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Innovative digital processes at the BSH warehouse in Traunreut, Germany
What’s happening at my warehouse right now? Have we picked the best transport route? And what is the safest approach? Thanks to cameras, sensors, and the right software, associates at the BSH Hausgeräte warehouse in Traunreut, Germany know the answers to these questions. The Intralogistics Hub project stands for the realization of Industry 4.0: it records all movements and the flow of goods in real time. This is the first important step toward digitizing logistics management. Transreut took this step In cooperation with the Connected Logistics department, which is part of the new Bosch Connected Industry strategic unit in Feuerbach.
Goods are identified according to their location, making scanning redundant
Highly precise, down to the last five centimeters
“We wanted to maintain transparency for every process in the warehouse,” says Bernd Licinac, who is in charge of Intralogistics Hub in Traunreut. The data of all forklifts in operation are displayed graphically on a large control screen. Sensors and cameras attached to the forklifts record floor markings that are visibly placed six meters apart from each other all over the warehouse. These record whether the vehicles are loaded or not, and where they are currently located. “Thanks to these data and algorithms, we always know where the forklifts are, down to the last five centimeters, and we also know how fast they are moving,” says Licinac. This is valuable information with regard to reaching an important goal in Traunreut: “We want to increase safety in the workplace.”
Bernd Licinac studies the heat map indicating the speed of the forklift
Safe and simple
A map shows all movements, and areas where forkilfts are moving at high speeds are marked in red. “We added safety measures to spots that were especially dangerous. In critical zones, forklift software slows our vehicles down to ten kilometers per hour,“ says Hans Bernhofer, the head of logistics. The process of registering goods when they are stored or removed from the warehouse has also been simplified. The products are identified based on the spot they are stored in, which is shown through the camera in the central terminal. The driver no longer needs to scan the goods himself; now, he just needs to hit the confirm button. The system makes work safer, faster, and less stressful.
More on smart Bosch sensors can be found here.
Bosch presents assistance systems for industrial production at the Hannover Messe
The APAS assistant carefully grasps the metal part and hands it to its colleague. APAS is not a Bosch associate, but rather a robot that is part of Industry 4.0. Bosch is showing the technology at the Hannover Messe until April 28. In the future, machines will play a greater role in supporting production workers. “Thanks to digital connectivity and production assistants, daily industrial work will become easier, more productive, and safer,” says Dr. Stefan Hartung, member of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH, whose areas of responsibility include the Industrial Technology business sector. Collaborative robots such as the Bosch APAS assistant are already being used by automotive suppliers, carmakers, and consumer goods manufacturers.
Apart from the APAS assistant, Bosch is also exhibiting the APAS inspector in Hannover. The robot is able to detect whether the surface material of a work piece meets the necessary requirements. In this way, Bosch not only ensures consistently high levels of quality, it also allows workers to avoid tedious work steps. “Thanks to digital connectivity, many of the tasks what used to cost workers time can now be carried out quickly and simply. Industry 4.0 makes daily work in production much easier,” explains Stefan Aßmann, head of Connected Industry at Bosch, at a press conference ahead of the Hannover Messe.
Connected for more energy efficiency
Connectivity also helps make the working day easier: for instance, Bosch technology has connected more than 80 machines to one another at an Osram light manufacturing plant in Berlin. The Bosch Production Performance Manager (PPM) is at the heart of the Osram Ticket Manager. The system gathers machine data in real time and processes it further. What is more, employees can use an app to keep informed on the status of their machines at all times. This allows them to plan upcoming maintenance work or order replacement parts for machines more easily, and to monitor their machines more effectively.
Connectivity can also be used to optimize energy consumption. At its plant in Homburg, Germany, Bosch has reduced its energy costs by EUR 1.65 million per year thanks to Industry 4.0. To this end, all relevant machines have been connected to an energy platform that processes the data and presents it clearly. Thanks to pre-defined upper or lower limits, associates can immediately identify areas in which energy is unnecessarily consumed, or facilities that are underutilized. Bosch not only improves the energy efficiency of its own plants, it also offers its services to external customers. With intelligent connected solutions, Bosch can help its customers reduce their energy consumption by up to 25 percent.
More information in Industry 4.0 can be found here.
Bosch RoMulus research project will make small and medium-sized companies stronger
Multi-sensor systems are decisive to the success of Industry 4.0 applications. Today, both machines and components are increasingly equipped with intelligent sensor systems, and can thus provide information about their status at all times. On the basis of these data, production can largely organize itself.
The German sensor technology sector is dominated by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). However, these companies cannot cover all of the elements required for the development and production of multi-sensor systems. For this reason, they depend on cooperation with semi-conductor manufacturers and research and development service providers. To support SMEs and make future cooperation easier, Bosch has entered into a partnership with ten other organizations, including the Fraunhofer Institute and Munich Technical University. Since the fall of 2015, these organizations have pooled their expertise in the “Robust multi-sensor technology for status monitoring in Industry 4.0 applications” (RoMulus) research project. Over the next three years, the project aims to simplify and accelerate the development of intelligent multisensor systems. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is supporting RoMulus with some 4.5 million euros as part of the IKT2020 funding program. This amount represents about 70 percent of the total required investment.
“RoMulus makes it possible to design and produce robust and energy-efficient multi-sensor systems at a low cost, also for small production volumes,” said Dr. Reinhard Neul of Robert Bosch GmbH. “This makes German manufacturers of sensor technologies leaders with regard to establishing an important technical basis for Industry 4.0.” As a driver of innovation, RoMulus is helping ensure that Germany remains competitive. At the same time, the project aims to strengthen the market position of small and medium sized companies in the sensor technology sector. As a result, these companies will in the future be able to offer their industrial customers tailored solutions at a significantly lower price.
With more than 100 Industry 4.0 projects, Bosch is also improving the energy and resource efficiency of its own production at locations around the world. This has had a positive impact on the company’s carbon footprint. Thanks to the real time analysis of production data, sources of error can be detected and eliminated at an early stage. At the same time, precise production ensures that inventory levels remain low. It also reduces the cost of transport, storage, and energy.
More information about RoMulus can be found here.
A connected energy supply reduces resource consumption in production
If needed, a large facility’s energy supply can be controlled remotely, from as away as 5,000 kilometers. With live demonstrations, Bosch recently showed how this works at ISH Energy, a leading trade fair in Frankfurt. More precisely, Bosch experts at the trade fair controlled a test facility in Kazakhstan with the newly developed Master Energy Control (MEC) system. The technology allows the operators of complex industrial facilities to turn different sources of power and heat into intelligent energy systems. In so doing, individual components such as steam boilers, cogeneration units, or heat accumulators can be coordinated in the best possible manner. This makes the energy supply more efficient, and leads to lower energy costs and CO2 emissions.
The intelligent control of large facilities is one of many ways in which the future will be connected. “Connectivity is an all-encompassing trend that will affect all areas of life. Especially for the strong German economy, connectivity offers major business opportunities,” said Dr. Volkmar Denner, chairman of the Bosch board of management, in discussing new trends in production referred to as Industry 4.0. The global provider of technology and services is helping push this development forward in three ways. First, Bosch sensors are enabling the internet of things and services, in which products collect data and contribute to a virtual copy of the real world. Second, Bosch is involved in the development of secure software platforms that connect these things to the internet and to each other, and which evaluate data and make new services possible. Third, the company is making online applications and services available that offer customers value added.
The new MEC system also offers these advantages: it makes energy flows visible and thus allows facility operators to assess power and heat consumption as well as load peaks. All of this is needed to further optimize the targeted use of primary energy in industrial processes.
More information on sector-specific energy concepts can be found here