Bosch Connects to Future Beyond Mobility
At the second edition of ‘Beyond Mobility’ held recently Bosch showcased its latest connected industry solutions.
To leverage its expertise in futuristic technologies and expand its footprint
Bosch came to India in 1922 and established it first manufacturing facility with the Mico unit at Bangalore in 1951. That is 67 years of Make in India, most of it in mobility solutions. It started with spark plugs but gradually evolved as a formidable supplier to the automotive industry with entire systems from engine and chassis management to steering, electrical drive components, automotive electronics and much else. The Bosch Group – the largest private company in the world – today operates in India through 12 companies and 18 manufacturing sites with Rs 20,000 crore turnover, but 85% of its business is from the Mobility Solutions sector with the remainder from the other three – Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods and Energy & Building Technology.
For Bosch, it is now time to leverage its expertise in futuristic technologies and expand its footprint – the theme of the second edition of Beyond Mobility. “Our business is in a process of profound transformation from a hardware focus to models that focus more on services and data. We have the capability to develop greenfield technology that can power industries in a new-age manner,” said Soumitra Bhattacharya, Managing Director, Bosch Limited and President, Bosch Group, India, delivering the keynote. Bhattacharya referred to the rapid transformation the country is undergoing presently fuelled by the structural reforms like GST and the accelerated pace of infrastructure building, changes that have enabled the beyond mobility solutions gain 35%, contributing greatly to the Bosch Group’s turnover.
“Bosch India looks at India first and not Bosch. We are developing regional, local, innovative and affordable products for India,” said Bhattacharya. “The key to success will be partnership with local players to drive connectivity forward and a localised strategy to meet consumer demand,” he added. Bangalore is one of the global innovation centres for AI solutions and transformations are being driven through Bosch’s “3S” strategy – where it uses sensors, software and services. Bosch’s innovation accelerates this growth with robust distribution networks, India-specific innovations, consumer centricity, and lastly, by entering new market segments.
“We are in the midst of a revolution called connectivity, which is disruptive and very fast. By 2020, 90% of the world’s population will be digitally connected with over 50 billion connected devices,” said Dr Andreas Wolf, Joint Managing Director, Bosch Limited, in his keynote. “India is creating an enabling ecosystem for Smart Manufacturing fuelled by various government initiatives like Make in India, Digital India, Startup India and Smart Cities, among others. This will boost manufacturing to be fit-for-future. Bosch India has produced solutions Made in India for India and the world – with 161 completed projects – and is in a position of a Leading Provider as well as Leading User,” he added. With India’s strength in IT – Bosch has the largest development centre in India outside Germany and over 14,000 R&D associates of the total 31,000 headcount in India – the country has the right megatrends to support the digital transformation of manufacturing and the future is smart, connected and exciting, summed up Wolf.
A key component of Bosch’s beyond mobility offerings is Industry 4.0 technologies. Bosch is building smart factories with the focus on automation, digitalisation, AI and IoT that are boosting productivity, quality and safety.
Hans Bangert, Managing Director, Rexroth – a Bosch company that supplies motors and drives plus controls for robotics to companies like Kuka and Staubli – presented an overview of the Robotics Market Development in India. Presently the robot density in the manufacturing industry in India is rather low at 3 robots per 10,000 employees (advanced economies average is 303); however the automotive industry which is more automated has a density of 79 (1240 in case of advanced economies). “The trends indicate a growing market for industrial robots in India with a CAGR of 22% predicted for 2019. This will be driven by demand in factory automation, welding and assembly, besides infra and life sciences,” said Bangert. In India Rexroth is now preparing for market entry in joint partnership with Pune based Plazma Technologies. The result is Z Bot, powered by Roboswift software with artificial intelligence. The Z Bot is mainly targeted at Pick & Place and Plasma Cutting applications.
