Bosch expands into IoT market
By Digital News Asia August 8, 2018
- Total sales of Bosch Malaysia hit RM5.2 billion
- Increased investments into connected manufacturing to boost speed, flexibility and efficiency
GLOBAL supplier of technology and services Bosch released its annual financial results recently.
The company showed that it ended its 2017 fiscal year in Malaysia with total net sales – including sales of non-consolidated companies and internal deliveries to affiliated companies – of US$1.27 billion (RM5.18 billion) thus registering growth of close to 8% compared to the previous year.
Bosch’s consolidated sales in the Malaysian market amounted to US$147 million in 2017 – remaining the second largest revenue contributor for Bosch in Southeast Asia for the third consecutive year with its stable year-on-year performance. By year-end the number of Bosch associates in the country had grown by 3% to more than 2,800, making up almost 30% of Bosch’s total workforce in Southeast Asia.
“2017 saw a strong market push towards connected solutions across our business segments,” said Simon Song, managing director of Bosch in Malaysia.
“Leveraging on our strength in the areas of connectivity, we are set to expand our service offerings based on the Internet of Things (IoT). This includes providing connected manufacturing software and solutions for industries, developing and manufacturing more web-enabled products for end users and being a business enabler by collaborating with Malaysian companies to bring the country ahead in their digital transformation journey.”
In the past year, Bosch in Malaysia has increased capital expenditure in Malaysia by nearly 50% and invested around US$57 million largely equipping the company’s manufacturing sites with Bosch’s Industry 4.0 solutions.
“As a key manufacturing and R&D location for Bosch’s global mobility solutions and power tools businesses, strong investments into increasing the capacity and capability of our plants are essential to keep our competitive edge besides meeting the growing global demand for innovative products and solutions,” said Song.
“With the market dynamics moving rapidly, the challenge for us is to bring new developments to the market faster. Continued integration of our facilities with connected manufacturing helps to make processes smarter, smoother and leaner – resulting in shorter innovation cycles.”
From data analytics and process quality management to remote maintenance, digitalisation in manufacturing is an integral part of today’s manufacturing – an IoT trend called Industry 4.0. It enables manufacturing processes to be connected, optimised and made more flexible, thus more efficient and transparent. Bosch claims it is a leading user and provider of Industry 4.0, implementing more than 150 projects worldwide – Malaysia included.
For example, the Bosch Manufacturing Execution System (MES), which was fitted at the company’s car multimedia and power tools plants in Penang, helps to plan and control processes related to production, quality, and logistics.
Bosch foresees that businesses will be able to achieve up to 15% higher machine availability, 5% to 10% higher production performance and downtime reduced by 20% with Bosch Industry 4.0 solutions.
Enhancing collaborations with partners in Malaysia at the same time, Bosch is active in collaborating with local companies in the area of connectivity.
In April this year, Bosch announced its collaboration with the Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) for its Digital Transformation Acceleration Project (DTAP), initiated with the support of the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (Mida). In this cooperation, Bosch will be lending its expertise and assistance to Malaysian companies in adopting and leveraging on digital technologies for increased productivity and sustainability.
Bosch is working towards developing a highly-skilled technical workforce in Malaysia, with the establishment of the Bosch Apprenticeship Program. Collaborating with the Penang Skills Development Centre (PSDC), Bosch has invested in building a customised apprenticeship training centre at the company’s car multimedia plant in Penang.
Currently, there are more than 20 apprentices undergoing the programme, with another intake scheduled in the pipeline. Topics within the syllabus include industrial automation, connected devices and process monitoring and are paired with a practical training stint at the Bosch’s car multimedia plant.
After achieving record results in 2017, and in light of economic and geopolitical risks, the Bosch Group expects its sales revenue to grow by 2% to 3% in 2018. In the first three months, the sales revenue generated by the company matched the high level of the same period of the previous year, and even increased by around 5% when adjusted for exchange-rate effects.
“Our company is unequalled when it comes to combining comprehensive connectivity expertise with broad industry and product know-how. This is the Bosch Group’s unique selling proposition,” said the Bosch CEO Dr Volkmar Denner, speaking at the annual press conference in Renningen.