THE GOVERNMENT’S Thailand 4.0 initiative has provided a tremendous business opportunity for German Bosch Group to roll out its smart solutions to all key industries, the chief of the company said.
“We welcome and are happy with Thailand’s direction to transform into a digital economy,” Joseph Hong, managing director of Bosch in Thailand, told The Nation.
Following the global trend, Bosch is going with the so-called three “S” strategies – sensors, software and services. These are the key components for a “simply connected” strategy.
In addition to this, Hong added that his company was one of the leaders in making micro-electromechanical systems (MEM) sensors, which allowed the reading of many things and was a component enabling interconnectivity.
“Actually, three out of four cellphones in the world have Bosch’s MEM sensors inside and they are being connected to everything,” the Bosch executive explained.
The company’s software is designed to get input from sensors and then analyse the collected data. For example, customers can check the temperature in a house by using the sensors installed inside home appliances that are connected to a smartphone.
“To link all data and analytic systems together, we also have our own cloud-computing system called Bosch Internet Cloud,” he said.
Bosch’s three “S” components are core elements of the company for the Internet of Things.
The Bosch boss acknowledged that Thailand was in the early stages of adopting these new technologies but it was good news to hear the government announce that it wanted to drive the country into a digital economy by encouraging all business sectors to get involved with this new development.
“For us, it’s very encouraging because it matches our strategies and we are looking forward to working with Thailand 4.0,” he stressed.
In order to sustainably accelerate growth, the government has to make sure that the legal regulatory framework and security measures are ready for fully implementation in the digital economy.
Smart mobility is an example. He said that future transportation might be about driverless vehicles. So his parent company in Germany is developing automated driving based on the Tesla Model S equipped with Bosch sensors to ensure driving safety for passengers.
The company aims to create automated valet parking in 2018 while it expects to launch autopilot in the near future.
Hong questioned who would take responsibility if an accident happens after the new automated driving was put in place.
Apart from smart mobility, Bosch is also talking with its industrial customers who are interested in entering into the industrial 4.0 sphere.
Why the need to become a smart industry?
The executive of Bosch said that industrial 4.0 would enable manufacturers to increase their production efficiency and reduce costs in order to maintain their competitiveness.
Given the advantage of the Internet of Things, machines can talk to each other and can read through the conditions between components to determine whether some parts could fail. After that, the system will suggest to the manufacturer about required maintenance.
In line with this, the machines are able to track an inventory in order to find a way to reduce waste or materials.
Despite having a low unemployment rate, Hong said Thailand would face the same challenges of an ageing society in the near future like other countries.
“Availability of manpower, particularly in countries with ageing societies, is very important. Therefore, factory automation and smart technology for manufacturing become very important as we do not have enough labour anymore to do manufacturing work,” he explained.
Another area where the company is putting more focus on is smart homes but it will depend on market acceptance.
For smart homes, he said millennials had to accept this concept and feel comfort about using this new technology as well as other new products and services.