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Bosch begins operation of largest solar power plant in the Indian automotive industry
The Bosch location in Nashik, India, has installed 36,000 solar panels at its site. The plant in the Indian city specializes in the production of components for fuel injection systems. To reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions at the plant, the site is now operating the largest solar power plant in India’s automotive industry. In three project phases since 2015, the local project team has had thousands of solar panels installed on rooftops, in parking lots, and in vacant areas.
To ensure that the solar modules operate seamlessly, they need to be thoroughly cleaned. To this end, Bosch experts have developed an inexpensive solution: a sprinkler system with special nozzles that spray the panels with constant water pressure at a 360-degree angle. The smart approach towards renewable solar energy saves energy equivalent to that required by 16,700 households and equivalent water saving 1.4 billion liters/year. With peak performance of 10 MWp, the solar power plant already covers 40 percent of the Nashik location’s day time energy needs. The aim is to increase the figure to 100 percent of day time energy need by 2018.
The new power plant is part of a comprehensive energy management approach that is based on three pillars. First, Bosch Nashik is systematically increasing energy efficiency throughout the value chain. Second, thanks to precise consumption analyses and forecasts, energy costs can be continuously reduced. Third, the Bosch location promotes projects that drive the expansion of renewable sources of energy forward. As a result, Bosch Nashik has reduced its CO2 emissions by 31,000 tons in the past four years, and saved 35 million units (35.000.000 kilowatt hours) of energy.
The project in India reflects the Bosch vision of sustainability: By 2020, the company aims to reduce its CO₂ emissions relative to value added by 35 percent over 2007 levels. More information about individual locations’ current efforts to protect the environment can be found in the Sustainability Report.
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 heating trends in 2017
The Bosch heating solutions of the future are digital, combined, and efficient. In 2017, the following three trends are in focus: smart technologies, hybrid heating systems, and low-emission pellet ovens.
Digital is better
Digital heating systems continue to make progress. Adaptive systems can automatically adjust room temperature according to time of day and weather developments. What is more, users can comfortably control their heating systems remotely via a PC, tablet, or smart phone. The application informs them of current energy consumption and gives tips to help save costs – and thus also heat in a more eco-friendly way. And should an error occur, repairmen can quickly intervene: the smart devices can inform technicians directly of a malfunction, thus enabling them to bring along exactly the parts needed for the repair.
Clever combined solutions
The principle of hybrid heating involves the best possible combination of different sources of heat. A mix of several different technologies is feasible: from gas or oil condensation boilers to heating pumps and solar thermal energy or photovoltaic arrays. The idea is that using renewable sources of energy reduces heating costs and makes homeowners more independent of individual sources of energy. What is more, combining efficient components with one another can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 30 percent.
Heating with wood
Modern pellet heating systems enable climate-friendly heat generation. They burn pellets made of sawdust and shavings in an almost carbon-neutral manner and are very efficient. In order to take full advantage of the system’s potential, extra buffer storage is recommended. This ensures that the boiler runs at the best possible heating operating point.
More information on current heating trends can be found here (only in German available).
Find out how current heating systems can help save energy with the Bosch renovation calculator (only in German available).
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.