AMALTHEA4public project with 21 partners in four countries
German project partners funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research
Objective: to develop embedded systems with central processing units that work in parallel
Stuttgart – Today’s vehicles are computer systems on wheels. A new vehicle contains some 70 minicomputers, known as embedded systems. They monitor, control, and regulate certain driving functions. For example, driver assistance systems use smart sensors to constantly analyze the vehicle’s surroundings and driving behavior so that in a dangerous situation they can react in an instant. Automakers are increasingly networking these systems to enhance safety and comfort for drivers and passengers.
The trend towards automated driving means that individual computers have to run more and more software, and the overall system is becoming considerably more complex. That’s why embedded systems will need more computing power in the future. Bosch is now heading an international research team that is working on laying the foundations for highly efficient use of state-of-the-art, high-performance hardware. The AMALTHEA4public project involves 21 partners from Germany, Spain, Sweden, and Turkey, with the German project partners focusing primarily on automotive industry requirements. AMALTHEA4public will run through August 2017.
Computing in parallel By using several central processing units (CPUs) that work in parallel, it’s possible to give the computing power of embedded systems a major boost. Compared to the single-core CPUs used today, these parallel CPUs are several times faster at the same cycle frequency. There are multi-core processors and many-core processors. They differ by the number and connectivity of their cores; many-core processors usually have more than eight cores. Multi-core hardware has been used in desktop computers for several years now, while many-core hardware is considered to be a promising new technology for processing large volumes of data.
Setting standards and connecting developers Currently, the programs that industry is using to develop embedded systems are not designed to incorporate parallel computing with multi- and many-core processors. To make optimum use of the new hardware, developers will have to divide the software up and assign it to the various cores. The AMALTHEA4public project team is establishing a methodology for this and setting up a comprehensive software platform. With the help of this platform, engineers will be able to efficiently develop multi- and many-core systems for their applications. The demands placed on the new hardware and software are extremely high, especially regarding quality and safety. When it comes to automated driving, human lives ultimately depend on them.
The researchers are working off of AMALTHEA, a previous project, which designed and launched a software platform for multi-core systems. They plan to expand this platform to support many-core systems, so companies can connect it with all their development tools. The researchers are also drawing from the findings of other publicly funded projects. The platform is based on Eclipse, an open-source development environment, and is available free of charge to anyone who wishes to use it. What’s more, the consortium intends to set up an Eclipse project and community that will support the developers and keep them in touch with each other even after the project has finished. This should make the outcome of AMALTHEA4public available to a wider circle and establish it as the standard for developing embedded multi- and many-core systems.
Strengthening Germany as an industrial and research location As one of the world’s biggest suppliers of embedded systems, Germany in particular stands to benefit from AMALTHEA4public. And in focusing on the future technology of many-core processors, the project also serves to consolidate Germany’s position as an industrial and research location. Teams of developers, such as those working for automakers and their suppliers, can use the standard platform to share data more efficiently and thus improve teamwork.
Industry and academia working together The German consortium covers nearly the entire automotive value chain. Besides suppliers Bosch and Behr-Hella-Thermocontrol (BHTC), the consortium includes tool manufacturers itemis and Timing-Architects; TWT, the European subsidiary of the Eclipse Foundation; the OFFIS Institute for Information Technology; the Institut für Automation und Kommunikation (ifak); the project group for Mechatronic Systems Design of the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology (IPT-EM); Dortmund University of Applied Sciences and Arts; Ostbayerische Technische Hochschule (OTH) Regensburg; and the University of Paderborn. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research is funding the work by the German project partners as part of the Industry 4.0 initiative to the tune of some 3.3 million euros. In addition, the universities receive a lump sum for the projects.
AMALTHEA4public stands for “Enabling of results from AMALTHEA and others for transfer into application and building a community.” The project belongs to the ITEA2 (IT for European Advancement) program, which in turn is part of the European EUREKA research initiative. Embedded systems are a major driver of innovation not just in the automotive sector but also in aviation, medical technology, electronics, and in manufacturing facilities, to name but a few. This means the project findings are sure to be of interest for many industries.
30 years of presence in South Korea: long-term strategy paying off
Bosch expects growth to continue in South Korea in the years ahead
Joint venture for wiper systems planned
Established markets important for growth strategy in Asia Pacific
Stuttgart/Seoul – Bosch is growing rapidly in South Korea. Last year, the supplier of technology and services generated consolidated sales of 1.5 billion euros there, registering growth of 21 percent. “We expect to be able to expand our business in South Korea at a similar pace in the years ahead,” said Peter Tyroller, the Bosch board of management member responsible for Asia Pacific. He added that this success is the result of a long-term strategy of continuous investment in the expansion of local activities. In order to further strengthen its position in the Korean market, Bosch recently announced a joint venture with the wiper manufacturer Kyung Chang Wiper Corp. (KCW).
