Germany-based multisector manufacturer Bosch today announced it is investing US$ 120 million to build a new smart factory for electronic components in the city of Celaya, Guanajuato in central Mexico.
The company plans to open more than 1,200 job positions at the 21,000-square-meter facility to manufacture electronic control units (ECUs) for the American market. These are key components for connected mobility. “With the new location, we are responding to the increasing demand for electronic components in the American market,” said René Schlegel, president of the Bosch Group in Mexico.
With a total surface area of 170,000 square meters, the site will have capacity for further expansion in the future. In addition, the plan is to build a logistics center for Mexico on the adjacent property, which will also serve as a warehouse for the new plant. Celaya follows Ciudad Juarez as home to the second plant of the Automotive Electronics division in Mexico.
“We are planning to make the new manufacturing facility in Celaya a smart factory with state-of-the-art, intelligent production lines,” said Stefan Hartung, member of the Bosch board of management. For example, the plant will employ a manufacturing execution system (MES), which automatically collects data and shares production information in real time.
This makes possible both preventive maintenance of machinery and higher product quality. The system also digitally connects the plant to the Bosch Group’s global manufacturing network.
“By mid-2019, manufacturing at nearly all Bosch plants in Mexico will be equipped with our intelligent control system,” Schlegel said.
Bosch supports Industry 4.0 in Mexico
The announced was made in the eve of the Hannover Messe international industrial trade fair, in which Mexico has been chosen Partner Country this year. “Bosch is committed to Mexico. The country is and will remain an important market and a hub for our global manufacturing and development network,” said Hartung.
In total, Bosch currently operates ten manufacturing locations around the country and has already introduced the use of smart technologies, for example at its Mobility Solutions sites in Toluca and Ciudad Juarez. As a leading provider of Industry 4.0 solutions, the Bosch Group also sees local business opportunities in Mexico.
With the investment in a new location, Bosch is continuing its long-term expansion in North America. Over the past five years, a total of around US$ 3.22 billion has been spent on strengthening the company’s local presence.
In Mexico, where Bosch has been active since 1955, the company opened a new manufacturing facility for driving safety systems in Aguascalientes in 2016. At the end of 2017, a plant for steering systems in Queretaro went into operation.
The country is also gaining in significance as a development location: since 2014, Bosch has been operating a center for software development and engineering services for the American market in Guadalajara.
In total, the Bosch Group employs around 16,000 associates and is active with all four of its business divisions in Mexico. In 2016, the company generated more than US$ 1.36 billion in sales in the country (2017 figures will be published in May).
Mexico market has become highly industrialized in recent years, driven mainly by the automotive industry. In 2017 alone, nearly 3.8 million vehicles were manufactured in the country.
In order to increase efficiency and competitiveness as a leading global manufacturing location, Mexico is increasingly focusing on the use of Industry 4.0. With the investment announced today, Bosch is playing a part in this.