225 Years of Bosch Rexroth: From a Water-Driven Forge to a Digital High-Tech Pioneer
Growth through sustainable solutions for machines and plant engineering
- Driver for the digital transformation of all automation technologies
- CO2-neutral production
- Expansion of the Customer and Innovation Center and the company's global presence
Photo caption: The foundry in Lohr am Main around 90 years ago and today (image source: Bosch Rexroth).
The story began in 1795 when Georg Ludwig Rexroth launched the water-driven forge for iron production in the Spessart mountains in Germany. With this, he founded what now is one of the oldest technology companies in the world. Part of the Bosch Group today, Bosch Rexroth AG is a technology and market leader for drive and control technologies used by mechanical and plant engineering partners around the world. The company is responsible for efficient, powerful and safe movements in machines and systems of any type and size. With high-performance components and software-based solutions, approximately 31,000 employees, in more than 80 countries, are driving the digitalization and sustainability of machines and systems.
“Over the past 225 years, Bosch Rexroth has seized the opportunities offered by technological advances, turned them into innovations and adapted its business model to them,” said Rolf Najork, Managing Director of Robert Bosch GmbH with responsibility for the Industrial Technology division, and CEO of Bosch Rexroth AG, summing up the company’s recipe for success. The manufacturer of automation technologies for the factory of the future, plant construction and engineering and mobile applications is well equipped to deal with the challenges of the digital transformation.
Part of the Bosch Group since 2001
When the company was established during the French Revolution and at the start of the industrial revolution, this success was not foreseeable. The Rexroth family led the company through turbulent times and, when it took over an iron foundry, moved the company headquarters to Lohr am Main in 1850, where it remains to this day. Rexroth achieved a breakthrough at Hannover Messe in 1954 when it presented the first products from its new line of business – hydraulics. Later on, this is followed by electric drives and control systems, mobile electronics as well as linear motion and assembly technology. In 1975, Rexroth became part of Mannesmann AG. Following the merger with Bosch Automationstechnik, it has been part of the Bosch Group since 2001.
Development of energy-efficient, sustainable solutions
“We know from our 225-year company history how important sustainable growth is,” emphasized Rolf Najork. In its anniversary year, earlier than planned, Bosch Rexroth achieved its goal of CO2 neutrality when manufacturing all its products. And that is not all: “We develop all new solutions with a view to improving the energy efficiency of the machines and systems equipped with them and helping our customers to achieve economic success,” said the CEO.
Expanding the Customer and Innovation Center and increasing the company’s presence on the African continent
In 2019, Bosch Rexroth invested 348 million euros in research and development. In October 2020, the company celebrated the topping out of the second building for its Customer and Innovation Center in the German city Ulm. Here, everything revolves around the future – the company plans to develop new digital business ideas, system solutions and services and work with partners on specific customer projects. The new building will house a model factory for Industry 4.0 solutions. There will also be laboratory and workshop areas, office, seminar and training rooms and an exhibition room. At the same time, Bosch Rexroth is always on the lookout for attractive new markets with potential for growth. The company is currently expanding in Africa and opened a new site in Egypt this year.
“Our origins and history are important, but a successful history isn’t enough to take you to future success. Thus, we’re moving into the future with confidence and we’ll shape the company’s third century through innovations,” said Rolf Najork. The three initiatives Transforming Mobile Machines, Connected Hydraulics and the Factory of the Future underline this goal. They bundle together Bosch Rexroth’s innovations and software-based system solutions to speed up the electronification and digitalization of mobile working machines, plant construction and engineering as well as factory automation.
About Bosch Rexroth
As one of the world’s leading suppliers of drive and control technologies, Bosch Rexroth ensures efficient, powerful and safe movement in machines and systems of any size. The company bundles global application experience in the market segments of Mobile Applications, Machinery Applications and Engineering, and Factory Automation. With its intelligent components, customized system solutions and services, Bosch Rexroth is creating the necessary environment for fully connected applications. Bosch Rexroth offers its customers hydraulics, electric drive and control technology, gear technology and linear motion and assembly technology, including software and interfaces to the Internet of Things. With locations in over 80 countries, roughly 31,000 associates generated sales revenue of roughly 6.2 billion euros ($7.3 billion) in 2019.
Having established a regional presence in 1906 in North America, the Bosch Group employs 34,600 associates in more than 100 locations, as of December 31, 2019. In 2019 Bosch generated consolidated sales of $14.4 billion in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. It employs roughly 400,000 associates worldwide (as of December 31, 2019). The company generated sales of 77.7 billion euros in 2019. Its operations are divided into four business sectors: Mobility Solutions, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods, and Energy and Building Technology. As a leading IoT provider, Bosch offers innovative solutions for smart homes, Industry 4.0, and connected mobility. Bosch is pursuing a vision of mobility that is sustainable, safe, and exciting. It uses its expertise in sensor technology, software, and services, as well as its own IoT cloud, to offer its customers connected, cross-domain solutions from a single source. The Bosch Group’s strategic objective is to facilitate connected living with products and solutions that either contain artificial intelligence (AI) or have been developed or manufactured with its help. Bosch improves quality of life worldwide with products and services that are innovative and spark enthusiasm. In short, Bosch creates technology that is “Invented for life.” The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its roughly 440 subsidiary and regional companies in 60 countries. Including sales and service partners, Bosch’s global manufacturing, engineering, and sales network covers nearly every country in the world. The basis for the company’s future growth is its innovative strength. Bosch employs some 72,600 associates in research and development at 126 locations across the globe, as well as roughly 30,000 software engineers.