Thu, Jun 15, 2017 - Page 11 News List

Bosch predicts growth on ABS demand

By Crystal Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Bosch Taiwan, the local unit of German engineering giant Bosch Group, expects revenue to grow by more than 10 percent this year, driven mainly by sales of the anti-lock brake systems (ABS) used in scooters and micro-electromechanical system (MEMS) sensors in smartphones, top executives said yesterday.

Bosch Taiwan, whose main products include automotive components, industrial products, consumer goods and building products, posted NT$10.7 billion (US$353.95 million) in revenue last year, a mild retreat from 2015’s NT$11 billion, managing director Bernd Barkey said, adding that Taiwan’s lackluster economy weighed on sales.

The situation has improved this year with revenue picking up 20 percent in the first five months and growth might exceed 10 percent for the whole of the year, despite lingering uncertainty, Barkey said.

Bosch Taiwan is to benefit from the mandatory requirement for motorcycles and scooters with engine volumes larger than 150cc to install ABS equipment from 2019.

Regardless of their engine capacities, “all motorcycles should embrace the safety enhancement system, as Taiwan has the highest motorcycle density in the world and motorcyclists are the most vulnerable road users,” Barkey said at a news conference.

Bosch’s MEMS sensors are widely used in mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets and wearable devices, with three out of four smartphones worldwide using Bosch sensors, he said.

MEMS sensors enable new applications and innovative solutions throughout the consumer electronics sector, including areas such as fitness tracking, wearables and Internet of Things applications for “smart” homes.

To meet the expected business increase, Bosch Taiwan plans to enlarge its workforce to 1,000 this year, from 869 last year, as Unipoint Group (揚弘實業), which Bosch acquired in 2012, has expanded into the rotating machines business for the automotive aftermarket at its manufacturing site in Taoyuan, Barkey said.

In addition, the German company has set up a connected industry unit and is seeking business opportunities with its major machinery customers in Taiwan to support their efforts to upgrade to an “industry 4.0” environment.

Several local chip designers and machine tool makers have contacted Bosch Taiwan for potential value stream analysis as most do not know what they want or need for the upgrade, the company’s factory automation division manager Charlie Chen (陳俊隆) said.

Fair Friend Group (友佳集團), a major machine tool maker in Taiwan and China, has entered into partnership with Bosch to streamline its production process and boost cost-efficiency, Chen said.

Bosch Taiwan has also inked an agreement with National Cheng Kung University to set up a training center on its southern Taiwan campus, so students can have real-life exposure to “smart” automation.

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