Bosch is both a provider and end-user of Industry 4.0 solutions. Based on your experience, can you provide some tips on how Southeast Asian manufacturers should prepare themselves to embrace the Industry 4.0 concept?
There's little difference between the use of Industry 4.0 in Asia and the rest of the world. Bosch is a user and supplier in Industry 4.0 with over 100 pilot projects worldwide. When a solution is beneficial, we will use it and roll it out in its 250 plants worldwide. In addition, we will offer the proven solutions to its customers.
The Internet of Things is changing personnel requirements in many business fields and we are hiring more experts who are able to understand the production and the IT systems behind it. With this, Bosch has built up a huge und diverse team of Industry 4.0 specialists. By combining our manufacturing expertise, sensor and software know-how as well as these Industry 4.0 specialists, we expect to see significant progress also in the development of new IoT-enabled business models.
Based on our experience, we would suggest companies to take a gradual approach to establishing a connected production environment or products, rather than waiting for the ultimate technology or 'killer application' that might never arise. Industry 4.0 is not a revolutionary approach but an evolutionary one. The switch is not usually a linear progression, and new business potential frequently arises in the course of launching Industry 4.0 solutions. It makes sense to start with smaller projects close to the core business to gain experience based on specific 'pain points' and then to apply insights and experience gained when expanding the approach to larger projects.
To help companies get an easier start in Industry 4.0, we developed the Industry 4.0 innovation cycle. The first step we recommend is to equip machines with the necessary Industry 4.0 features, such as sensors, actuators, machine-level software, and network access. This lays the foundation for capturing relevant data from multiple machines, which can then be evaluated in a subsequent step. The results can be used to make forecasts and automate decision-making processes. Once these technological requirements have been put in place, companies can build on them to connect the entire shopfloor and complete value chains as well as to create new business models.
What's Bosch next plans to advance the Industry 4.0 vision?
Bosch will continue to be at the forefront of Industry 4.0 and keep inventing, innovating and implementing new solutions, not only in single plants, but also across international production networks. In parallel, Bosch is productizing the Industry 4.0 use cases that were found to be beneficial in its own factories so that other manufacturers can also leverage such solutions for their own benefits.
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