Wiper systems business to be strengthened Within the next few weeks, the joint venture will start operations under the name KB Wiper Systems (KBWS). It is planned that some 700 associates will work there. Bosch plans to contribute its wiper business in South Korea to the new company. KCW will be adding its global business with wiper arms and blades. The joint venture’s new headquarters will be in Daegu. “The partnership with KCW brings us even closer to our customers, thereby strengthening the position of our wiper systems in the Korean market. The new company will allow us to develop products that are geared to both original equipment manufacturers and the aftermarket,” said Dr. Frank Schäfers, president of Robert Bosch Korea.
Bosch is celebrating its 30th anniversary in South Korea this year. All its business sectors – Mobility Solutions, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods, and Energy and Building Technology – are now represented in the country at a total of six locations. In Yongin, south of Seoul, Bosch not only has its Korean corporate headquarters, but has also operated an engineering center since 1990, where 250 engineers are currently working on solutions for the local market. In Daejeon, the company has been manufacturing components for diesel engines since 2001. In the past five years alone, Bosch has invested more than 200 million euros in the expansion of its manufacturing and engineering locations in Korea. The company currently employs nearly 2,000 associates in South Korea.
Asia Pacific: growth region number one In Asia Pacific, Bosch grew its sales 17 percent (19 percent after adjusting for exchange-rate effects) in 2014, to 13 billion euros. At just under 27 percent, the region’s share of total sales reached a new high. Sales growth was especially strong in China, rising a nominal 27 percent to 6.4 billion euros. In Peter Tyroller’s view, established markets such as South Korea and Japan remain an important pillar of Bosch’s growth strategy in Asia Pacific: “In industrialized markets, our focus is on innovative products, services, and new business models which create additional customer benefit and spark enthusiasm.” Bosch also sees great business opportunities in the area of connectivity in South Korea, one of the world’s leading economy for key industries in this field.
Contact person for press inquiries: Agnes Grill, Phone: +49 711 811-38140
Glock: „Excellently positioned for EU energy label thanks to energy-efficient systems technology“
Joint venture with Midea for air-conditioning systems
New generation of devices is web-enabled and intuitive to operate
Stuttgart – Bosch Thermotechnology has grown strongly between January and May. Sales revenues in the first five months of 2015 were up by 7% on the same period of the previous year. “The past years have seen us make massive investments in the development of innovative technologies and we more than doubled our respective budget over the past ten years. This is now paying off. More than 100,000 networked products sold make us the leading supplier in the smart heating market,” said Uwe Glock, Chairman of the Bosch Thermotechnology Division, on the occasion of a business press meeting in Stuttgart. Bosch Thermotechnology is also making progress in the CPI (Commercial, Public, Industrial) business. The joint venture with Midea for VRF (variable refrigerant flow) air-conditioning systems agreed in March represents a major step forward on the way to becoming an international systems supplier. Cogeneration solutions such as combined heat and power (CHP) units are another field of growth. At total efficiency rating of over 80% means that the carbon-friendly CHP technology is much more energy-efficient than the separate generation of heat and electricity.
“On the way towards thermotechnology of the future, we rely on three business segments, namely heating systems for residential buildings, water heaters as well as commercial and industrial heating and air-conditioning systems. We are making good progress in all three segments and want to outgrow the market,” said Uwe Glock.
State-of-the-art gas condensing technology enables highest energy efficiency Bosch Thermotechnology is the world market leader in heating systems for residential buildings. “Gas will be the most important source of energy in the coming decades,” said Uwe Glock. Thanks to its high efficiency of up to 99% and its good availability, gas condensing technology has become the standard heating technology in residential buildings. Combined with other energy sources in a hybrid system, it can increase the energy efficiency by up to 50% compared to old devices. Buildings account for 40% of the global energy consumption, with electricity representing only a minor portion. Heat generation holds the greatest energy efficiency potential. Over 70% of the heating systems in Germany use obsolete technology. If all heating systems in Germany were converted to condensing technology, carbon emissions could be reduced by 50 million tons per year. This is the most simple and most effective lever to reach the climate targets.
A milestone in design and technology At the ISH in March, the world's leading industry event, Bosch's thermotechnology brands Junkers/Bosch and Buderus presented revolutionarily simple and forward looking generations of devices for the top segment. The innovative modular concept and the well-thought-out layout of the components afford excellent access to the individual components inside the device. In addition, the devices can be expanded retroactively. The new design of the devices is particularly striking, featuring bold glass fronts in black or white. Developers and customers have jointly broken new ground in terms of design and haptics. “Our devices not only look good but will also change the market; their installation is up to 30% faster, they can be networked and are easy to operate via the touch screen,” said Uwe Glock. The first devices of this series will be launched in October 2015. The next technological milestones will be gas heat pumps for single and two-family homes in 2016 and the second generation of the fuel cell heating system in 2017.
Products for every customer requirement – also on an international scale Bosch Thermotechnology relies on customised products also to cater to the different consumer requirements and conditions in the growth markets outside Europe, primarily China, Russia and Turkey. Take for instance the LCK mini heating boiler for the Chinese market, which is so small that it fits into an upper kitchen cabinet. Bosch is the only European manufacturer to produce gas condensing boilers for the Chinese region and is the local market leader in this segment.
