Growth targets surpassed in 2014, despite difficult environment
Sales growth in all business sectors and regions
Sales expected to rise by 3 to 5 percent in 2015
Increasing importance of software competence
15,000 software engineers, 3,000 for the internet of things
Stuttgart – The Bosch Group has made a good start to 2015. In the first quarter, sales grew by roughly 13 percent.1 After adjusting for exchange-rate effects, the increase was 5.4 percent. For the current fiscal year, the global supplier of technology and services expects its sales to grow 3 to 5 percent after adjusting for exchange-rate effects. Because these effects are considerable, Bosch expects its nominal sales growth to be higher than this range. Presenting the annual financial statements in Gerlingen, Germany, Dr. Volkmar Denner, the chairman of the Bosch board of management, said: “Our economic and technological strength in our established fields of business allows us to open up new market segments.” Internet-enabled products and internet-based services are one of the focal points of the company's future sales growth. “We are driving connectivity forward in all our business sectors and playing an active role in shaping it,” Denner added. In 2014, Bosch launched many new products and connectivity solutions. They include web-enabled ovens and software solutions for connected heating systems and buildings, as well as for connected industry and connected mobility.
Business developments in 2014: significant progress In 2014, product innovations again helped Bosch to further improve its market position in many areas. In the past business year, the company increased its sales by a nominal 6.3 percent to 49 billion euros. Adjusted for exchange-rate effects, growth was 7.4 percent. As a result of negative exchange-rate effects to the tune of some 500 million euros, the temporarily strong euro had a considerable impact on the sales figure. This strong development of sales also contributed to an improved result. Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) rose to 3 billion euros last year – a year-on-year increase of roughly 10 percent. Bosch thus disclosed an EBIT margin of 6.2 percent in 2014. This is roughly one percentage point better than the value for 2013, adjusted for one-off and extraordinary effects. “Our rigorous work on costs also played a part in this significant improvement in result. In 2014, we were successful despite only moderate global economic growth,” said Dr. Stefan Asenkerschbaumer, the Bosch chief financial officer and deputy chairman of the board of management. Following the complete takeover of BSH Bosch und Siemens Hausgeräte GmbH (now BSH Hausgeräte GmbH), the supplier of technology and services has strengthened its position in the area of smart homes. And with the acquisition of ZF Lenksysteme GmbH (now Robert Bosch Automotive Steering GmbH), Bosch has added to its portfolio in the growth area of automated driving.
Mobility solutions for tomorrow's traffic For Bosch, automated driving is a significant area of growth. The company is successively launching new driver assistance systems. For example, 2015 will see the start of series production of remote-controlled parking, the traffic jam assist, and an assistance function for evasive maneuvers and turning against oncoming traffic. In the Mobility Solutions business sector, more than 2,000 engineers are working to make the auto pilot for drivers a reality. When it comes to the mobility of the future, Bosch is not only concerned with automation, but also with connectivity and electrification. As of now, the company has received 30 orders relating to electrical powertrains. Each year, Bosch invests nearly 400 million euros in electromobility, not least in further developing battery technology. “We were instrumental in the success story of the diesel. We want to do the same for the electrical powertrain,” Denner said. One key to the market success of electrical powertrains is their suitability for everyday use. For example an app developed by Bosch gives drivers access to a network covering 80 percent of all web-enabled charge spots in Germany. For users, this means that recharging their electric vehicles is easy.
Today, Bosch sees itself as a supplier of mobility solutions that cover more than just the car. In 2014, systems such as gasoline and diesel direct injection were once again extremely successful. Increasingly, they are being joined by software solutions and mobility services. “Connectivity makes completely new solutions possible for the multimodal traffic of the future. And in established areas as well, it will play a significant role in creating customer benefit and conserving resources,” Denner said. Last year, for example, Bosch debuted connected electronic engine management systems for two wheelers. Riders can use their smartphones to read and evaluate vehicle data.
