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News | Brake Disc 2.0

Buderus Guss innovation reduces brake dust by up to 90

Circular in shape, the size of a plate, and as thick as a thumb – long before ABS, ESP, airbags, and other technologies, the braking disc made driving safer, significantly shortened braking distances, and contributed to reducing the number of accidents. At present, the car part is attracting attention for another reason: brake dust. The lion’s share of particulate matter is the product of road, tire, and brake dust, and not the result of fuel combustion. According to State Institute for the Environment, Measurements and Conservation in Baden Württemberg, 32 percent of particle emissions in road traffic come from breaking and tires, with about half coming from braking dust.

To improve urban air quality, braking dust must be significantly reduced. To this end, The Bosch subsidiary Buderus Guss has developed the iDisc. Compared with a conventional braking disc, it reduces brake dust production by up to 90 percent. “Bosch has not only been working to maintain air quality under the hood,“ says Dr. Dirk Hoheisel, the member of the Bosch board of management whose responsibilities include Buderus Guss. “The iDisc is the braking disc 2.0”.

Clean and safe

The iDisc’s unique selling point, the prefixed “i“, stands for innovation: it is a hard metal coating made of tungsten carbide, which is currently only offered by Buderus Guss. The basis of the disc is a conventional grey cast iron brake disc, of which the Bosch subsidiary produces up to 20 million units per year. To turn it into an iDisc, the friction rings are treated mechanically, thermally, and galvanically in a process that Buderus Guss and Bosch research developed over many years, and are ultimately coated. The iDisc is not only clean, it is also safe and has a longer life cycle: The braking power is comparable to that of a ceramic brake and the iDisc lasts twice along as a conventional brake disc.

Gerhard Pfeifer, the President of Buderus Guss, is convinced that the iDisc will succeed: “Against the backdrop of the ongoing particulate matter debate in many countries and cities around the world, all signs point to a breakthrough.” After all, brake discs will be needed in cars for decades still, and they are being produced in increasing numbers: in the passenger car segment alone, global demand exceeded 330 million units in 2016.

More information on the iDisc can be found here.

News | Food and friendship

Bosch supports Munaychay, a children’s village in Peru

The Munaychay children’s village is situated at 3,000 meters above sea level, a half-hour drive from the Peruvian valley town of Urumbamba. The village is home to around 70 children whose parents have either passed away, or who are unwilling or unable to take care of their children. Carmen Muñoz Angulo, who heads the village, says: “When they come to us, many of the children are traumatized and have to learn how to trust again.” The children live in small groups, each of which has a house mother. Thanks to Munaychay, the children are gaining new possibilities. Not only to they have rooves over their heads, they can also go to school.

Bosch supports the children’s village in a number of ways. The company has donated a schoolbus, a solar-powered water heating system, and a range of household appliances. What is more, for the past five years, Primavera has given the village money, books, and other donations in kind. The aid initiative, which is run by Bosch associates, supports projects all over the world that aim to help children in need. In addition to this, a group of 15 volunteers – most of them from Germany – supports the local team in the Peruvian mountains on a regular basis. “Before they came here, the children in the village had practically no prospects besides a life of poverty,” says Asunta Tapia, the head of HR at the Bosch regional company in Peru and a member of Primavera. “Now they have a brighter future ahead of them. And that’s why supporting them is so important.”

Here, Bosch would like to introduce three children and young people from the Munaychay children’s village.

“This is my home, my family,“ says 15-year-old Luis. He has lived in the children’s village for ten years with his sister Milagros and two of his eight brothers. Their family was poor and they were often beaten. In Munaychay, Luis has earned to play traditional Andean instruments like the Charango and the Quena flute. Later on, he hopes to study music.  

Milagros, 17, will soon graduate from school and leave the village to study psychology at university in Lima. To earn the money she needs to finance her studies, she wants to work as a hairdresser.

Two years ago, Sarah came to the village when she ran away from a violent family life. Now, "food and friendship" are the two things that are most important to her. At school, the 11-year-old is interested in biology. “I want to become a veterinarian.”

More information on the Munaychay children’s village can be found here. And further details on the Primavera initiative can be found here.

News | “Wir zusammen” convenes at Bosch

Network meeting on integration at the Bosch Center in Stuttgart

Representatives of the 210 companies that are part of the “Wir Zusammen” (We, together) network, of which Bosch was a founding member, convened on November 17 at the Bosch Center in Stuttgart to discuss the integration of refugees currently living in Germany. These companies strongly believe that successful integration calls for cooperation between policymakers, society, and business. At presentations and workshops, event participants discussed the challenges and opportunities related to integration.

Organizer Marlies Peine in conversation with representatives of Bosch and a refugee

What is the network’s current status, and where is it headed? To answer this question, companies shared their experiences and were given information on challenging topics. At workshops, participants were given advice on how to deal with trauma or the threat of deportation. The host presented its own integration project as well as personal impressions from trainers, refugees, and associates.

A multifaceted commitment

Bosch has taken a multifaceted approach to helping refugees prepare for their working lives and adapt to their new surroundings in Germany. With internships, the company helps young people prepare for an apprenticeship. In addition to this, Bosch associates help refugees work toward an independent life. Among other things, they look for kindergarten spots, give German lessons, and organize activities such as soccer tournaments and evenings of cooking.

