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Girls’ Day: Bosch Rexroth sparks girls’ enthusiasm for unconventional professions
In the German states of Hesse and Bavaria, almost 70 girls recently had the opportunity to learn about soldering, welding, and cutting. On the occasion of Girls’ Day on April 27, they visited the Bosch Rexroth plants in Lohr, Erbach, or Schweinfurt, where they were shown that technical and manual professions are just as suitable for women as they are for men.
In Germany, Girls’ Day takes place each spring, and aims to spark girls’ enthusiasm for the technical professions from the fifth grade onward. Today, such jobs are still largely the domain of men. This is often because girls do not have the information or knowledge they need to be interested in technical apprenticeships or courses of study. Bosch Rexroth would like to change this state of affairs.
At the Ehrbach plant, 13 Girls’ Day participants tried out soldering irons. Under the guidance of trainer Frank Bauer and several apprentices, the seventh graders soldered a cube that is controlled by a microcontroller. They then took the finished product home with them, along with valuable insights into the “electrician for devices and systems” apprenticeship.
At Bosch Rexroth in Rohr, 35 schoolgirls visited the plant and demonstrated natural talent for professions such as industrial electrician, mechatronics engineer, foundry mechanic, cutting machine operator, and technical product designer. Moreover, 20 high school students visited the corporate units at the Schweinfurt plant, where they gathered valuable information on a broad range of apprenticeships and as well as on cooperative education programs.
Beyond Girls’ Day, Bosch is committed to promoting gender equality. By 2020, the company aims to fill at least 20 percent of management positions with women. In 2016, the figure was already 15.4 percent. The Bosch Sustainability Report 2016 describes in detail how Bosch supports the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including SDG 5: gender equality.
Bosch Rexroth offers internships for young refugees
There are many reasons why people are currently fleeing their home countries, including war, persecution, and poverty. According to Germany’s office for immigration and refugees, more than 690,000 people filed for asylum in the first nine months of last year. Once they arrived in Germany, they faced myriad new challenges: not only did they have to learn a new language, they also had to come to terms with a foreign culture. Both issues have made finding work especially difficult. And yet joining the job market is critical for successful integration.
Young refugees gained an overview of different occupations during their internships at the Bosch Rexroth training workshop
In cooperation with a school for occupational training in Karstadt, Germany, Bosch Rexroth has now launched a project that aims to give young refugees an initiation to work in their new country. With an internship program in Lohr, Bosch Rexroth aims to give refugee youth an overview of different occupations, as well as an opportunity to learn about the processes of a modern industrial enterprise. The offer is open to students in the second year of occupational integration classes in Karstadt. At the end of November, 16 participants were introduced to machining, electronics, mechatronics, foundry technology, and logistics. On a rotating basis, they were able to experience each area equally. The interns received the support of trainers and apprentices in each of the occupational groups.
Egon Birkenmeier, head of industrial and technical apprenticeships at Bosch Rexroth in Rohr, is satisfied with the results of the initiative. “The interns were very motivated, enthusiastic, and grateful learners. They showed a high level of manual skills and mastered the tasks they were given. We were especially surprised about the German skills they had acquired in such a short period of time.”
At locations across Germany, Bosch is committed to helping refugees take their first steps in the local job market. To this end, the company has created 400 internship spots, which range from short practicums that introduce young people to the different occupations to qualification programs that last several months. “We know how important work is in leading an independent life, and we would like to help people who have fled their home countries gain a foothold in the job market,” says Egon Birkenmeier.
More information about Bosch initiatives that aim to support refugees can be found in our Sustainability Report 2015.
Bosch hydraulics are being used to build the world’s longest tunnel
It is 57 kilometers long and will make a major contribution to decongesting roads in the Alps: the Gotthard Base Tunnel – the world’s longest tunnel – was opened in June of this year. The new high-speed route is part of the large-scale AlpTransit project, which also meets a broader political aim. In the future, traffic in the region will move from the roads to the rails, and routes to and from northern to southern Europe will be much shorter. Particularly when it comes to cargo transport, the port cities of Rotterdam and Genoa will benefit from the new tunnel. What is more, the tunnel will reduce truck traffic in the Alps. In the region from southern Germany to northern Italy, more than 20 million people will benefit from the new tunnel.