Growing significance of software competence In the connectivity business, there is a new “3S”: sensors, software, and services. Bosch is the globally leading manufacturer of micromechanical sensors, more commonly known as MEMS sensors. This year, it will manufacture 1.6 billion such “sensory organs,” nearly 25 percent more than in the previous year. Moreover, for some years now, the technology company has been expanding its software competence. Today, one in three of the 45,700 associates working in research and development is a software engineer. Three thousand engineers are working on the internet of things alone. “For Bosch, software expertise is a key competence for the future,” Denner said. “Embedded software is already one of our strong points, and we are successively adding to this with IT software know-how.” Only recently, Bosch acquired the connectivity specialist ProSyst, a supplier of gateway software and middleware. In smart homes, ProSyst software acts as an interpreter for the devices of different manufacturers.
Bosch IoT suite: platform for the internet of things One central software platform for the internet of things is the Bosch IoT suite. It orchestrates communication and data exchange between web-enabled objects such as factory machinery, heating systems, and security cameras. The Bosch IoT suite can also analyze and process the kind of big data generated in areas such as connected manufacturing. Bosch also makes parts of its IoT suite accessible for open-source developers. “Our IoT suite is meant as an invitation to participate. In shaping the connected world, we put our faith in open solutions, since we believe they will drive forward the manufacturer-independent networking of devices and machines,” said Denner, whose responsibilities on the Bosch board of management include research and advance engineering.
A multitude of services on the internet of things According to Denner, the business potential of the internet of things lies above all in the services that can be derived from connectivity. “Bosch is in equal measure a supplier of technology and services, and both are an advantage for us in the connectivity business.” Even today, Bosch offers a wide range of service solutions for many industries and customers. For example, its Security Systems division offers telematics services such as eCall for 500,000 vehicles in 16 languages. By the end of 2015, Bosch will have facilitated the connectivity of some 100,000 vehicles for the fleet management of leasing and insurance companies. At the Hannover trade fair, Bosch presented its remote service manager. In connected manufacturing, it makes the remote maintenance of machinery possible.
Data security and data protection in the connected world With growing connectivity, there is also a growing demand for data security and data protection. “The decisive factor for the widespread acceptance of connected solutions will be data protection, and thus people's trust,” Denner said. In this context, the Bosch CEO called for rapid adoption of the EU General Data Protection Regulation. “Both legally and technologically, there is still much to be done to make Europe truly ready for the internet of things.” In the area of data security, the company is already in good shape. Bosch employs more than 100 associates who specialize in secure data transfer. The company operates a center of competence in which it brings together relevant know-how in areas such as cryptographic methods and the management of certificates.
The business year 2014 by region and business sector
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 of total sales revenue, the region's share of sales reached a new high. Sales growth was especially strong in China, rising a nominal 27 percent to 6.4 billion euros.
Americas: significant growth in North America, difficult environment in South America Our business in North America developed very well, growing 8.6 percent to 8.5 billion euros. Adjusted for exchange rates, the increase was as much as 9.3 percent. In South America, weak automotive production and weakness of the Brazilian real had a negative effect on sales developments. At 1.5 billion euros, sales were down by an exchange rate-adjusted 4.4 percent on the previous year. In nominal terms, the drop in sales was 13 percent.
Europe: economic situation remains difficult Despite an economic situation that remained difficult, Bosch increased its sales in Europe by 2.1 percent to 26 billion euros. Adjusted for exchange-rate effects, growth was 2.5 percent. The region thus accounted for 53 percent of total sales. In Germany as well, sales were up year on year, at 10.8 billion euros.
Mobility Solutions: growth twice as fast as the market The Mobility Solutions business sector was once again able to accelerate its rate of growth. Sales rose 8.9 percent (9.9 percent after adjusting for exchange-rate effects) to 33.3 billion euros. Bosch thus grew twice as fast as the automotive market. The business sector's EBIT was 2.4 billion euros, and its EBIT margin 7.2 percent. Without one-off and consolidation effects, the year-on-year improvement in operating result is roughly 0.9 percentage points.
Industrial Technology: back on a growth path In 2014, the Industrial Technology business sector's sales amounted to 6.7 billion euros, a nominal 2 percent below the previous-year level (1 percent after adjusting for exchange-rate effects). This slight drop is due to a weak market, as well as to the divestment of the sector's pneumatics business in early 2014. Excluding this consolidation effect, sales increased by 2.5 percent, and 3.6 percent after adjusting for exchange-rate effects. All in all, Industrial Technology improved its EBIT to 67 million euros.
