Bosch invests €100m in Mexican smart factory for automotive parts
Bosch is to invest €100 million (US$120m) in a smart factory for automotive parts in Celaya, in Mexico. The new plant will create 1,200 additional jobs by 2020. The German manufacturer said it will upgrade all 10 of its manufacturing plants in Mexico as smart factories by the middle of 2019.
The 170,000 square-metre facility at Celaya, northwest of Mexico City, in the state of Guanajuato, will be a “smart factory with state-of-the-art, intelligent production lines,” the company said. Its ‘manufacturing execution system’ will collect and share production information in real time, enabling preventive maintenance of machinery and higher quality products, it said.
The system will connect the plant to sites in Mexico, and across the globe. “By mid-2019, manufacturing at nearly all Bosch plants in Mexico will be equipped with our intelligent control system,” said René Schlegel, president of the Bosch Group in Mexico.
The Celaya plant will produce electronic control units for cars, for sale into the US automotive market; it will be the company’s third automotive plant in Mexico, alongside its Juarez facility. The site will have capacity for further expansion. Bosch said it wants to build a logistics centre for Mexico on the adjacent property, which will also serve as a warehouse for the new plant.
“We are responding to the increasing demand for electronic components in the American market,” said Schlegel.
Bosch has invested around €2.6 billion in North America during the past five years, and has been active in Mexico since 1955, where it now employs around 16,000 people across 10 sites, variously engaged in the production of automotive parts, power tools, security systems, and electric drives and controls.
Between 2012 and 2015, Bosch invested around €360 million in the expansion of its manufacturing facilities in Mexico, with a large portion going to its automotive plants in Toluca and Juarez.
Bosch has been running software development and engineering in Guadalajara since 2014. It opened a manufacturing facility for driving safety systems in Aguascalientes in 2016 and for steering systems in Querétaro in late 2017. In 2016, the company generated sales of €1.1 billion in Mexico.
Stefan Hartung, member of the board of management at Bosch, said: “Bosch is committed to Mexico. The country is and will remain an important market and a hub for our global manufacturing and development network.”
Nearly 3.8 million vehicles were manufactured in Mexico in 2017. The country is increasingly focusing on the use of Industry 4.0 solutions to maintain its competitiveness. Mexico is the partner country at this year’s Hannover Messe, which kicks of next week (April 23-27).
Bosch will also be present, with its own smart factory showcase, including a 1.5 metre robot factory assistant.