Dr. Gregor Heemann, Senior Vice President HR, introduces the activities of Bosch

A broad-based initiative

The “Wir Zusammen” initiative, which German companies founded in 2016, aims to develop long-term prospects for refugees. While meeting the basic needs of newly arrived refugees was the initial priority, companies are now increasingly focusing their efforts on labor market integration. All of the projects are presented in an online platform, with the aim of honoring the companies’ commitment and encourage others to do the same.

More information on the initiative can be found here. Further details on the Bosch commitment can be found here.

News | COP 23: Cooperating to protect the climate

Bosch contributes to the debate at the UN climate conference

Until this Friday, representatives of the UN climate framework convention from 196 countries and the European Union are convening at the 23rd World Climate Conference in Bonn. The delegates are negotiating how the 2015 Paris Protocol should be put into practice, thus limiting global warming to significantly less than two degrees Celsius. The aim is to draw up a rulebook that will be adopted at the next summit, which is set to take place at the end of 2018 in Kattowitz, Poland. The pressure to take action is high: last year was the hottest on record, and the Arctic ice cap is smaller than at any time since the first satellite images were recorded at the end of the 1970s.

Carbon-neutral at the COP: Bernhard Schwager (left) and Urs Ruth

In parallel to the official negotiations, actors from science, politics, business, religious communities, and environmental groups also discussed ways in which these urgent challenges can be addressed. Bosch took part in these discussions on the “Innovation as a solution for climate protection” panel, at Business and Industry Day (BINGO), and at several other events.

Showing great promise: carbon-neutral fuels

The potential of synthetic fuels, which Bosch is currently researching, was a central focus of the discussions. A recent study that the company commissioned shows that e-fuels can save 2.8 gigatons of carbon dioxide by 2050. Urs Ruth, chief expert for climate and energy at Bosch, said: “In the long run, synthetic fuels will complement e-mobility concepts perfectly. Consumers who do not wish to switch to an electric vehicle will simply be able to modify their cars, and thus make their driving climate neutral. This will benefit the climate enormously. We thus welcome the initiative of the German Federal Ministry for the Economy and Energy, which is promoting promising fuels over the course of the energy turnaround in transport”. Stefan Eppler, Bosch specialist for alternative fuels, says: “Not only is the product itself carbon neutral, so too is its production. With power-to-fuel, in the future it will be possible to produce synthetic fuels with renewable sources of energy.”

Urs Ruth (right) in conversation with Christoph W. Frei, Secretary General of the World Energy Council

Multifaceted: Bosch climate protection activities

Bernhard Schwager, head of the sustainability office at Bosch, presented the company’s climate protection activities. Bosch aims to reduce its own carbon dioxide emissions relative to value added by 35 percent by 2020 over 2007 levels. In 2016, the company had already achieved a 30.6 percent reduction. At the same time, Bosch has already reduced its energy consumption by 35 percent since 2007. The company also continuously reduces its waste production and water consumption. Compared with 2007 levels, in 2016 the company produced 23.7 percent less wastes and consumed 35.9 percent less water.

The German Pavilion at the UN Climate Conference in Bonn

More information on Bosch research in the area of synthetic fuels can be found here.

News | A small box with a big effect

Connected Bosch solution measures urban air quality

An innovative system that measures air quality is the latest Bosch smart city solution. In cooperation with Intel, Bosch has developed a microclimate monitoring system that already contributes to improving the lives of people who live in cities. We spoke to Mahesh Chikodi, the head of business development at Bosch in the U.K., who explained how the system works.

Mr. Chikodi, a system that measures air quality doesn’t seem to be anything new.

In cities, there are often measuring stations for ambient air. These stations are actual laboratories in which experts work and can evaluate data. Our solution is much smaller: our system is about one one-hundredth the size of conventional facilities. It is a small box that is easy to install at about a tenth of the cost.

Does the small box have the same capabilities as the large measuring stations?  

We’ve equipped the system with high-precision miniature sensors that can measure different gases such as carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxide, as well as the relative humidity, temperature, and light and noise levels. We can thus reliably record 12 parameters that are relevant for the analysis of air quality. Conventional measuring stations only measure the air at a few locations to determine air quality values for the entire city. Because of its low price, the Bosch solution can measure at ten or twenty locations across the city rather than just two or three.

Where does the climate data that the system gathers end up?

All the data can be recorded, retrieved, and evaluated in real time – around the clock and using different devices. This means I can respond to different situations flexibly: for example, a hybrid city bus can use its electric drive in instances where a city neighborhood’s air quality is bad.

How can this data help make the lives of city dwellers better?

The microclimate monitoring system monitors air quality in a comprehensive manner by measuring and evaluating pollution in a particular region. State organizations and companies can use the data the system has gathered to come up with targeted air pollution reduction measures. With our systems, we create benefits for people and the environment and increase productivity.

Is the solution already in use?

In Pune in India, the system is already measuring air quality at 50 spots across the city. One day, each inhabitant may have access to important data regarding air quality of their own immediate surroundings. – in real time via a smart phone app. Before I go jogging, I can thus check which areas of my city have high levels of air pollution and should be avoided, and where I can breathe easy.

More information on Bosch smart city solutions can be found here.