive development in India. “The Indian government is systematically addressing key issues. We are confident that this will positively impact the country’s development,” said Dr. Steffen Berns, president of the Bosch Group in India. “Especially in areas such as mobility, infrastructure, industry, energy and security, there are many opportunities for our products and solutions,” Berns said.

Bosch implements smart manufacturing in India
The company also sees possibilities in India in the field of connected industry, or “Industry 4.0”. Bosch is a leading global provider and exponent of connected industry. The supplier of technology and services offers a broad range of solutions such as drives, automation, sensors, software, and predictive maintenance. “By 2018, we aim to implement connected production in all our 14 manufacturing locations across the country,” Berns said during the delegation’s visit. Industry 4.0 is already reality at several Bosch plants in India: In Bangalore, the company uses real-time data to shorten throughput times for the calibration of pumps for tractors. The location also provides associates with smartwatches that promptly notify them of a machine malfunction. Thanks to real-time monitoring, manufacturing downtimes can be prevented and productivity improved.

Outstanding competence of Bosch India’s software engineers
Bosch’s largest development center outside Germany is located in Bangalore and Coimbatore in southern India, and has over 12,000 research and development associates. One of the center’s areas of focus is on developing solutions for connected industry. Since 2014, the development center in Bangalore has also been focusing on big data analytics. One application example of data analytics is the “e-call modeling.” This estimates the probability of injury severity based on real-time vehicle, accident, and environment information. This information can be used by emergency service providers to prioritize the type of ambulance service needed to reach an accident location. To develop the solution, data-mining techniques were used to analyze automobile accident data collected by various government agencies.

Another innovation developed by the Bangalore-based development center is a compact retina camera. Its special software can detect medical conditions such as cataracts at an early stage. This light and cost-effective eye diagnostic tool was specifically designed to meet the needs of the Indian market, but can equally well be used in other, similar regions. In emerging markets such as India, Bosch focuses on products and solutions which are tailored to the local market. “We develop innovative solutions in India which are used in products around the world,” Steffen Berns said.

High demand for skills development in India
With 29,000 associates across India, Bosch is an important employer in the country. In 1961, Bosch brought the dual education approach to India and opened the Bosch Vocational Center (BVC) in Bangalore. Since it was founded in 1961, the BVC has trained over 2,500 apprentices in nine trades. On their tour of the Bosch vocational training center, Chancellor Merkel and Prime Minister Modi were given insights into the Bosch Group’s activities in vocational training, and in particular how it trains young people in India for technical trades. The BVC is recognized by the Indian government’s National Council for Vocational Training, and has received the Indian president’s “Best Establishment” award 50 times.

Video material:
Industry 4.0 at Bosch
Virtual depiction of a supply chain
Analyzing big data in manufacturing
Training opportunities at Bosch
Apprentice mechanics – theory lesson

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