- 19 May 2017
“How do you know Bosch?” asks Rindert Kroos, head of HR at Bosch Security Systems. He’s standing in front of a group of about 25 students who are thinking of IoT solutions for the originally German electronics company. The students are spending a day at the company, almost all orientating themselves on a job for after they finish studying. For most of them, this is an ideal opportunity to find out whether Bosch suits them. “I have an over of Bosch”, says Pavan Raj. He studies in Delft and participates to find out whether Bosch can offer him what he is looking for. Kroos nods: “Sure, but what many of you don’t know is that Bosch also develops comprehensive camera security systems and with Bosch-Rexroth hydraulic systems, for small parts in a production process, but also for opening lead-heavy doors. And preferably all connected to the internet.
"Internet of Things has the future, especially in production processes it is becoming more and more important"
Many of the students appear to be surprised. “But Internet of Things has the future, especially in production processes it is becoming more and more important. My interest has been aroused.” Says Raj. The students get a tour of the property at Strijp-S before they get started. First the basement, where cameras are tested in different settings and circumstances.
Behind a large curtain is a whole pile of toys; trains, brightly colored sesame street dolls and colored blocks everywhere. Ad van Diem works at Bosch Security Systems and guides the group. “Tests are constantly performed here with camera systems. In which light setting do they work best? When do the colors fade and how does motion influence the image quality? Then tuners go into the camera and adjust parameters to improve the quality.”
Then on to the top floor of the building, where Rexroth has a whole testing department. From several places in the ceiling, strings come down. “Don’t pull on them for fun.” Says van Diem, quasi-seriously. Then strictly: “They don’t like that here, then the entire lab will be shut down.” In this department, all sorts of tests are carried out with the electrical drives of production processes, machine prints, charging systems and soldering. But there is also a lot of code and software being written to drive the hardware.
Once back in the conference room, the teams are divided into groups to think about IoT applications that either help the industrial production or improve security systems. All groups are assigned a space. To develop their idea they don’t use technical gadgets, but an ‘old-fashioned’ suitcase full of pens and post-its. One group is going to work very schematically and thinks of a case study to develop a solution in detail, other groups come up with as many solutions and ideas as possible to then subdivide them into categories.
There is even a team that predicts that machines are going to invent themselves in the future. “The trend in industrialization has always been to minimize human effort. When all machines are connected together and AI has been further developed, I don’t see why machines couldn’t also be creative.”
Not everyone agrees with that: “It will definitely be possible in the future for a factory to produce completely autonomously if every little part and every machine in the process are connected, the factory can see exactly what the next step is, whether new parts need to be ordered. It can also already give the transport company a signal that the freight is almost ready for delivery. That is very realistic, but creativity and machines, no.” Konstantinos from Greece even laughs about it a little bit.
After the presentations, the employees of Bosch are bombarded with questions: “How many students a year do you hire?” “What about internships and graduation assignments?” “Describe the culture of Bosch in your own words.” And: “what can Bosch offer me as a young professional?” Judging by these questions, the interest of the students has been aroused. Now, wait and see if there actually is a job for these young people.