In the future, the supplier of technology and services Bosch and the reinsurance company Munich Re will be collaborating to develop new ideas in the field of Industry 4.0. On February 22, representatives of the two companies signed a collaboration agreement at the Bosch ConnectedWorld IoT conference in Berlin. The aim of the alliance is to develop new solution packages for connected manufacturing. The two partners will be combining their respective strengths: Bosch in the fields of hardware, software, and services, and Munich Re in the areas of risk and capital management. Their integrated offer will allow manufacturing customers to put connectivity projects into practice along the entire value chain using innovative financial instruments and with a manageable level of risk.
Dispelling customer concerns about financial risks
Dr. Stefan Hartung, member of the Bosch board of management whose responsibilities include manufacturing coordination and Industry 4.0, said: “Too many companies are still apprehensive about entering into connected manufacturing because they’re worried about the financial risks. We’re addressing this problem. Bosch and Munich Re will be developing intelligent solutions that make it easier for customers to take up connected manufacturing.” Torsten Jeworrek, member of the board of management of Munich Re, said: “We’re extremely delighted that we have found our first strategic partner in Bosch, one of the world’s leading tech companies, with whom to develop new business ideas for manufacturing companies. By combining technology, risk management, and financial tools, we’ll be able to provide added benefit to customers who want to utilize the opportunities of Industry 4.0.”
Smoothing the transition to connected industry
The manufacturing industry is having to react more and more flexibly to market requirements that are changing ever more quickly. In order to optimize the quality, time, and cost aspects of their own production operations, many companies are considering digitally connecting their manufacturing systems. This requires either new machinery or IoT-compatible retrofit solutions that will allow them to link existing machines with each other and connect them to their company IT. Especially for SMEs, however, putting such projects into practice and financing them is often a great challenge. This is where Bosch and Munich Re come in: customers will not just receive in-depth advice on their connectivity projects, including the right software tools and services. Right from the start, they will also receive support with financing and in utilizing their manufacturing data.
Defining models to minimize risk
In initial pilot projects, the two partners are currently working with customers on specific solution packages. In workshops and on-site meetings, they are identifying precise requirements, and determining implementation steps and financing concepts. In concrete terms, it is about identifying what machine and manufacturing data is needed to carry out the in-depth analysis and, ultimately, to optimize manufacturing operations. On this basis, the partners will be able to more specifically pinpoint maintenance requirements and define new models for risk minimization. In addition, Bosch and Munich Re are making sensor-based loss-prevention measures available, as well as innovative financial instruments for risk transfer. A loss database and the two companies’ expertise in data analysis contribute to this integrated risk-management approach. In this way, Bosch and Munich Re will be able to keep investment and operational risks to a minimum and make it easier to put Industry 4.0 solutions into practice.