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Recent Blog Comments
German Chancellor invites integration network to knowledge-sharing event
What does successful integration look like and how can companies create opportunities for refugees? On September 14, German Chancellor Angela Merkel discussed these two questions with members of the “Wir zusammen” (“Us together”) platform in Berlin. The head of government used the meeting at the Federal Chancellery to gain insights into the activities of the participating companies – among them Bosch, Daimler, and Thyssenkrupp – with regard to the training and employment of refugees. A study that “Wir zusammen” conducted in cooperation with the Roland Berger management consultancy served as the basis for discussion. The study highlighted the opportunities that refugees create for the German economy. At the same time, experts argue that the professional qualifications of immigrants should be further improved, and hiring processes simplified – for instance by reducing administrative hurdles.
Against this backdrop, the aim of “Wir zusammen” is to help refugees become part of German society, and to enable them to access training and work opportunities. To this end, since February 2016 the platform has pooled the integration projects of more than 120 companies from different sectors. The members have already created about 3,800 internships and 750 apprenticeship opportunities. Until now, 490 refugees have been taken on as employees. Almost 16,500 members are active at the companies and serve as mentors for the newly arrived.
At the beginning of September, German Federal President Joachim Gauck visited “Wir zusammen” event in Essen to gain insights into the network’s activities. In his welcoming address, the German Federal President commended the commitment of those who actively help people who have sought asylum in Germany. After his speech, the head of state spoke with representatives of the network – among them Dieter Lochbihler of the Robert Bosch GmbH works council – about the opportunities and challenges of integration. Moreover, guests had the opportunity to find out more about the alliance thanks to an exhibit about five sample projects.
As a member of “Wir zusammen”, Bosch helps young refugees prepare to live and work in their new environment. The company’s sponsorship of a project in Immenstadt in Germany’s Allgäu region reflects its commitment. The state-of-the-art manufacturing location has created three rotating internship spots for 24 young refugees who are living in the town. The aim is to help them enter the labor market more easily. The internships are run in cooperation with the Immenstadt vocational school and last six weeks each. Mentoring programs with Bosch associates as well as supporting German lessons help participants with the process of integration. Thanks to the highly motivated young interns, the first round of internships was a huge success.
More information on the work of “Wir zusammen” can be found here (only in German available).
Origin of photo material: Federal Government (Hans-Christian Plambeck) and wir zusammen.
An innovative Bosch water injection system saves fuel and CO2
With the WaterBoost system, Bosch is the first and only automotive supplier to offer a water injection system for gasoline engines. The aim is to promote fuel savings, as even modern internal combustion systems consume up to a fifth of their fuel for engine cooling purposes. By injecting water, gas consumption can be noticeably reduced, especially in driving situations with high rpms. The trailblazing technology helps saves fuel especially in mid-sized vehicles with downsized engines. The BMW M4 GTS is the first series-produced vehicle to be equipped with the WaterBoost system.
The water injection technology is based on a simple principle. To ensure that the engine does not overheat, a fine water mist is sprayed into the intake passage before injection, which evaporates and ensures effective cooling. Water demand is low: a small additional tank filled with five liters of distilled water suffices for 3,000 kilometers. As a result, even when the car accelerates rapidly or is travelling on the highway, fuel consumption decreases by as much as 13 percent.
The new technology not only makes vehicles more eco-friendly, it also improves their performance. The ignition time occurs earlier and the optimized center of gravity leads to greater efficiency . As a result, the engine operates more efficiently and its performance is up to five percent better – for more horsepower with the same engine displacement and boost pressure. At the same time, the use of water protects the components in the engine’s interior and reduces knocking, which can damage the engine. Ultimately, the H2O engine promotes better performance and lower fuel consumption. For this reason, it definitely has a bright future.
More information on waterpower for gasoline engines can be found here.
The company’s LGBT network is celebrating its 10th anniversary
Ten years ago, Bosch associates joined forces to found RBg, the Bosch gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender associate network. Their aim was to make the LGBT community more visible at the company, and to promote greater tolerance and acceptance. A great deal has happened since then: today, more than 290 members in 10 countries are active members of RBg. And Bosch sponsored this year’s Christopher Street Day celebrations in Stuttgart, demonstrating the company’s commitment to promoting diversity. This sent out an important signal, says Dr. Jean-Claude Loux, a Bosch engineer and the associate network’s spokesperson.
Dr. Loux, this year’s CSD was held under the banner of “Operation Visibility”. How visible is the LGBT community at Bosch?
