Bosch, a leading global supplier of technology and services, ended its 2018 fiscal year with SGD 1.34 billion (839 million euros) in consolidated sales across Southeast Asia – an increase of nearly five percent compared to the previous year.
"2018 was a year led by high demand for the Internet of Things (IoT) and mobility solutions across Southeast Asia. At Bosch, we continue to expand the range of our leading solutions in these domains, by successfully completing several iconic projects and embarking on new initiatives," said Martin Hayes, president of Bosch in Southeast Asia.
"We are also starting to see positive results from previously deployed Industry 4.0 (I4.0) innovations, with highlight projects generating visibility and greater demand for our solutions. In short, our strategic focus on connectivity is paying off".
Bosch employs some 10,000 associates in Southeast Asia, of which 1,380 are working in research and development.
Positive impact from I4.0 to drive growth
With many earlier regional I4.0 projects now in operation, Bosch anticipates that more companies will follow in embracing the digital transformation journey. Bosch has built up decades of manufacturing experience and is capable to show the benefits of I4.0 solutions in its own plants throughout the region.
Faster, more efficient and flexible plant controls enable businesses to maximise output. Businesses are able to achieve up to 15 percent higher machine availability, five to ten percent higher production performance and downtime reduced by up to 20 percent with Bosch Industry 4.0 solutions.
Bosch has supported various clientele in consulting and strategic planning for I4.0 deployment programmes. Last year in Singapore, Bosch partnered with Singapore Polytechnic to set up labs on the institute's campus, aimed at driving the nation's I4.0 and smart city blueprint.
In 2018, Bosch also signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with cooperation partners such as the Directorate of Vocational Education and Training (DVET) and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) in Vietnam to develop an I4.0 curriculum for technical and vocational education and training (TVET) in the country.
In Malaysia, Bosch is one of the five Digital Transformation Lab (DTL) partners of the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), the lead agency for driving the digital economy in Malaysia. Last year, MDEC launched the Digital Transformation Acceleration Programme (DTAP) to leverage on DTL's expertise to help businesses adopt emerging digital technologies and provide Malaysian companies with a structured approach to digital transformation, to future-proof their businesses and stay competitive.
New mobility with safety technology and electrification
Road safety continues to be of concern in Southeast Asia. As a leader in the automotive sector, Bosch continues to see demand for braking systems and driver assistance solutions such as automatic emergency breaking and lane keeping support.
Demand for electric vehicles (EV) is also growing with the heightening awareness of governments to reduce traffic emission in Southeast Asian countries. Bosch sees the availability of infrastructure for e-mobility as one of the main drivers for technology adoption in the region. A recently established partnership with the Pertamina Corporation in Indonesia will see the deployment of multiple EV charging stations to power the transition. The move will bring Indonesia closer to its ambitions of electric vehicles constituting 20 percent of its domestic vehicle sales by 2025. In Vietnam, Bosch closed a deal with Vietnam's fastest growing electric scooter manufacturer, to supply parts, drive components and software for its emerging business.
Bosch's local manufacturing plants contribute to the company's worldwide manufacturing network and play an important role to fuel electric mobility demand on a global scale. For example, the company's Malaysian plant in Penang, which traditionally produced only power tools, will begin manufacturing battery packs for eBikes for the global market due to their rising popularity worldwide.
Invented for regional progress and sustainability
Bosch continues to break technological grounds by utilizing smart IoT technology to bring traditional industries into the 21st century. One such industry is aquaculture that tries to counteract the depletion of the fish population through overfishing by moving operations on land.
AquaEasy, a smart aquaculture solution from Bosch utilizes the power of sensors and algorithms to help farmers increase their yield in a sustainable way. The innovation includes measuring and monitoring multiple water quality parameters as well as pond management features. Equipped with Artificial Intelligence (AI), the system can help farm technicians make important decisions on feeding, stock health and even harvesting.
First trials in Indonesia have shown that the Bosch solution is capable of significantly raising yield while also simplifying the measurement process. AquaEasy was developed in close collaboration with local farmers and is flexible enough to be customized and scaled across any market or country around the globe," said Hayes.
Another local innovation is The Bosch Intelligent Microgrid for Asia (BIMA), a microcontroller solution that manages and combines the power from multiple energy sources such as solar panels, batteries or generators to achieve a reliable and stable energy supply. With its cloud capabilities, the artificially intelligent powered system continuously analyses usage and supply pattern to avoid blackouts and use the most economical energy source. In one of the first implementations, the system was installed at Nimasi clinic in Indonesia, which supports healthcare in a remote area in Timor. The clinic has experienced zero blackouts ever since the installation.
Bosch Group outlook 2019: climate action and air-quality measures
The Bosch Group expects global economic development to be subdued in 2019. Despite the difficult environment in industries and regions that are important for the company, Bosch expects its sales in the current year to slightly exceed their 2018 levels. Regardless of the short-term prospects, the company is intensifying its efforts to combat climate change and improve air quality. "Climate change is not science fiction; it's really happening. If we are to take the Paris Agreement seriously, then climate action needs to be seen not just as a long-term aspiration. It needs to happen in the short term," said Dr Volkmar Denner, chairman of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH, at the annual press conference in Renningen, Germany. "We're also committed to meeting public demand for good air quality in cities. As an innovation leader, we want to deliver technological solutions to ecological problems."
This is why, on the one hand, Bosch is intensifying its already successful efforts to reduce its CO2 output. "We will be the first major industrial enterprise to achieve the ambitious goal of carbon neutrality in a little over a year," Denner announced. "All 400 Bosch locations across the globe will be carbon neutral from 2020." On the other hand, Bosch is also pursuing an ambitious target when it comes to air quality: "We want to reduce air pollution from traffic to virtually zero. To do this, we're looking beyond the car's hood," Denner said. In this endeavour, the company will be basing its activities on three pillars: it is developing low-pollutant powertrain technologies, working with municipal governments on projects to maintain steady traffic flow, and implementing a company mobility management system at its own locations.