With the help of industrial technology, Bosch aims to increase its sales from the current seven billion euros to more than ten billion euros by 2028. Bosch's largest acquisition at present is the takeover of the U.S. hydraulics company HydraForce and its approximately 2,100 associates, which will further expand Bosch's leading position in hydraulics.
"We want to increase earnings more than sales and sustainably increase the value of the company. To this end, Bosch is investing a combined total of more than three billion euros in industrial technology in 2022 and 2023, and is ensuring organic and inorganic growth," says Bosch chairman Dr. Stefan Hartung.
Great demand for automation
The enormous growth potential of industrial technology is driven by the increasing need for automation and Industry 4.0 solutions, the "merging" of electrics and hydraulics, and the rising demand in GreenTech for the ecological transformation of the economy.
"By strengthening Industrial Technology, we are balancing our business areas even better. Our broad positioning as a global diversified technology company increases Bosch's creative power and resilience," explains Hartung.
Industrial Technology also acts as an important internal service provider, equipping the 240 or so Bosch plants around the world with manufacturing technology so that they can produce in a resource-efficient and customer-specific manner. In this way, orders worth more than half a billion euros remain within the Group every year. At Hannover Messe (April 17-21, 2023), Bosch will present its industrial technology portfolio, including innovations in collaborative robotics, control technology for Industrie 4.0, energy-efficient hydraulics, electrified work machines, stationary fuel cells for buildings and factories, and automated battery recycling.
"By strengthening Industrial Technology, we are balancing our business areas even better. The broad positioning as a global diversified technology company increases Bosch's creative power and resilience, " says Bosch chairman Dr. Stefan Hartung.
Millions in sales through GreenTech
Growth in industrial technology is being driven by the climate-neutral orientation of the various sectors of the economy and the development of a circular economy.
"Without industrial products, the ecological transformation of the economy is unthinkable. Industrial technology enables the sustainable transformation of different economic sectors," Hartung explains.
The solutions developed by Bosch conserve resources, reduce energy consumption, and protect the environment and climate. In 2022, Bosch generated more than one billion euros with environmental technology for industry - a 25 percent increase on the year before. This means that Bosch will reach its sales target for 2023 one year earlier than planned. Bosch is further expanding its GreenTech offering. With its eLION portfolio of solutions, Bosch is bringing to market solutions for the electrification of mobile machinery such as excavators, wheel loaders, and tractors. Demand for GreenTech is also increasing in factories. Measures to protect the climate are leading to a high demand for modernization of installed machinery and equipment, and to the construction of new manufacturing facilities, for example for batteries and fuel cells. The automated discharge of batteries developed by Bosch Rexroth not only simplifies recycling, it also becomes more efficient compared to manual processes.
"Electromobility can only be made successful if we recover the raw materials we use," says Hartung.
Resource-saving software and Industry 4.0
Resources such as energy, materials and raw materials are scarce and precious.
"We counter scarcities with efficiency. If you want to manufacture sustainably, you rely on Industry 4.0," says Hartung.
The Industry 4.0 software Nexeed from Bosch Connected Industry, for example, increases plant effectiveness in factories by an average of 5 percent, reduces maintenance costs by 25 percent, and cuts waste. Nexeed is already being used in more than half of Bosch's 240 or so plants and by more than 100 international customers. The software also helps to combine conventional technology with the new.
Take hydraulics, for example: Thanks to load-dependent control, variable-speed pump drives from Bosch Rexroth now always operate in the optimum mode. If no power is required, they automatically switch to standby. Compared to conventional drives, this reduces the energy consumption of the hydraulics by up to 80 percent.
Reduced complexity thanks to automation
The challenges of the market are increasing: demographic change, labor shortages, limited resources in general. Bosch is focusing on an education and training offensive and technology that supports companies and reduces the workload of associates. For example, Bosch Rexroth's ctrlX AUTOMATION automation kit understands more than 30 programming languages and enables users to develop their own apps and services.
"We can only overcome the pressing challenges of our time if we join forces to move more together. 'Co-creation' and opening systems are important elements in this," explains Hartung.
Thanks to automation, employees can be directly relieved, for example in monotonous or strenuous activities. At the Hannover Messe, Bosch Rexroth will be exhibiting articulated, motorized lightweight cobots that reach over corners with seven axes and help employees load, palletize, and inspect workpieces.
The global market for industrial automation is also growing rapidly: if sales of automation technology were just under 200 billion euros in 2021, the global market is expected to grow to more than 400 billion euros in sales by 2030 - with annual growth rates of more than eight percent (source: Precedence Research, 2022).
"Megatrends such as digitalization, demographic change, and the quest for greater sustainability are driving the need for automation. Factory automation is a strategic business area for Bosch in which we aim to achieve double-digit growth every year - and thus outpace the market," says Hartung.