Consumer Goods: market leader in power tools Encouraging growth was posted by the Consumer Goods business sector. Its sales grew 5 percent to 4.2 billion euros, or 7 percent after adjusting for exchange-rate effects. Last year, the business sector generated EBIT of some 550 million euros and an EBIT margin of 13.1 percent. Its EBIT included the pro rata after-tax profit of the BSH Bosch und Siemens Hausgeräte GmbH joint venture.
Energy and Building Technology: enhanced competitiveness In 2014, the Energy and Building Technology business sector increased its sales by 1.7 percent (2.6 percent after adjusting for exchange-rate effects), to 4.6 billion euros. Its EBIT came to some 170 million euros. EBIT margin stood at 3.7 percent.
Headcount: 12,000 new hires this year In 2015, Bosch plans to take on some 12,000 graduates worldwide, 1,200 of them in Germany alone. Total Bosch headcount grew by some 9,000 in 2014, to 290,000. Following the integration of the former fifty-fifty joint ventures BSH Bosch und Siemens Hausgeräte GmbH and ZF Lenksysteme GmbH, the Bosch Group now employs roughly 360,000 associates (as per April 1, 2015).
1 Sales figure assumes that the consolidated group includes BSH Hausgeräte GmbH and Robert Bosch Automotive Steering GmbH.
ProSyst employs around 110 associates in Cologne, Germany, and Sofia, Bulgaria
Software enabling device connectivity over internet of things
Established Java and OSGi specialist for gateway software and middleware
Berlin, Stuttgart – Bosch Software Innovations GmbH, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Bosch Group, intends to acquire the company ProSyst. Agreements to this effect were signed on February 13, 2015. ProSyst employs some 110 associates in Cologne, Germany, and Sofia, Bulgaria. The company specializes in the development of gateway software and middleware for the internet of things. These facilitate the interaction between connected devices in the smart home, connected industry, and mobility segments. The company’s customers include leading appliance manufacturers, automakers, and chip vendors, as well as telecommunications and energy service providers. The acquisition is subject to approval by the antitrust authorities. It has been agreed that the purchase price will not be disclosed.
Device management for the internet of things ProSyst’s solutions are built on the Java programming language and OSGi technology. “On this basis, the company has been developing successful gateway software and middleware that serves as a link between devices and the cloud for more than ten years. This link is essential for interconnecting buildings, vehicles, and machines,” said Rainer Kallenbach, the president of Bosch Software Innovations. “In Bosch, we have a strategic partner with a strong global sales network. This alliance means that we can play a bigger role in the growing market for the internet of things and decisively expand our global position,” said Daniel Schellhoss, the founder and managing director of ProSyst. Applications for Java and OSGi include the smart home and industrial manufacturing segments. Software that is written in Java and combined with OSGi technology can be automatically installed, updated, and uninstalled remotely without the need to reboot the device each time. This remote access is frequently realized via gateway software, which also ensures that devices can be intelligently controlled. For example, the software can receive and assess information on electricity prices or weather forecasts, and then pass it on to the central heating system to increase its operating efficiency.
Uniform networking for central heating systems, household appliances, and security cameras The ProSyst software also assumes a kind of “translator” role. If things such as central heating systems, household appliances, and security cameras are to be interlinked in a smart home, they must all “speak the same language.” This is especially difficult when the products are from different manufacturers, use different communication protocols, or are not web-enabled.
“In combination with the Bosch IoT Suite from Bosch Software Innovations and the Bosch Group’s expertise as a leading producer of sensors and appliances, the ProSyst software will enable our customers to launch new applications on the internet of things more quickly and be one of the first to tap into new areas of business,” Kallenbach said. “The ProSyst software is highly compatible with the Bosch IoT Suite, our platform for the internet of things. Above all, it complements our device management component by supporting a large number of different device protocols. This will allow us to achieve an even better market position than before.”
The Bosch Software Innovations subsidiary is a provider of one-stop solutions in the area of the internet of things. Service activities round out the company’s offerings. Its core product is the Bosch IoT Suite. Bosch Software Innovations employs around 550 associates around the globe at locations in Germany (Berlin, Immenstaad, Stuttgart), Singapore, China (Shanghai), and the U.S. (Chicago and Palo Alto).
