Bosch board of management member Struth on the IT Summit: Industry 4.0 needs an education offensive

15 Bosch projects featured on new Industry 4.0 map

  • Schools should be supported with better technical equipment
  • Sensors enable valuable analysis of production data
  • Hundreds of millions of euros can be saved annually

Stuttgart/Berlin – Many German companies are not yet able to fully tap into the potential of Industry 4.0. The reason? There are thousands of jobs for experts in connected manufacturing, but not enough qualified people to do them. “We are in urgent need of specialists who are not only familiar with products and production lines but are also able to analyze huge quantities of data,” said Dr. Werner Struth, member of the Bosch board of management. Looking ahead to the upcoming National IT Summit in Berlin, he added that Industry 4.0 “requires experts who can look beyond the borders of their area of expertise.” Struth's responsibilities at Bosch include coordinating manufacturing at the company's more than 250 plants worldwide. One of the exhibits at the IT Summit will be an online map highlighting 100 examples of Industry 4.0 in Germany. Of these, 15 are Bosch projects. “They illustrate how Industry 4.0 improves efficiency and competitiveness,” said Struth. He also hailed the arrival of the current reference architecture model for Industry 4.0, as it provides a common footing for Germany to benefit from the potential of connected manufacturing. As he put it, “This is the basis upon which connected companies will become connected industry.”

Study: demand for experts still rising
However, some areas still lack skilled workers. A study conducted by the German Engineering Federation (VDMA) suggests that this is a major hurdle to developing new information and automation technology. Viewing the sector as a whole, the study calculates that more than 4,000 jobs need to be filled. And demand is predicted to continue rising considerably through 2018.

Education offensive for the connected world
A broad-based education offensive aimed at children could help in overcoming this challenge, said Struth. “We have to lay the groundwork for confidently navigating the digital world at a young age. Young people have to be capable of doing more than just using the apps on their smartphones. They should also know a programming language, because that's the only tool that will allow them to make their ideas reality.”

“Connectivity is a universal trend”
To be able to teach these fundamental skills, schools and teachers need to be equipped with the necessary know-how and the right technical infrastructure. This would also help raise general awareness of the importance of data protection, added Struth. “Clear rules for data protection and for handling production information are essential if companies are to work together in an atmosphere of mutual trust.”

Changes to education are needed at the university level as well, Struth said. “Students should be in a position to network and share their knowledge with each other. There's no need for everyone to be an expert in a given subject. Most of the time, it's enough to be able to clearly formulate and communicate the requirements to an expert. This means engineers need to be increasingly IT savvy – so that they can, for example, get the most out of evaluating the data streams that sensors send from production lines,” he added.

15 Bosch projects on Germany's online Industry 4.0 map
When it comes to Industry 4.0, Bosch is both a leading provider and leading exponent. The company has already made connected manufacturing a reality in many different ways. Of the 100 applications of Industry 4.0 in Germany on the online map, which will be presented at the summit, 15 of them are at Bosch locations. One of these is the plant in Nuremberg, where automatic transport robots streamline the plant's material flow thanks to their collective, connected intelligence. Another is the Homburg plant: on the connected production line there, Bosch manufactures 200 different hydraulic valves out of some 2,000 components – an excellent example of efficient production for batch sizes of one.

Saving hundreds of millions of euros
Looking at Bosch's more than 250 plants worldwide, Struth expects Industry 4.0 to save the company hundreds of millions of euros annually in the years leading up to 2020. “Every bit of time and money we save strengthens the competitiveness, and thus the appeal, of the products we manufacture.”

Common understanding of standards
The summit in Berlin will be looking at several issues, including cross-sector solutions in the area of Industry 4.0. To make these solutions possible, the “Industrie 4.0” alliance has introduced a comprehensive concept, the reference architecture model for Industry 4.0 (RAMI 4.0). This model charts the gradual shift from today's manufacturing to Industry 4.0 and promotes a common understanding of standards. Bosch was heavily involved in drawing up the reference architecture. “RAMI 4.0 provides a good deal of guidance as we seek to precisely define what Industry 4.0 is and how to develop it further. It helps us identify overlaps and gaps in the standards we need for this effort so we can rectify those problems,” said Struth. He emphasized that Germany was well on its way to benefiting from the opportunities offered by connected industry.

Contact person for press inquiries:Thilo Resenhoeft, phone: +49 711 811-7088

Homepage of the National IT Summit (German):
Virtual Industry 4.0 map with Bosch projects: will go live on November 18)
Data mining at Bosch
Details about RAMI 4.0:

About the “Industrie 4.0” platform
According to its founders, the “Industrie 4.0” platform is the leading alliance for guiding the digital structural transformation of industry in Germany. It unites all entities that are shaping Industry 4.0 and pools the strengths and knowledge of a wide range of players – from companies, associations, unions and the worlds of industry and politics. The platform is managed and led by Sigmar Gabriel, the German federal minister for economic affairs and energy, and Dr. Johanna Wanka, German federal minister for education and research, and includes high-ranking representatives from business, academia, and trade unions.

About the National IT Summit
The National IT Summit brings together players from the areas of politics, business, academia, and society to help shape the digital transformation in Germany. Their efforts are based on the federal government's Digital Agenda. The idea is to make full use of the opportunities offered by digitalization in business and society.

Tags: Industry 4.0, Industry 4.0, Industry, Member,

About Bosch

The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. It employs roughly 410,000 associates worldwide (as of December 31, 2018). The company generated sales of 78.5 billion euros in 2018. Its operations are divided into four business sectors: Mobility Solutions, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods, and Energy and Building Technology. As a leading IoT company, Bosch offers innovative solutions for smart homes, smart cities, connected mobility, and connected manufacturing. It uses its expertise in sensor technology, software, and services, as well as its own IoT cloud, to offer its customers connected, cross-domain solutions from a single source. The Bosch Group’s strategic objective is to deliver innovations for a connected life. Bosch improves quality of life worldwide with products and services that are innovative and spark enthusiasm. In short, Bosch creates technology that is “Invented for life.” The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its roughly 460 subsidiary and regional companies in over 60 countries. Including sales and service partners, Bosch’s global manufacturing, engineering, and sales network covers nearly every country in the world. The basis for the company’s future growth is its innovative strength. At nearly 130 locations across the globe, Bosch employs some 68,700 associates in research and development.

The company was set up in Stuttgart in 1886 by Robert Bosch (1861-1942) as “Workshop for Precision Mechanics and Electrical Engineering.” The special ownership structure of Robert Bosch GmbH 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 in the safeguarding of its future. Ninety-two percent of the share capital of Robert Bosch GmbH is held by Robert Bosch Stiftung GmbH, a charitable foundation. The majority of voting rights are held by Robert Bosch Industrietreuhand KG, an industrial trust. The entrepreneurial ownership functions are carried out by the trust. The remaining shares are held by the Bosch family and by Robert Bosch GmbH.

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