The leader in smart heating 100,000 networked products make Bosch Thermotechnology the leading supplier of smart heating solutions for greatly increased comfort, energy efficiency, operational safety and service quality. The new “HomeCom” portal, for instance, provides installation firms with detailed information about the networked heating systems of their customers, including operating problems and their potential causes. The end user gets clearly presented information about their system as well as consumption data and individualised energy efficiency tips.
Excellently positioned for the EU energy label Starting September 2015, all heating devices and systems must bear an energy label, which shows their efficiency in classes from A++ to G. “Our energy-efficient systems mean we are excellently positioned to benefit from the European energy label for heating systems,” said Uwe Glock. The label for individually composed systems must be calculated by the installer, whereas systems suppliers can supply pre-labelled packages. “The new energy label will open up good opportunities especially for systems suppliers like our company, as we can give the installer especially effective support. We provide them with pre-labelled, ready-to-sell systems. We expect this customer focus to pay off,” said Uwe Glock.
Leading market position in the international hot water market The international domestic hot water business is characterised by attractive growth rates but also by regional differences between requirements and preferences. Bosch Thermotechnology’s regional positioning in this segment forms the basis for further growth. The company is currently building a new production facility for instantaneous gas water heaters in Tepotzotlan, Mexico, from where Bosch Thermotechnology will serve the Latin American market. Solar thermal collectors for the region are also produced in Brazil. In Europe, Spain and Portugal are the large domestic hot water markets, which are supplied by Bosch Thermotechnology’s production facility in Portugal. Africa has also become an interesting domestic hot water market, where Bosch Thermotechnology benefits from the geographic proximity to the Portuguese production plant. For the Asia/Pacific region, Bosch Thermotechnology produced instantaneous water heaters in Shanghai and solar thermal systems in Bangalore.
Aiming to become a systems supplier for CPI systems Bosch Thermotechnology delivers industry-specific energy concepts and systems solutions for the heating and air-conditioning of commercial buildings and Industrial facilities. With 150 years of experience and more than 110,000 industrial boilers sold in over 140 countries, Bosch has unique knowledge of the specific requirements of different sectors and operators. The VRF air-conditioning systems for commercial buildings produced in a joint venture with Midea have added another important technology to the systems portfolio. Customers get innovative and customised solutions – from planning to remote access/service. The Master Energy Control System, for instance, combines the steam, hot water and electricity generators from Bosch Industrial into intelligent systems: the direct communication between the system components such as the CHP unit and the steam boiler results in increased system efficiency and extends the life of the system. Complex systems may be remote-controlled down to individual assemblies.
Board of management members meets with employee representatives
Greater growth and improved regional presence can ensure future survival
Gerlingen – On Thursday, July 2, 2015, employee representatives organized a demonstration outside Bosch headquarters in Gerlingen. It was held to protest the planned realignment of Bosch’s Starter Motors and Generators division. On June 9, 2015, the company had announced its plans to find a partner or buyer for the division. According to official estimates, the demonstration was attended by just under 2000 people.
In a meeting with employee representatives, Dr. Volkmar Denner, chairman of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH, and Christoph Kübel, the director of industrial relations, explained why the planned realignment was necessary. They also expressed sympathy for the demontsrators’ reactions. “We take our responsibility for our associates very seriously, and so this decision was not taken lightly. But we firmly believe that the division’s future survival can only be secured over the long term together with a partner or buyer,” Denner said. “Naturally, we have a responsibility toward the Starter Motors and Generators division, but also toward the company as a whole. We have to secure its future existence.”
Contructive dialogue between company and employee representatives At this afternoon’s meeting, the company agreed to consult openly with employee representatives about the realignment and how it affects employment. “Any steps we take will be characterized by fairness and a sense of responsibility,” Kübel said. “If there should be a definitive transfer to a new company, associates will know in advance who the potential buyer is. This is a sign of openness and transparency.” For Kübel, the same considerations guided the company’s decision to inform employee representatives and associates about the planned relaignment at an early stage. Today’s meeting, he said, had been correspondingly constructive, and formed an initial basis for further discussion about employment conditions and job security. Kübel added: “What concerns us is the long-term viability of the Starter Motors and Generators division and the jobs that depend on it.”
Greater growth and improved regional presence to ensure future survival There is considerable overcapacity in the market for starter motors and generators. The result is considerable cost and competitive pressure. In addition, technological developments are putting starter motors and generators under increasing pressure. Downsizing – smaller engines with smaller starter motors – is reducing value added. This will lead to a market shake-out, in which only a leading market position will offer long-term prospects of success and growth. Together with a partner or buyer, the Starter Motors and Generators division can use consolidation effects to significantly reduce its costs, while a stronger regional presence will improve its market position. This applies above all to the growth markets of Asia and North America.
Turnaround efforts have produced results, but will not be sufficient long term The Starter Motors and Generators division has successfully managed to transform itself over the past few years. Recently, it has significantly improved its competitiveness and performance. This is also due to the hard work of its associates. But regardless of this, it was not possible to achieve a market position that would secure the business long-term success in a market shake-out.
By the end of 2015, the division is to be carved out and made a legally independent entity. In addition, Bosch intends to look for appropriate partners and buyers with a clear concept for taking the business forward and securing its long-term future.