As a result of our involvement in events such as Christopher Street Day, it is become increasingly visible. The Bosch sponsorship was communicated through a variety of channels: there were articles on the intranet, in the associate newspaper, and on Facebook. As a result, colleagues see what we are doing and just how important diversity and the LGBT community are at Bosch. The sponsorship has helped Bosch strengthen its position, also vis-à-vis its associates. Today, Germany has the greatest RBg representation, but our network is also growing in other countries in which the topic of homosexuality is still taboo. This is mainly the result of our board of management’s clear support of our network.
How can an associate network promote greater tolerance with regard to sexual orientation?
As the network has grown, each and every one of us has become more visible. This is important, because it has contributed to making interaction with the LGBT community more natural and relaxed. Many people still associate homosexuality mainly with sex. We want to change that: after all, sexual identity is a great deal more, and shouldn’t be reduced to physicality.
What would you like to see for your community in the next ten years?
If I look around at Bosch in Germany, I can see that tolerance is widespread. But sometimes there is still a lack of acceptance. For this reason, I would like the LGBT community to be just a normal part of the Bosch community. I’d also like to reach out more to our colleagues in production as well. Since they aren’t sitting at a computer, they are more difficult for us to reach.
Thank you very much for the interview, Dr. Loux.
More information on diversity at Bosch can be found here.
Bosch continues its research on connected production facilities
The AMELI 4.0 research project, which Bosch launched in cooperation with six partners from industry and business, focuses on monitoring machines more effectively, avoiding down time, and thus reducing costs. The team of experts is developing a sensor system that will enable the intelligent networking of production facilities. Thanks to these smart helpers, deviations from a machine’s normal state will be detected immediately and the appropriate measures taken. As a result, regular maintenance work may no longer be necessary in the future, and this will reduce inspection and maintenance costs by as much as 30 percent.
Micromechanical sensors (MEMS), a key technology for Industry 4.0, are at the center of this project. Once they are embedded in a production facility, these tiny measurement tools will collect and process large volumes of data in real time, and they will do this in a very energy efficient manner. These sensors have already found widespread use in cars and smartphones. However, they are not yet capable of meeting the demanding performance and flexibility requirements of the production facility of the future.
Headed by Bosch, the AMELI 4.0 research team is thus working on developing efficient and energy self-sufficient MEMS sensors that will harvest the energy they need from machine vibrations, without the need for wires or batteries. By measuring the sounds machines make, the sensor’s microscopic “sensory organs“ will also be able to detect whether machines are operating normally. A defective machine vibrates differently and has a different sound – and the system will be capable of learning and issuing a warning at an early stage.
With regard to Industry 4.0, the research project will help improve the competitiveness of German companies. This is why it is receiving 3.84 million euros in support from the Germany Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) “IKT 2020 – Research for Innovation” fund. AMELI 4.0 was initiated in December 2015 and will be completed by the end of 2018.
More information on the sensors of the future can be found here.
Bosch is launching a sharing service for e-scooters under the Coup brand
Traffic, hectic road conditions, and the search for parking spots make urban driving especially challenging. To offer city dwellers and visitors access to flexible mobility solutions, Bosch is launching the Coup e-scooter sharing service. With the agile e-scooters, Coup, a Bosch subsidiary, is now offering Berliners a simple, emissions-free alternative to their own cars. Gogoro, a leading e-scooter manufacturer, is providing the electric two-wheelers. With their smartphones, users can conveniently locate and reserve the closest scooters. When they have done this, they can hop onto the scooters and ride off. Once they reach their destination, they simply leave the scooter anywhere in the downtown area.
For the start of the project, 200 connected e-scooters are being distributed in Berlin Mitte, Prenzlauer Berg, Friedrichshain, and Kreuzberg. Searches and reservations can be carried out in just a few seconds with an easy to use app, which also serves as the key for the helmet compartment and ignition. Once users have completed their ride, the app also automatically issues a bill, just as apps for car-sharing platforms do. Thanks to flat rates, pricing is easy to understand: the use of a fully charged scooter costs 3 euros per half hour, or 20 euros a day. Scooters can travel up to 100 kilometers on a single charge, and Coup covers the cost of charging. To rent a scooter, users must be at least 21 years old and have a license to drive cars or motorcycles.
With the new Coup sharing service, Bosch is contributing to flexible and eco-friendly mobility in urban areas. The platform thus provides a new building block for the Mobility Solutions business sector. This will help Bosch shape its response to modern mobility requirements. If demand is high, the company will expand the service to other parts of the city in the near future.
More information on Coup and practical e-scooters can be found here.
Interested users can also register for the initial phase of the sharing service on the Coup website.