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News | Two clever solutions that counter water scarcity

Bosch India is raising awareness and actively addressing the issue

India’s population of 1.3 billion continues to grow. According to UN forecasts, the emerging country will be home to more than 1.7 billion people by 2060. Sustained population growth means that India will be facing several infrastructural challenges, for instance in the realm of water supply. Most of India’s groundwater is used for agriculture, according to United Nations estimates. As a result, many wells and reservoirs run dry during the dry season.

The dam "Lakshmanpada"

To provide more people with clean drinking water and strengthen agricultural activity, the Bosch Nashik location has built a dam for land cultivation in the plant’s surrounding region. Despite difficult weather conditions and the absence of an access road, the team successfully completed the “Lakshmanpada” project within twelve weeks. The dam can store some 400 million liters of water and thus provide 198 households from five villages with access to clean drinking water. It also enables about 60 percent of farmers to cultivate a second crop, such as wheat. Moreover, the rise in groundwater levels could be of benefit for eight natural springs and four hand pumps.

Raising public awareness

The village of Ramanagara in the southern Indian state of Karnataka has been facing severe water scarcity for many years. For this reason, in 2017 the district authorities and the Bosch India Foundation initiated several measures to improve access to clean drinking water. So far, the team has managed to de-silt three lakes, install eight water purification plants, and plant 20,000 seedlings to limit further erosion and conserve water more efficiently. Not only did local farmers and citizens take part in the initiative, they also learned about water resource management thanks to the supporting awareness-raising campaign. The foundation also taught the community how to monitor the measures themselves to maintain the water supply in the future.

The successful water resource management of Ramanagara

More information on the activities of regional Bosch foundations can be found here.

News | The first Bosch EHS Award

Bosch honors projects that increase energy efficiency and occupational safety.

Held on January 23, 2018, the first Bosch EHS Awards ceremony celebrated the accomplishments of 51 submissions in two categories and honored six winners. Established in 2017, the prize aims to draw attention to energy efficiency and occupational safety initiatives at Bosch locations around the world. Christoph Kübel, Member of the Board of Management and Director of Industrial Relations, presented the six winning projects with an award at the corporate headquarter in Gerlingen. This year, projects in Germany, China, and Brazil were honored.

Christoph Kübel, Member of the Board of Management and Director of Industrial Relations of Robert Bosch GmbH

Energy management 4.0

First prize in the environmental protection category went to the Bosch Homburg location, where manufacturing activities are especially energy efficient thanks to some 10,000 data points that measure values, which are then pooled in an online platform. This makes it possible to manage the energy consumption of each piece of equipment in a targeted manner. Moreover, the local team also makes use of technical innovations such as needs-based regulation of ventilation and smart switch-off management. As a result of these and other measures, the location has saved some 23,400 tons of CO2 since 2007, 4,600 thereof in 2017 alone.

Cooperating for a safe plant

With a project that aimed to raise awareness on occupational safety for every associate and in every process, the Bosch Changsha location took first place in the occupational safety category. The “Building a safe plant” project was completed in 2017. Its primary aim was to establish a continuous improvement process and actively involve associates. The comprehensive measures included targeted training sessions and internal audits at regular intervals. The site could reach its zero accident target in 2017. 

The winners of the first Bosch EHS Award

On the podium

The second and third place projects at this year’s awards were also worthy of praise. With its “Cold degreasing” project, the Bosch Traunreut location reduced its energy consumption with an innovative cleaning product that is effective at low temperatures. In turn, the “GoGreen” initiative has taken a comprehensive approach to saving energy. At the Campinas location in Brazil, the “System for CIP Safety” project has ensured occupational safety with a continuous improvement process. And the “Virtual Reality Safety Training @ CC” for Abstatt associates working in a digitized world serves the same purpose.

News | Monitoring rivers digitally

Bosch System issues flood warnings

In many regions around the world, climate change is also changing the weather: researchers expect more frequent floods due to heavy rainfall. Until now, water levels in rivers have been measured with mechanical tools, which means that it can take several hours for data to be passed on to third parties. The new flood monitoring system that Bosch recently presented at the CES could be a game changer. The innovation can digitally monitor the water levels of rivers close to cities in real time, and thus provide timely warnings of oncoming floods. In a pilot project along the Neckar close to Ludwigsburg, Germany, Bosch is currently carrying out a pilot project to test the new system, which is based on two approaches. Both monitor changes in water levels, water velocity, and flow capacity.

