Industry 4.0, or the “Fourth Industrial Revolution”, is widely being heralded as the key for manufacturers to unlock cost reductions and galvanize new efficiencies.
Bosch’s factory in Homburg in southern Germany achieved a 10 percent output increase and 30 percent stock reduction within a year through the deployment of Industry 4.0. The plant, which manufactures hydraulic valves for mobile machinery such as tractors, had a manual production line that was manufacturing six main valve product types with 250 variants and 2,000 individual parts. Bosch needed to improve cost and delivery times for a line that also needed to remain highly flexible, working with small batch sizes and requiring assembly experts for each product family.
Smart technology allowed the Homburg staff to reduce logistical and set-up time from 450 seconds to zero within the space of a year. Inventory days were halved and cycle times were cut by 8 percent. The result for the plant was a saving of €500,000 in the first year alone. Bosch are implementing Industry 4.0 solutions to the next steps in their value stream. Having started with the valve assembly, Bosch is now looking at the machining area and will follow up with the valve test area.
Read the full interview with Andrew Minturn from Bosch Rexroth, published by Zenoot, for valuable insights about what do manufacturers need to know to be able to embrace Industry 4.0, what are the challenges and what results have Bosch obtained by now.