More than 680 million euros invested in India since 2010
Substantial increase in number of innovations per year
Excellent growth potential for motorcycle powertrain systems
Bangalore/Stuttgart – The Bosch Group is forecasting further strong growth for India over the next few years, and expects to see positive economic development in the country over the medium and long term. Accordingly, the company sees India as a key pillar of its growth strategy in Asia Pacific. “Over the past ten years, Bosch has doubled its sales in Asia Pacific to 11.1 billion euros in 2013. By 2020, we are aiming to double our sales in the region again,” said Dr. Volkmar Denner, the chairman of the Bosch board of management, during a press briefing in Bangalore, India. Denner forecasts that after registering projected economic growth of around 4.8 percent this year, India will likely grow by 6 percent in 2015. This makes the country one of the global engines of growth alongside China. “We expect to see India establish itself as the world's fifth largest vehicle manufacturer by the end of this decade,” Denner said.
The Bosch Group has been active on the subcontinent since 1922. In 2013, the company generated sales in India of approximately 1.2 billion euros, a three-fold increase over ten years ago. Bosch currently employs 27,000 associates at ten production sites and seven R&D locations in India. Since 2010, the Bosch Group has invested around 680 million euros in the expansion of manufacturing and research facilities there, of which some 160 million were invested in the current year alone.
Innovative solutions from India India is home to the technology and services company's largest development center outside Germany, employing 10,500 engineers. “We develop innovative solutions there which are used in products around the world,” said Steffen Berns, president of the Bosch Group in India. The rising number of patents filed testifies to the successful work at the center: from 20 registered innovations in 2008, this figure rose to 220 last year. “That's a more than ten-fold increase within five years,” Berns said. Among the innovations developed by the Bangalore-based center is a compact retina camera with special software that can detect conditions such as cataracts at an early stage. This fast and cost-effective eye diagnostic tool was specifically designed to meet the needs of the Indian market, and can be easily put into use in similar regions as well.
Dynamic growth in two-wheeler market Bosch also sees excellent opportunities in the booming two-wheeler market: last year it registered a growth rate of 14 percent, making it one of the most dynamic markets in India. “We predict that the number of two-wheelers sold annually on the subcontinent will reach 27 million by 2020,” Denner said. Worldwide, the number of motorbikes and electric e-scooters sold is expected to increase from 100 million today to 150 million by the end of the decade. By comparison, Bosch forecasts that some 110 million new cars will be sold worldwide in 2020.
Against this backdrop, Bosch is also entering the global motorcycle market with new powertrain systems. Especially in Asia and India, efficient powertrains can play an important part in reducing environmental impact. For this reason, Bosch has developed an affordable and robust engine management system that is specially designed for the Indian and Asian markets. Currently, many machines in Asia are still fitted with carburetors. It is precisely here that Bosch believes its technology offers a decisive advantage: “Compared with the mechanically controlled carburetor, and depending on situation, the electronically controlled fuel-injection system can reduce fuel consumption by up to 16 percent,” Denner said. This also significantly reduces emissions and conserves valuable resources. In addition, Bosch already supplies safety solutions for two-wheelers including ABS and the new MSC motorcycle stability control, which improves safety when braking and accelerating, even when the rider is leaning into a bend.
Dialogue participants discuss subjects with technological and future relevance
Bosch CEO Denner: “In the race for a connected world, Germany must use its strengths”
Bosch start-up platform encourages entrepreneurship in the company
Berlin – Federal Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel has appointed the Bosch CEO Dr. Volkmar Denner to the steering committee of the innovation dialogue, in which the federal government consults with the business and academic communities. At its regular meetings, the committee focuses on technological subjects and the effect that political, economic, and social conditions will have on such things as Germany’s future innovative strength. The discussions are attended by the federal chancellor and the ministers for economic affairs, education, and special tasks on the one hand, and representatives of the business and academic communities on the other. The committee is chaired by Prof. Dr. Henning Kagermann, president of Germany’s National Academy of Science and Engineering (Acatech). “The future of German business lies in connectivity, both technologically and organizationally. It is both appropriate and necessary that politics, industry, and academia should work together to strengthen Germany’s status as a seat of innovation,” said Denner, who is both CEO and CTO of the Bosch Group. “In particular, the close networks between business and science are one of Germany’s main strengths in the global competition among knowledge-based societies,” Denner went on.
Germany needs more innovative business models The Bosch CEO is confident that “Germany can lead the world in connectivity. We are in an excellent position to do so.” When it comes to connected manufacturing, Denner stressed that Germany still has a strong industrial base. “Our know-how in manufacturing things, combined with our expertise in IT and automation engineering, gives us a very real advantage in the race for the connected world.” However, Denner does not believe that Germany’s future competitiveness is set in stone. While German industry has always been a technological pioneer, “innovative business models still tend to be the hallmark of Silicon Valley. In the internet age, German companies also have to be innovative in their business models.”
Bosch start-up platform: encouraging entrepreneurship in the company The Bosch CEO sees a need to catch up in two areas above all: first, in technical infrastructure (e.g. poor broadband networks) and, second, in its culture of entrepreneurship, which is still underdeveloped. “The number of start-ups in Germany has fallen constantly over the past ten years. This is clearly not the development we need,” Denner said. Increasingly, therefore, Bosch is encouraging entrepreneurship within the company. Only recently, the company’s own start-up platform went into operation. It provides support to Bosch associates wanting to set up their own company. Denner went on: “Our associates have proved that they are good researchers. Now we want them to be good businesspeople as well.” While associates focus on making their innovations ready for the market, the start-up platform helps them with administrative matters such as management accounting and financing.
