Bosch’s Journey to Industrie 4.0


By Deepthi Venkatesh

The recent ARC India Forum in Bangalore included a number of interesting and insightful sessions about the latest trends in manufacturing. One such presentation was made by Lokesh Payik Head of Smart Manufacturing (General Manager), Bosch, discussed that manufacturing company’s journey to Industrie 4.0 Bosch’s Journey to Industrie 4.0.

Lokesh Payik said that despite the current challenging scenario, the future of manufacturing looks very bright and optimistic.

In 2012, Bosch began its Industrie 4.0 journey. The company did a survey among 160 operations leaders to gain a better understanding of their perspective on Industrie 4.0. The survey revealed that transparency in the
production process, real-time updates about the plant, and converting manufacturing into a profit sector were some of the expectations. Also in 2012, thought leaders from Bosch and Siemens contributed to a white paper
on Industrie 4.0. Bosch has close to 270 plants worldwide, of which 250 plants have started implementing Industrie 4.0 use cases. The company works as a solution and integration partner for customers and its own plants. Mr. Payik presented several relevant end user case studies.

Case Study – Bosch Plant in Blaichach, Germany
Located in the south of Germany, close to the border with Switzerland, this Bosch plant is considered a leader in applying Bosch production systemsand best practices. The challenge here was to make the entire plant compliant
with Industrie 4.0 concepts. After two and a half years of effort, all 5,000 systems in the plant are now connected in the production network. Logistics is streamlined with 100 percent traceability. With this solution, the company gained complete automation of flow of material using RFID to track both components and finished products. Any errors detected triggered notifications for the critical development operators, helping avoid output losses. Recurring errors were linked to error patterns to enable the operators to derive suitable solutions. For previously unknown errors, the company’s video-enabled remote service support system could be used to help reduce crucial response times.

Case Study – Predictive Management for Automotive OEM
Facing issues with its warranty analytics, a large automotive OEM in India needed to be able to more accurately predict warranty claims whenever a product was released. Bosch provided warranty analytics to help this OEM reduce the previous 60 to 70 percent deviation down to just 4 to 5 percent, helping the company realize almost $6 million in savings.

Case Study – Texmo Industries
Texmo Industries, a large agricultural pump manufacturer in India needed a detailed value stream mapping. The greatest challenge was to enhance the forecasting accuracy. The company also needed to improve its delivery
commitments through flexible and agile manufacturing systems to help ensure that the right products were available at the right locations at any given point in time. Bosch started off by implementing a smart manufacturing simulation. Man,
machine, and materials were interconnected through HMIs, adapters, and RFID technologies. The solution automated and regulated the entire material flow in the factory. Seamless integration of information and messages helped connect the shop floor with the top floor. The solution helped integrate key manufacturing functions like production, maintenance, stores, and quality. Role-based manufacturing dashboards with relevant KPIs were deployed to increase efficiencies.

Robotic Sensors
Mr. Payik also spoke about Bosch’s APAS family of manufacturing robots designed to work in tandem with humans. These robots utilize 180 sensors to help ensure human safety. A video demonstration showed how the robot’s
sensor “skin” stops the robot when it detects a human being within a 5 cm radius. Also, once sensors indicate that the human is outside the danger zone (about a meter radius), the robot increases its operational speed.

The session reiterated that Industrie 4.0 and IIoT have definitely gone beyond the conceptual and hype stage into real-world use cases and are transforming manufacturing.

About ARC Advisory Group: Founded in 1986, ARC Advisory Group is a Boston based leading technology research and advisory firm for industry and infrastructure.

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