A greater number of trains can now pass through the tunnel than was previously possible. The gradient is minimal, which means than even particularly long and heavy trains can travel through without additional locomotives. Moreover, the tunnel reduces travel times. As a result, annual transport capacity will increase from 20 million to some 50 million tons. At present, 260 trains travel through the tunnel each day – considerably more than the maximum of 180 that used the mountain route daily in the past.
This major project was made possible in part by Sissi, Heidi, Gabi I, and Gabi II. From 2003 to 2010, the four tunnel boring machines drilled through a total of 152 kilometers of sediment layers. The 2800-ton Herrenknecht hard stone grippers were equipped with Bosch components. Bosch Rexroth supplied the hydraulics for the heavyweights. This reflects the Bosch aim of developing technology “Invented for life” that contributes to improving quality of life and conserving resources.
More information on the world’s longest tunnel can be found here.
Copyrights: Bosch Rexroth and AlpTransit Gotthard Ltd
Bosch Rexroth Austria provides hydraulics for the world’s biggest tidal power plant
Unlimited resources, a high level of safety, and no CO2 emissions – tidal power plants make it possible to generate power in an eco-friendly and sustainable manner. The world’s biggest power plant of this kind went into operation in 2011 in Sihwa-ho, South Korea, and generates 254 megawatts of completely emissions-free power. This is enough power to supply a city of 500,000 with electricity.
Photo: Tidal power plant / Andritz Hydro
The power plant was mainly the product of chance: the man-made Sihwa lake was initially intended to protect the land from the ocean and to serve as a freshwater reservoir for agriculture. However, the water quality in the artificial lagoon deteriorated so quickly that water exchange with the ocean was the only viable solution. The state water authority thus combined the necessary with the useful and quickly turned the levee a dam.
The results were astonishing: since 2011, the power plant has reliably provided power, and has since restored the initial water quality in the artificial lagoon. This is because around 25 percent of its water is exchanged with every tide. The dam, which is 12.7 km long, contains ten pipe turbines, each of which generates 25.4 MW of power . Bosch Rexroth Austria provided the plant’s customized hydraulic aggregates. Their guide and rotor blades can be adjusted to ensure the optimal performance of the turbines throughout the tidal range of eight meters. The aggregates can be operated with a biodegradable hydraulic fluid and are particularly durable, even in this challenging environment.
More information on Bosch Rexroth hydraulic technology at the Sihwa-ho tidal power plant can be found here.
An innovative hydraulics system made of Bosch components reduces the fuel consumption of cargo ships
The world’s seaways play a decisive role in international trade: some 45,000 freighters are currently in use around the globe. In total, they carry 90 percent of the world’s traded goods. With efficient ship propulsion systems, global fuel consumption can be decreased and CO2 emissions reduced.
Against this backdrop, Japan’s Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding and Bosch Rexroth have developed a system that recuperates energy from the exhaust of diesel engines. Today, exhaust accounts for 25 percent - the largest share - of the energy lost in in the fuel combustion process. While thermal heat recovery systems have been available for quite some time, they are expensive and take up too much space in the engine room. For this reason, until now many shipping companies have avoided upgrading their freighter fleets.
In contrast, the newly developed turbo hydraulic system is not only very compact; it comprises Bosch standard components only. This makes retrofitting easier and keeps investment costs to a minimum. One of the system’s key components is a high-performance radial piston motor, which is directly connected to the large engine’s crankshaft. As a result, fuel savings of up to four percent can be achieved at full engine load. This represents several tons of fuel per day. The efficient system, which is also suitable for small and mid-sized engines, has already been exhaustively tested. The first retrofitted freighters are expected to hit the seas before the end of this year.
More information about fuel savings in shipping can be found here