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The end result more than made up for all the effort involved. The Social Week was full of experiences and was enjoyed by all the apprentices who took part. Now their projects are completed, they can reflect proudly on the contribution they have made to their communities as a whole. Their achievements include a playground now refreshed and sparkling with bright new colors, complete with a sandpit in the shape of a ship to encourage kids to set sail for the future. The apprentices also created a relaxing garden with a corner for growing herbs, and the electric go-kart that will inspire keen young engineers as a prototype for future electric vehicles. The apprentices have really done their bit in Althengstedt, Leinfelden-Echterdingen, Sebnitz, and many other places across Germany.
This week of voluntary work has been an enriching experience for the apprentices, helping to teach them that material values aren’t everything – a lesson that will stay with them forever. The positive experiences gathered during the week include the warm welcome they received in each of the facilities, and the pleasure and interest shown by the elderly people they met. What’s more, they learnt a lot about independent project work and the wonderful feeling of being able to achieve anything just by working in a team and using a bit of creativity. And who could possibly have imagined that this period of intense supervision would cause them to realize that children can be hard work? But there was one overwhelming sentiment that came out of all the projects: “Everybody should respect the work done in the charitable and voluntary sector.”
It took several days to draw up the final concept. Rico Giang and two other apprentices in their fourth year of training wanted to bring their own ideas to life to create a sports and fun day for disadvantaged children and young people. Their slogan was “Sport is healthy and brings people together.” The day began with group sports so that the kids could do something together and get to know one another. This was followed by a competition to encourage the participants to step things up a gear and learn that making an effort is not only fun, but also a reward in itself. The series of sports days encouraged the children to swap boring hours in front of the television or computer for dodgeball, skipping, sit-ups, and slalom runs. They enjoyed snacks of fruit between events and the day was rounded off by an awards ceremony with board games donated by Bosch.
A winning atmosphere and shared experiences were also the order of the day during the Social Week in the proWerkstätten Himmelsthür factory for the disabled in Hildesheim. Six apprentices from the technical/commercial sector swapped their workplaces to spend a week in a workshop supporting people with disabilities. The focus here was on building relationships between the apprentices and the workshop participants. Jörg Plehn, Director of proWerkstätten, agrees: “By sitting round a table together and chatting to one another completely normally, they are helping to further promote integration.”
It took the strength of all ten apprentices to lift the plate vibrator onto the grounds of the Samariterstift Höfingen. This was just the start of a week of intensive work to create a garden for the elderly residents of the care home to enjoy. The team of apprentices from Feuerbach moved 30 tons of earth, 60 tons of crushed stone, 25 tons of chippings, and 50 tons of natural stone just to build the stone wall!
A team of 16 apprentices from Bamberg also bore the proud scars of their efforts during Social Week in the form of aching muscles and the odd blister or two. Caritas Jugendhilfe in Pettstadt supports children and young people whose care and education in the family environment is at risk due to conflict, illness, or crisis. Sixteen mechatronics apprentices from Bosch took up their paintbrushes, hammers, saws, and Bosch tools to help the young people renovate their group rooms, build benches and a tool shed, and pave the playground.
The project at the Leintal-Realschule in Abstatt required an entirely different set of tools. Supervised by Stefan Wendt and his team of apprentices from the Abstatt location, twelve of the school’s students used scrap parts and old bicycles to design and build two very special go-karts. The electric drive concept consisted of two Bosch cordless screwdrivers. Even though one of the go-karts suffered some axial problems during its practice run, the school’s technology teacher felt the apprentices and students alike had outdone themselves: “Many students even worked on the project during their breaks and in their free time.”
"Bosch is giving you a week off!” When 19-year-old Stefan Wendt saw a poster advertising the “Social Week”, he immediately thought of his old school. His idea was to help students build a go-kart out of scrap parts during a Technology Week. The project also captured the imagination of apprentices Rico Giang and Christin Richter: “We knew straight away that we wanted to get involved. It’s fun to do something nice for other people.” Their plan was to organize a sports and fun day for disadvantaged children and young people in Brandenburg.
Totally around 1,700 apprentices decided to get involved in this unique campaign organized as part of the “125 Years of Bosch” anniversary celebrations. Bosch encouraged its young talents to think up projects that would help others and to organize them with the help of their training supervisors. This campaign aimed to show the company’s appreciation for its apprentices and students, and to give something back to the community.
Over 400 projects were set up at over 40 locations across Germany, including kindergartens, homes for the elderly, schools, churches and nature conservation organizations. Apprentices in Abstatt chose to help out kindergarten teachers. In Blaichach, they planted a herb garden at a home for the elderly. A team from Hildesheim worked together with disabled people in a specialized factory, while, in Sebnitz, the project involved redesigning a children’s home. “We are pretty proud of ourselves,” says Andreas Reiter from the Feuerbach location. And so they should be.
The environmentally friendly electromechanical steering system means annual savings of almost 1.9 million tons CO2.
Besides the drivetrain, a car’s many electric motors offer another way to reduce fuel consumption and hence the emission of carbon dioxide. “In recent years, Bosch has managed to further reduce the weight of small electric motors and improve their efficiency,” says Dr. Udo Wolz, president of Bosch’s Electrical Drives division. These small electric motors open and close the windows, adjust the position of the seats, operate the steering, cool the internal-combustion engine, and power the windshield wipers. Among more efficient auxiliary systems there are alternators or radiator fans. Brushless motors are ideal for the highly efficient operation of air fans. They require ten percent less energy. Today they are fitted to around 15 percent of all new vehicles in Europe – and this share will rise further in coming years.
In order to further reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, automakers are also increasingly replacing the car’s mechanical or hydraulic systems with electric drives. One example is steering. Unlike the conventional hydraulic approach, electric steering needs no servicing and operates only when needed. According to the latest measurements, compared to a hydraulically assisted power steering system, the electric power steering system saves 0.4 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers – this would mean that the steering system alone leads to 6 percent fuel savings for a compact class car with an average fuel consumption of 7.7 liters. With a production figure of twenty million units so far, this means annual savings of 800 million liters of fuel due only to the electromechanical steering system. This, in turn, means almost 1.9 million tons less CO2 emitted. In the passenger car market the environmentally friendly electromechanical steering system is making headway.
One particularly effective example is the Bosch start-stop system. It stops the engine at a red light and restarts it reliably when the lights turn green. In the New European Driving Cycle, this achieves fuel savings of up to 5 percent, and as much as 8 percent in urban driving. In order to further reduce consumption, and thus CO2 emissions, Bosch engineers are gradually extending engine shutdown-times. This will apply initially to the time when the vehicle is coasting to a halt, then even to periods when drivers stop pushing the gas pedal. “Depending on the type of driver, the enhanced start-stop systems can save an additional ten percent of fuel,” says Dr. Ulrich Kirschner, president of the Bosch Starter Motors and Generators division. Since the first start-stop system went into series production in 2007, Bosch has sold more than four million start-stop starters.