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Recent Blog Comments
When it comes to intelligent building technology, Bosch is expanding its expertise
The home of the future is smart: connected buildings not only make life more comfortable, they also score points for their energy efficiency. By networking technical equipment in commercial buildings and private households with connected building solutions, energy consumption can be reduced by as much as 40 percent. For Bosch, making the most of this potential marks the next major step toward becoming a one-stop shop for connected systems and services. With the takeover of Skyline Automation, an American specialist for building automation, the company is further expanding this promising business segment. Experts predict that the global market for intelligent building technology will grow from almost six billion dollars today to some 25 billion dollars by 2021.
Cutting costs and protecting the environment
Building automation benefits users in a number of ways. In addition to reducing energy consumption, connected homes protect the environment by automatically turning off the heat when a window is open, for instance. With more than 210,000 internet-enabled products sold, Bosch is already the leading provider of smart heating solutions. Via the “HomeCom” portal, installation companies receive information about their customers’ heating systems, including assessments of possible sources of error. End customers benefit from status updates about their systems, data related to energy consumption and individual energy saving tips. The offer has been well received: according to a Bosch and Twitter survey, 59 percent of German consumers considered energy efficiency to be the best argument in favor of a smart home. The respondents also saw improved comfort as a result of automated processes in a positive light. One in every ten respondents had already connected their homes, or were planning to do so in the future.
When it comes to implementing smart technologies, Bosch benefits from its comprehensive expertise in the realms of software and sensor technologies, as well as from its broad sectoral set-up. “We connect cars with houses, and even entire cities. Like no other company, Bosch brings technical expertise for many different types of devices to the table,” says Dr. Stefan Hartung, member of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH.
More information on intelligent buildings 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.
4Connected Bosch solutions reduce energy consumption
At Light + Building 2016, the world’s leading trade show for building technology in Frankfurt, Bosch is presenting smart product solutions for private and commercial buildings. Two of these solutions automatically help save energy.
With its Energy Platform, Bosch has developed a monitoring and analysis system that increases energy efficiency in commercial buildings, such as offices or production facilities. In addition to this, users can access real-time data to find out how much energy their devices and equipment are using – and thus assess the related costs. At the same time, intelligent algorithms can detect deviation from the target status. If a target value has been exceeded or there is a system malfunction, a warning signal is issued. Besides this, the platform recommends solutions to problems and, in some instances, automatically implements them. With the intelligent networking of heating, cooling, and ventilation systems, energy consumption –and thus also CO2 emissions – can be reduced by up to 30 percent.
Bosch also offers a solution for homeowners: the Smart Home Controller not only connects a range of household items with the internet, it also enables them to “communicate” with one another. For instance, with the help of the window contacts, the system automatically turns down the heat when a window is opened. Lights and other household appliances also become intelligent energy-saving devices via the centralized control unit, which also makes it possible to control household devices remotely.
More information on energy efficiency in commercial buildings can be found here.
TU Darmstadt opens the “ETA” model factory
On March 2, Darmstadt Technical University, the German Parliamentary State Secretary Brigitte Zypries, and the Minister of Economics for the State of Hesse, Tarek Al-Wazir, celebrated the opening of the “ETA Factory”. At this “Energy-efficient Factory for Interdisciplinary Research on Technology and Applications”, researchers are studying how energy efficiency can be improved under real-life manufacturing conditions.
(Video only in German available)
The ETA Factory produces control disks for hydraulic axial piston pumps, using a production process that is typical in the mechanical engineering sector. In the factory, not only the machines, but also building components are networked and designed with energy efficiency in mind. Thus, for example, the system uses the waste heat from the tool-making machines to provide heat for other plants and for the space inside the factory itself. The production hall is heated and cooled with the help of capillary tube mats that are integrated into the building's envelope. The partners predict that the research project could reduce total energy costs in the production process by up to 40 percent. The TU will share the knowledge gained from the research project with manufacturing companies.
The model factory cost about EUR 15 million to build. Besides the German Federal Government, the TU Darmstadt, and the German state of Hesse, more than 30 industrial companies participated in the project, including the Bosch subsidiaries Bosch Rexroth and Bosch Thermotechnology. These two companies contributed technical infrastructure in addition to sector-relevant expertise and process knowledge. Their contributions included Bosch Rexroth production processes, which served as a model for the production of the control disks.
Brigitte Zypries, Parliamentary State Secretary at the German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy, praised the project for its practical relevance. “Increasing energy efficiency is decisive in the transition to renewable sources of energy,” she said. “In the ETA factory, for the first time, researchers are examining an industrial production process in its entirety, and studying how energy consumption can be optimized in the system as a whole, in the interplay of the production process, and in the building. I am pleased to note that this project, with about 35 participating industrial companies and research institutes, represents outstanding collaboration between business, research, and teaching. This will help ensure that the findings are put to practical use.”
More information on the ETA Factory can be found here.
Video: TU Darmstadt
Image: Felipe Fernandes / TU Darmstadt
Malaysian students develop creative sustainability concepts in a Bosch competition
With the slogan “Innovation around my campus”, Bosch Malaysia invited university students from across the country to take part in a competition in the fall of 2015. The students were asked to come up with ideas that would make the campus more sustainable and energy efficient. Teams from ten Malaysian universities submitted their suggestions, and the winner was recently announced.
Winner team: Interactsys from Mara Technical University.
A team of three from Mara Technical University (UITM) took first prize in the competition. Syahmi, Lina, and Naim developed a multifunctional smart bracelet that is connected to the university’s energy system. It can detect when a room is empty, and then turn out the lights and regulate the heating accordingly. At the same time, it can be used as a key card that allows the wearer to operate electrical appliances such as fans or lamps with hand signals. On the heels of their victory, the winners now have the opportunity to see their idea put into practice during an internship at Bosch Malaysia. Each of the winners has also received a cash prize of MYR 3,000 (about 670 euros).
Simon Song, President of Bosch Malaysia, considers the competition a reflection of the company and its founder. “Bosch has always strived to uphold our pioneering tradition. The competition reflects this as it allows us to share our core value of innovation with young Malaysians. Not only are we proud to provide a platform for creative expression, we are also offering the tools to bring these ideas to life,” he said.
Short videos of the students presenting their submissions can be found here.