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From the museum straight to the factory of the future?

  • By 2020, Industry 4.0 solutions will increase turnover by more than a billion euros and deliver savings of another billion
  • With its IoT gateway, Bosch is opening up the potential of connected industry even to operators of old equipment
  • IoT gateway sensors measure a range of parameters that include temperature, pressure, vibration, power consumption and oil quality
From the museum straight to the factory of the future?

As a leading supplier and user of Industry 4.0, Bosch provides everything for connected manufacturing, and serves the entire supplier network. In addition, Bosch provides retrofit solutions such as the IoT gateway, which – through a combination of advanced sensors, software, hardware and IoT-compatible industrial control systems – enables machines predating the latest industrial revolution to be connected to the network and their parameters to be precisely monitored and optimized. By 2020, Bosch expects Industry 4.0 solutions to deliver more than a billion euros in extra turnover and a further billion in savings.

Old equipment in a new guise

With its IoT gateway, Bosch is giving operators of old equipment the chance to invest in connected industry solutions with a payback time as short as 18 months. In the Bosch plant in Homburg, for example, engineers have set up an internet connection for test bench that has been in use since 2007, by application of the IoT gateway’s plug-and-play system. With new oil quality sensors, they are able to determine the time to change the oil more precisely than before, saving time and money – and benefiting the environment.

In an extraordinary experiment with the IoT gateway, engineers catapulted Robert Bosch’s 130 year-old “Industry 1.0” lathe straight into the Industry 4.0 age. Process-control sensors measured a range of parameters, including the angular velocity of the workpiece. Too high or too low cutting speed can reduce the quality of the metal being machined and can damage the tool. The setup also detects gradual changes in the belt drive of the internet-connected lathe. The combination of sensors, gateway and software prevented the decommissioning of what was by then an Industry 4.0-compatible machine, and greatly increased its productivity.

Billion-euro market

Much of the equipment used in industry and commerce today is still not connected to Industry 4.0 systems. One reason is the lack of appropriate sensors, software and access to companies’ IT systems. These are machines that do not meet the basic requirements of connected industry, and there are several tens of millions of them in Germany alone. There is enormous potential in retrofit solutions that can be customized to individual machines and devices, and on a world scale, the market could be worth billions. To remain in business in the long term, no company can afford not to use connected equipment.

Neither does the IoT gateway demand complex programming. All you need is to configure the connection via a browser, and then it can go live very quickly. With this technology, Bosch provides an excellent example of how operators can connect old manufacturing equipment to the internet and monitor their operation in real time, measuring parameters – in addition to the ones we have seen – such as temperature, pressure, vibration, power consumption or oil quality.

Tags: industry 4.0, economy, IoT, connected, internet of things

Dr. Ferenc Ficzere
+36 1 879-8852