How exactly is Bosch engaged in this Digital Transformation, which is driven by IoT? That was the theme of the presentation made by Dattatri Salagame, Head of Digital Business, Robert Bosch Engineering & Business Solutions. “This is a disruption called digital and Bosch with a huge amount of assets and experience is bringing this together using the 3S’s – sensors, software and services – to enhance existing products and processes across all industry domains. This is digital as a business, strongly driven from India,” said Salgame. Bosch perfects digital solutions by first running them at its own plants and facilities, and then partners with customers to enhance their products and processes with the help of digital technology and new-age solutions. These solutions are also available to other companies. Salgame mentioned three Bosch offerings in these context: #JumpStartDigital – a bouquet of productised services that help organisations accelerate digital transformation in a low risk BOT model; the Nexeed Platform – a set of software solutions for optimising production and logistics in a seamless Source-Make-Deliver flow; and Phantom for Asset Management – an industrial asset management tool for non-intrusive application specific intelligence, ideal for SMEs.
Energy efficiency is yet another of the prominent beyond mobility businesses for Bosch, and it is partnering with companies to drive energy efficiency in a sustainable manner through customised solutions. India is the third largest energy guzzler in the world today behind China and the US. But in per capita consumption it is 143rd which means as the country is urbanising rapidly, the per capita consumption is also going to increase proportionately. “This provides a huge opportunity because as we plan for more energy generation today we can also plan for cleaner energy generation and better energy efficiency as energy conserved as good as energy generated,” said Mohandas Mekanapurath, Business Head, Bosch Energy and Building Solutions. Bosch provides turnkey services for implementation of solar PV plants to industrial and commercial clients and till date more than 200 enterprises have benefitted. These include several automotive companies, airports, hospitals and educational institutes, gaining 300,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions offset till date, generating 980,000 units of clean power resulting in savings of Rs 330 crore in energy costs. Bosch is recognised by the industry as the Best Rooftop Solar Integrator in India.
Sudhir Tiku, Business Head, Security & Safety Solutions, Bosch India, made an interesting presentation on Connected Transportation, an area where Bosh provides intelligent solutions by integrating IP hardware, software and smart analytics. With India accounting for nearly 1/7th of the global population, the need for expanding mass transportation – railways, metros, airlines as well as shipping – cannot be overstressed with the economical, social and political impact of this expansion, and the attendant expectations of the stakeholders. “Smooth operations, return on investment and the safety and security of the installations are the main and most important expectations, and Bosch has the solutions for these that increase stakeholder satisfaction,” said Tiku. These solutions pertain to access control, video surveillance, intrusion detection, fire detection, public address, evacuation process and interfaces with management systems, etc. These are sophisticated technologies, the video surveillance, for example comes with excellent sensitivity, data security and intelligent video analytics. These are integrated solutions that minimise potential security risks and breaches.
Other presentations included one on digital power tools that convenient to use and affordable. These provide localised solutions for the Indian market to improve working conditions, performance and businesses of tradesmen, contractors, carpenters, artisans and other industrial and institutional customers. Innovative cordless technology, connected power tools with RFID and connected work sites ultimately benefit end customers. With other new business models, such as rental power tools and digital services for customer support, channel partners and sales force, the company is boosting construction industry’s growth and employment.
Finally, with the home appliances segment plus the digital services for all segments, Bosch is becoming a Hardware Plus company with home appliances and digital services to suit the requirements of households. Bosch Home Appliances will invest 100 million Euros over the next 3 to 4 years into personalised solutions, brand building, strengthening its technology centre, and setting up a robust refrigerator factory to bring its best-in-class German technology to India.
A tour of the Experience Centre offered glimpses of the Bosch Group’s progress in India since the first Mico facility was established at the then barren land at Adugodi and the progress made since – from the humble spark plug to sparking the digital revolution that is now set to ignite the smart factories of future. At the heart of all these changes lies innovation, and Bosch is turning itself into an innovation hub for the world by developing solutions based on AI, Blockchain, sensors and other futuristic technologies to build sustainable ecosystems across industries for the future.
Pix1: Soumitra Bhattacharya, Managing Director, Bosch Limited.
Pix2: Andreas Wolf, Joint Managing Director, Bosch Limited.
Pix3: Hans Bangert, Managing Director, Rexroth – a Bosch company.
Pix4: Mohandas Mekanapurath, Business Head, Bosch Energy and Building Solutions.
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