In the context of industrialisation and modernisation, businesses will demand a wider range of variants and more personalised products. Thus, future production must be able to adapt quickly to changing market requirements. Industry 4.0 is the answer to this challenge. As a leading 4.0 company, Bosch is open to working closely with businesses to develop integrated and customised solutions based on their needs. Guru Mallikarjuna, managing director of Bosch Vietnam, told VIR’s Kim Oanh about its innovative activities in this regard.
|Guru Mallikarjuna, managing director of Bosch Vietnam |
Industry 4.0 is firing the imagination of the economy. What importance do you place on this vision of the future, in general and for Bosch in particular?
In my opinion, Industry 4.0 is more than just a vision of the future. Linking physical objects with the virtual world using state-of-the-art technologies is already giving rise to new business models. To give you a sense of how important this topic is for Bosch specifically: we have set ourselves the goal of achieving cost savings and efficiency improvements in the Asia Pacific region of €1 billion internally by 2020 through Industry 4.0 solutions alone.
How do Industry 4.0 solutions affect the operation of companies?
Bosch already has all the relevant enablers for Industry 4.0 in its portfolio and offers a wide range of hardware and software solutions. It also provides support services to customers during the development, industrialisation and manufacturing phases of their electronic products. Especially, entirely new products also can be applied to existing systems. One example is the upgrading of old industrial machinery with the help of the Internet of Things (IoT) gateway programme from Bosch, which allows even the oldest model to be catapulted into Industry 4.0. This retrofit solution, which consists of sensor technology, software and IoT-capable industrial control, takes the benefits of connected industry to operators of older production facilities, enabling them to monitor their machines in real time and thus optimise them. This permits things such as predictive maintenance and reducing downtime while increasing productivity. Projects of this kind can be implemented on site within a matter of weeks. With the above solutions, customers further benefit from smoothly synchronised co-creation partnerships, where Bosch Connected Devices and Solutions works closely with the customer, responding quickly to individual requests to deliver rapid prototyping capability and reduce time to market.
What will the new business models look like?
In the foreseeable future, only the walls, the floor and the ceiling in factories will be unchangeable. It will be possible to configure all machines and systems quickly to create new lines and production as a whole will take place not only in the real world but also in the virtual world with digital twins providing an absolutely realistic copy and demonstrating behaviour long before the hardware is ever used.
Production resources will communicate with each other across levels – wirelessly via the new 5G mobile communications standard and in real time. This will result in new business models for machine manufacturers and automators. Industrial end-users will invest less and less capital in machines. Instead, they will pay operators to carry out process steps, lease machines temporarily or purchase system availability as a service.
Is Bosch Vietnam ready to offer 4.0 solutions?
Building on the Bosch Group’s expertise in sensor technology, software, and services, Bosch in Vietnam can offer customers interconnected cross-domain solutions for smart campuses, smart cities, and Industry 4.0.
We are one of the largest European investors, consistently increasing activities in the four fields of research and development (R&D), manufacturing, sales, and services. For some years now, we have steadily expanded our software and engineering expertise and capacity in the areas of connectivity, in order to offer more user centric solutions for the Vietnamese market.
Moving forward, we strive to make Ho Chi Minh City one of the key IoT solutions hubs for Bosch in the Southeast Asian region through our Bosch Software and Engineering R&D Center. To support this initiative, an initial investment of over $450,000 (roughly €400,000) was made to set up a new laboratory for smart city and Industry 4.0 solutions at the Bosch Software and Engineering R&D Center in Ho Chi Minh City. Around 30 associates are currently working on various Connected Industry solutions.
Along with developing innovative solutions for industry and trade, Bosch also focuses on investing in human resources.