Better quality and higher efficiency in manufacturing
Major potential for industry as a whole
First announced testbed for the Industrial Internet Consortium
Collaborating to achieve the highest quality standards in the connected manufacturing of the future: three international companies are working to ensure that industrial tools automatically do what needs to be done at the right location.
Stuttgart – A collaborative effort between Bosch and two international companies, all members of the Industrial Internet Consortium, is driving forward tool connectivity with the aim of improving quality and efficiency in industrial manufacturing. The first outcome of their collaboration on the “Track and Trace” project is the ability to determine the position of a cordless nutrunner on the shop floor with extreme precision, among other applications. This positioning information is used to automatically select the correct torque for the respective task, making it possible to tighten safety-relevant bolts with exactly the required torque, for example. It is also possible to automatically document these settings to ensure and test product quality. Open standards are set to enable the seamless integration of industrial power tools used to drill, tighten, measure, and solder into an overall system of networked tools in the future. The potential applications of connected hand-held nutrunners, riveting tools, and measuring equipment include the construction and maintenance of engines and aircraft. “There is no other solution like this out there; it harbors major potential for industry as a whole,” says Dirk Slama, the project manager at Bosch. The supplier of technology and services is cooperating on “Track and Trace” with Indian IT company Tech Mahindra and U.S. IT company Cisco. This effort is the first European testbed for the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC).
Innovative solution for increased efficiency and competitiveness The new solution is made possible by connecting the tools with each other and with the production data for the products to be manufactured. Thanks to the tool's positioning information and the precisely determined location of a component, such as an aircraft on the shop floor, the user knows that the tool is currently located at the vertical stabilizer, for example. Backend software automatically sends instructions that specify the torque needed to tighten bolts there. “Connected tools contribute not only to product quality and safety, but also to making production more efficient, which improves competitiveness,” Slama says. There are additional benefits to “Track and Trace.” For instance, the constant collection of tools' data provides companies with a detailed overview of the conditions of their tools at all times. This can enable the automation of a number of routine tasks, such as the replacement of wear parts on power tools after a specified number of rotations or hours of operation.
Avoid errors, increase safety The design and assembly of complex industrial and consumer goods requires exacting work. Machinery, vehicles, and aircraft necessitate the highest standards of quality. Often, bolts must be tightened with precisely the right amount of torque. In aircraft construction, for example, there are precise regulations that specify the kind of screw and the amount of torque that must be used to join specific parts. Joints on the wings require a different amount of torque than those on a window. When it comes to passenger aircraft, there are thousands of such bolts that must be tightened and precisely documented. Connected tools speed up this time-consuming task. “We are able to record the torque used to tighten hundreds of thousands of bolts, for example, and store that information in a database. The information makes it possible to quickly identify any discrepancies, and it provides users with clues as to the possible causes of faults,” Slama explains. As a result, connected tools also aid in troubleshooting and error avoidance. If a worker tries to use a tool mistakenly for the wrong task or at the wrong place, the tool powers itself down, preventing errors from occurring in the first place. This contributes to improving safety, quality, and productivity.
Open standards ensure universal use Thanks to open standards, this system of connected tools can be used universally. Industrial power tools used to drill, tighten, measure, solder, and rivet fit seamlessly into an overall system of connected tools, regardless of the brand or type of tool. A computer system is used to manage and regulate the tools. The testbed highlights several key aspects of digitally connected manufacturing. One of these aspects is cross-industry cooperation on equal footing among companies who are working to create open standards for the purpose of data exchange. Hardware, software, localization technology, backend integration, and safety features are all integrated in the solution architecture. This results in a number of new options, such as data analysis.
International cooperation advances connectivity The testbed partners are each lending their different areas of expertise to the project: Bosch is supplying the Nexo cordless nutrunner, while Bosch Software Innovations is contributing the software necessary to gather and evaluate data in the form of their Bosch IoT Suite. The Nexo collects and stores tightening data and transmits it wirelessly. Tech Mahindra is responsible for the application programming. Cisco is providing the nutrunners' precision location identification feature (triangulation) by evaluating wireless signals. Tests are underway at Bosch Software Innovations in Berlin and at Tech Mahindra in Bangalore, India, to determine how the components interact with each other. Plans call for the first pilot applications with new industrial users in 2015.