Building the Factory of the Future


Near Stuttgart, an exciting development center is pooling expert knowledge to create ground-breaking new approaches to manufacturing.

ARENA2036 is an automotive research program exploring design, engineering and the general development of flexible Factory of the Future initiatives. It has the backing of the German government, of the local university, and of several medium-sized and major manufacturers, including Bosch Rexroth and other Bosch operating companies. Together, we’re working towards future solutions not just in theory, but close to real production processes and working alongside experts from different fields and different organizations.

Physical developments

Development areas in which we’re engaged at ARENA2036 include 5G communications, the next generation of self-guided vehicles, man-robot collaboration, worker assistance systems, intelligent logistic solutions, and digital twins in factory planning. Our work at the development center helps us develop better products, and it helps us develop ways for them to find one another and interconnect: the widespread integration of assets is a key element of the program for us.


Technological developments

We’re also looking beyond physical developments and into other areas. For instance, teams are looking at cryptocurrencies and at blockchain technology. Why? In order to deliver business models such as pay-per-use, companies must collaborate to build distributed systems – and blockchain, for instance, could eliminate the need for mutual trust, and thereby simplify the payment structure. We’re working with other ARENA2036 participants, including Daimler and Trumpf, to make this happen.

Business process developments

Pay-per-use is just one example of the new business models these developments are facilitating. For instance, it’s likely to be the case in commercial manufacturing that apps will be made available and downloadable free of charge, just as they often are these days in the consumer market. Here at Bosch Rexroth, we’re exploring this area with our customers right now.

Implementation in the real world

We’re extending many of our own processes and techniques at ARENA2036, and several such initiatives are being successfully put into practice on our own factory floors.

For example, at our plant in Homburg, a new pilot assembly line is integrated into the “Bosch Production System” (BPS), enabling the semi-automatic production of disc valves for tractors – in six basic types and over 200 variants.

Clearly, the Factory of the Future is already starting to take shape…

Author: Peter Greiner
Job Title: : Vice President of Engineering Systems & Solutions at Bosch Rexroth


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