Measurements with a camera or soundwave

The first solution operates with a Bosch Security Systems camera that is installed on the river bank. It takes pictures of the body of water every few seconds and transmits them to a mini-computer, which then sends them to the cloud via a mobile phone network. The second solution hangs upside down under a bridge and uses ultrasonic waves. A sensor by Clever Sensor Integration, a start-up company, transmits ultrasonic waves three times per minute. The sensor uses the signal’s duration to assess the distance to the water surface, and can thus measure the water level. Via the long-range network, an integrated mini-computer transmits data to the cloud. The right approach – whether with cameras or ultrasound sensors – depends on the application.

Analysis in the cloud

With an image recognition algorithm, the Bosch IoT Cloud analyzes data within seconds. “Based on the image, the algorithm can tell how much water levels have increased or decreased. Once the analysis has been completed, the data is stored in a database,” says Danny Heber, Senior Solution Architect at Bosch Software Innovations. If a critical level is reached, the municipal authorities or the residents concerned receive a signal via SMS. As a result, they can initiate measures in time to protect themselves from flooding or flood damages. Communities that often face flooding, for instance in India and South America, have already expressed interest in the solution.

Information other innovations presented at the CES can be found here.

News | Achieving greater occupational safety with games

Bosch uses Gamification for occupational safety training

Most accidents in the workplace are the result of human error, and can thus be prevented. This is why Bosch places a great deal of value on training its associates. With innovative safety training programs, the company is now taking new approaches to raising awareness about occupational safety topics.

The Gamification App-and-Go, GAppNGo for short, has been used to train Bosch associates at the plants in Rayong, Thailand and Changsha, China. The Industry 4.0 solution operates on the basis of Bosch IoT and with Augmented Reality. At spots in the plants that have been marked hazardous, participants can answer quiz questions and receive information on how the risk of accidents can be minimized. Virtual prizes and a ranking aim to motivate associates and their supervisors alike. Bosch uses the game data for the continuous improvement process.

Virtual safety training

The Abstatt location uses Virtual Reality (VR). With VR goggles, associates are immersed into the typical plant, logistics, production, and office environments, where they are confronted with the risk of accidents. The Chassis Systems Control division tested the virtual safety training program last year and intends to introduce the VR goggles at all its locations.

Both projects are making an important contribution to helping Bosch achieve its occupational safety targets by 2020. The aim is to reduce the number of accidents to a maximum of 1.7 per million hours worked. In 2016, the figure stood at 2.7 accidents, a decrease of 61 percent over 2007 levels. In addition to the training sessions, Bosch is ensuring safety at its manufacturing and development locations by introducing a occupational safety management program. With the implementation of the accredited standard OHSAS 18001 Bosch was a pioneer in this regard.

More information on current occupational safety projects at Bosch can be found here.

News | The Bosch technology that saves lives

A prize for the electronic stability program

The Premier Prince Michael International Road Safety Award has gone to the electronic stability program (ESP), which Bosch took part in developing. This marks the first time that the prize has been awarded to a technology. The prize honors outstanding performance in the realm of road safety around the world. Until now, it has been awarded only to campaigns, organizations, and groups. Arun Srinivasan, the head of Mobility Solutions Bosch UK and chairman of RoadSafe, accepted the prize: “We are proud that Bosch is being recognized for its role in the development of ESP. This technology reflects our lasting commitment to developing driver assistance systems that save lives and reduce the number of accidents.”

Bosch global receives the 2017 Premier Award from the Prince Michael (second from the left).

Bosch and Daimler developed ESP in a joint venture in the early 1990s, and started series production in 1995. Today, the anti-skid technology is mandatory for all new passenger cars and light commercial vehicles around the world. Anton van Zanten, the former head of the Bosch research group that invented ESP, has already received the European Inventors’ Prize from the European Patent Office for his lifetime achievement.

The electronic guardian angel

With the ESP system, Bosch makes an important contribution to improved road safety. With the help of intelligent sensors, ESP assesses 25 times per second whether the car is moving in the direction that the driver is steering. If the figures deviate, the anti-skid system intervenes and reduces engine torque. Should this not be sufficient, it also decelerates each individual wheel and thus creates the counterforce needed to keep the vehicle safely in its lane. Especially on slippery roads, but also in curves that the vehicle has driven into too fast, ESP keeps vehicles safely on track and prevents skidding accidents, which are often serious. Since it was introduced, ESP technology has prevented an estimated 185,000 accidents, and has thus saved thousands of lives.

A stimulus for innovation

“All current collision prevention systems are based on ESP – the most important innovation since the safety belt was introduced,” said Prince Michael of Kent at the Premier Awards ceremony. Since it began series production, Bosch has made continuous improvements to the active safety system. New assistance systems make driving even safer and more comfortable with functions that automatically maintain the distance to vehicles ahead, park cars into small parking spots, and give drivers timely warnings in critical situations.

More information on the history of the electronic stability program can be found here.