With 5,000 new patents a year – that’s more than 20 a day –engineering and electronics giant Bosch is innovating the technology around us in a very real and tangible way.
Every day we use Bosch technology in our smartphones and our cars; we’re protected by their security systems and enjoy beers in bottles that have been sterilised by their products, while builders use their power tools for precision drilling, cutting and measuring. Bosch mastered these technologies but is still constantly evolving.
Last year, Bosch invested $6.2 billion around the globe in research and development. In Asia, Bosch has R&D centres in China, India, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore, bringing fresh innovations and products to automobiles, software, hardware and power tools, amongst other specialty areas.
Bosch’s managing director for Cambodia, Andre de Jong, said: “Research and development is the backbone of our company. With it you get the creativity that you need to be successful, with all the goals we have in mind for enhancing quality of life.”
Among the innovations you can thank the company for are the anti-locking braking system (ABS) present in most modern day cars, vibration-free drills and laser-pointed measuring devices. Looking to the future, Bosch is working towards better connectivity through the internet in their devices.
Not counted in the 5,000 patents Bosch was granted last year are the tens of thousands of upgrades it made to existing products, ensuring they are as comfortable and economical as possible.
Founded in 1886, the family run German company arrived in Cambodia in 2010, and has grown more than 10 per cent each year since, last year growing by 25 per cent.
When it comes to manufacturing, Bosch has centres across the world, from Germany to Switzerland to Asia, where it fights the “Made in China” syndrome.
In Asia Pacific Bosch is represented in 16 countries at 120 locations with 52 manufacturing locations, including Thailand, Vietnam, China and South Korea.
“We are not afraid to tell people the people that a product is made in China, because our factories are following worldwide standards. BPS – Bosch Production System – is the same for every factory in the world,” De Jong said.
For Bosch this means using experts to set up its factories, meticulously testing each locally sourced part and thoroughly training staff.
“In the beginning it is half local, half sourced from Germany, until we are 100 per cent sure that we have reached the quality standards that we had before – the same or better,” De Jong said.
Quality control is maintained by testing every product hundreds of times before releasing it. Each centre has a long white room with a specialist testing, for example, the “on” button of a power drill over and over before judging its reliability and whether it passes the Bosch “quality for life” test.
An international company with a local focus, Bosch styles its products and catalogue to each individual market.
“People need to feel the quality of the German brand but they need to feel the local presence,” De Jong said. “We are always supporting and investing in local staff, local skill sets and local succession.”
One only has to look at the skyline to know that Cambodia is growing, and this new development culture brings a lot of opportunities for Bosch. The entry of new companies like Mercedes and BMW into the Kingdom also brings new markets and opportunities.
A windscreen wiper suitable for automobiles going up to 140 kilometres per hour, for instance, seems unlikely in Cambodia, yet it appeals to young Cambodians who are attracted by its sleek appearance.
Through assisting education in universities and schools, Bosch is helping Cambodia and Cambodians improve their quality of work, be more innovative in their designs and prepare for the future.
“I see the success that we are investing in. We are supporting developments in vocational schools to help develop the country in its education level,” De Jong said.