Some 800 associates expected to move in by the end of 2014 Project on schedule: Remaining construction and move to be completed by early summer 2015
Bosch CEO Denner: “The new Renningen location will enhance the Bosch Group’s innovative strength”
Campus-like atmosphere promotes creativity and more networking
Renningen – The time has finally come for the first researchers and engineers to move into the Bosch Center for Research and Advance Engineering in Renningen. Almost two and a half years after the groundbreaking ceremony, some 800 associates are set to start working at the new research campus by the end of 2014. The center in Renningen will be the hub of Bosch’s global research network. Until now, corporate research and advance engineering activities have been spread out at locations in Gerlingen, Schwieberdingen, and Waiblingen. With the move of the first 800 out of a total of 1,700 associates, the Bosch location is now officially open for business. By tightening its network of researchers, the global provider of technology and services aims to further enhance its innovative strength. “The new Renningen location will enhance the Bosch Group’s innovative strength. Bosch’s strategic aim is to develop solutions for a connected life. To this end, we are creating an even tighter network of researchers and engineers in Renningen and beyond,” said Dr. Volkmar Denner, the chairman of the Bosch board of management. With its new hub, the research network of the global provider of technology and services will comprise eight locations in six countries from 2015 onward. Bosch is investing some 310 million euros for the new research center, which is located outside of Stuttgart.
Logistical challenge – A move in several steps By the end of 2014, Bosch researchers will have moved into buildings at the eastern end of the site, as well as into the main building. The buildings on the western half of the site will be completed in the first quarter of 2015, at which point associates will be moving in. The move to the new research campus is gradually taking place over a period of about six months, and involves mastering special logistical challenges. Many of the laboratories and research facilities must be carefully dismantled, packed, transported, and rebuilt for operations in Renningen. In total, some 1,800 machines and technical equipment from 270 laboratories are being moved from existing locations to Renningen. By early summer 2015, more than 12,000 boxes will be moved to the new research campus.
Campus with ideal research conditions “For the first time, Bosch is pooling its research and advance engineering activities in the greater Stuttgart region at a single location. This highlights the importance of research at Bosch,” said Dr. Michael Bolle, president of corporate research and advance engineering at Bosch. The new research center is tailored specifically to the needs of researchers. Based on the concept of a university campus, the buildings are generously spread out across a large site. The specially developed office concept offers an attractive work environment that promotes creativity and cooperation. “The interior design of the buildings and the floor plan reflect our innovation process. For each phase of this process, our associates will have ideal working conditions,” Bolle said. Thanks to the close proximity of office spaces to workshops and laboratories, researchers can put their ideas to the test without delay.
A powerhouse of innovation – 20 patents per working day In 2013, Bosch filed a total of 4,964 patents, an average of 20 per working day. This makes the company one of the world’s top ranking in terms of patent applications. Last year, the global provider of technology and services spent 4.5 billion euros on research and development, almost 10 percent of its sales. The company currently employs some 42,700 researchers and engineers. At locations around the world, some 1,300 associates work for the company’s corporate research and advance engineering department.
More information on the new Center for Research and Advance Engineering can be found at www.bosch-renningen.de.
New joining process is lead-free, inexpensive, and reliable
Supported by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research
Stuttgart – Thanks to a new packaging and interconnection technology (PIT), it is now possible to manufacture electronic power modules that operate reliably even at temperatures as high as 300 degrees Celsius. The new PIT is the outcome of the recently concluded three-year Hot Power Connection (HotPowCon) research project, which received funding from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Since control electronics have to cope with very high operating temperatures, especially in hybrid and electric vehicles, the new PIT will serve as an important foundation for the further development of electromobility in Germany.
Saving energy and cutting costs Electronic power modules such as inverters, DC/DC converters, and battery chargers are key components in electric vehicles. To push electromobility into the mainstream, the automotive industry needs power modules that are as inexpensive, energy efficient, and compact as possible. It also has to be possible to integrate logical entities such as microprocessors into the modules in order to enhance their functionality. Until now, there was no lead-free, reliable, and inexpensive PIT that was suitable for these combined logical power modules and could withstand their high operating temperatures. Existing joining techniques were either extremely expensive or used lead-based solders that harm the environment. What is more, power modules required complex cooling processes to manage the heat they generate as a result of working with high electrical output. The choice of joining technique determined the upper limit to their operating temperature.
Prepared for large-scale series production The HotPowCon consortium has now developed a system of workable tin-based pastes that permits joining by way of isothermal solidification. This means all the module’s components can be soldered in a single joining process. The new PIT is lead-free and based on inexpensive materials. Because it can withstand very high temperatures, it greatly reduces cooling requirements. That in turn reduces power consumption and helps to cut costs. In their work on this PIT – choosing what materials to use and developing the necessary process and plant technology – the researchers paved the way for it to be used in industrial series production. They used demonstrators to show that the PIT is reliable at high temperatures.
Multidisciplinary research team HotPowCon brought together large companies, medium-sized enterprises, universities, and research institutions. Robert Bosch GmbH led the project, and partners included Siemens AG, Heraeus Materials Technology GmbH & Co. KG, Chemnitzer Werkstoffmechanik GmbH, Seho Systems GmbH, the Institute of Applied Systems and Circuits at the University of Rostock, the Center for Microtechnical Production at the Dresden University of Technology, and the Fraunhofer Institutes for Reliability and Microintegration IZM and for Electronic Nano Systems ENAS. Daimler AG and Volkswagen AG were associate partners. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research provided around half of the project’s budget of 5.5 million euros, funding the HotPowCon project as part of its “IKT 2020” research program. The newly developed PIT is also suitable for use in manufacturing inverters for photovoltaic systems, and will find application in other sectors in the future.