ACI Bureau

Bosch, a leading global supplier of technology and services, has inaugurated its expanded smart factory for mobility solutions in Bidadi (Phase II), 35 km away from Bengaluru.The plant features the latest Industry 4.0 solutions and carbon-neutral technology.

“Bosch is taking a further step toward more efficient, more flexible, and sustainable manufacturing in India in order to boost competitiveness and meet rising demand in the local market. The new Bidadi plant will further boost India’s strong role in the Bosch Group’s global network,” Volkmar Denner, Chairman of the Board of Management of Robert Bosch GmbH, said. The company has invested 31 million euros in the new facility which will accommodate almost 2,500 associates by the year-end.

The Bidadi plant will act as a local hub for the development of Bosch powertrain solutions and manufacture of automotive products such as common rail single-cylinder pumps and high-pressure rails. “It is important for Bosch to leverage our expertise in manufacturing operations and combine it with technology and digitalisation to build lean manufacturing facilities,” Soumitra Bhattacharya, Managing Director and President of the Bosch Group in India, said.

Relocation project

Bidadi Phase-I witnessed a shift of around 500 people from the existing manufacturing facility in Adugodi to Bidadi, along with manufacturing operations for the new-generation powertrain solutions products. Now, Phase II has witnessed the shift of around 2,000 people, as well as 760 units of machinery and equipment. This movement is one of the largest relocation projects ever undertaken by Bosch. The former Adugodi manufacturing site is being converted into a high-tech engineering centre and is slated to become the largest Bosch technology campus outside Germany.

Sustainable manufacturing

Bosch plans to be fully climate neutral by next year. Its over 400 locations worldwide, together with their engineering, manufacturing, and administrative facilities, will no longer leave a carbon footprint. This will make Bosch the first major industrial enterprise to achieve this ambitious goal in a little over a year. In line with this target, the Bidadi plant has been built to be leaner and more sustainable. According to the International Energy Agency, manufacturing accounts for around 32% of global carbon dioxide emissions.

Denner said, “The current state of the global ecosystem demands that organizations make concerted efforts to reduce their global carbon footprint. We at Bosch see climate action as our responsibility, and believe we have to act now. The company has undertaken initiatives to build environmentally friendly manufacturing sites across the globe, and the Bidadi plant is the latest result of this effort.”

The new facility is aligned with the blueprint of the ‘Carbon neutral – 2020’ strategy, with initiatives such as energy analytics, environmental initiatives such as tree planting, the use of alternative fuel like Compressed Natural Gas for heating, and solar power capacity of 8.7 megawatts peak in 2018. The sun accounts for approximately 30% of the power consumed by the plant. The facility is built to be environment-friendly and is a landmark in manufacturing practices across India.

Production efficiency

Bosch is a leading user and provider of Industry 4.0 solutions, and is using them in Bidadi to increase the plant’s efficiency and competitiveness. In its manufacturing operations, the plant uses cobots (collaborative robots), automated visual inspection stations, and Device Bridge software, a local Bosch innovation that can be retrofitted to old machinery to turn them into connected devices, thereby significantly improving processes and reducing defects.

The Bidadi plant has put an intensive system continuous improvement process (SCIP) into place which is the way to achieve sustainably waste-free processes. This will allow it to further improve and maintain safety and quality standards, while remaining cost competitive. Modernising the machinery and using smart automation solutions have helped make the plant more efficient,and already resulted in remarkable achievements.

Last year when the company announced its plans to revamp its facilities, Denner said, “The Indian economy is on the rise again and holds tremendous potential. To meet the rising demand with tailored solutions and expand India’s strong role in our global network, we will invest Rs 1700 crore (220 million euros) over the next 3 years”

Bosch is shaping the connected future not only in the mobility domain but also in developing solutions for the internet of things which are tailored to local needs. Denner commented that, “With solutions for the factories and cities of future, Bosch is supporting the Indian government’s ‘Make in India’ and ‘Smart Cities’ initiatives. Smart manufacturing, or what we call Industry 4.0, is also a key element of the ‘Make in India’ initiative. Bosch industrial technology is making factories increasingly automated, connected, and agile, and thus better able to meet customer demands and expectations. We possess all the relevant areas of expertise and offer a wide range of products and solutions for Industry 4.0,” he said.

Going strong in India

The Bosch Group sees a wealth of possibilities in India, which is Asia’s third largest economy. Bosch set up manufacturing operations in India in 1951, and these have grown over the years to include 18 manufacturing sites and 7 engineering and application centers. Its Indian subsidiary Bosch Limited ended the 2018−19 fiscal year with total revenue from operations of Rs 12,258 crore (1.49 billion euros), a year-on-year increase of 4.9%.

“India’s mobility sector is transforming rapidly, and is expected to grow significantly in the coming years. The Indian automotive components industry is set to become the third largest in the world by 2025,” Bhattacharya said.

Bosch is committed to delivering best-in-class automotive solutions in India. The company’s steady stream of innovative mobility solutions is a result of its unwavering commitment to improve quality of life by providing solutions which are both innovative and beneficial. ACI

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