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Industry 4.0

Historical workbench fit for Industry 4.0

A young man and a young woman stand in workwear of Bosch behind the antiq

Connectivity is the theme of the future. The fact that even antique machines can be connected has been exemplified by an old Robert Bosch workbench that has been made fit for the future by means of the IoT Gateway.

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From the past into the future

The antique lathe is now connected with cables.
The antique workbench once belonged to Robert Bosch.

One hundred and thirty years ago, Robert Bosch was still using a pedal-powered workbench weighing 300 kilogrammes to make parts for the magneto, the product that marked Bosch’s breakthrough. Now the cast iron workbench has been taken out  of the museum and into the Industry 4.0 era by the IoT Gateway from Bosch.

Tens of millions of

machines in Germany are without an Industry 4.0 connection — on a global scale, it is a market worth billions for retrofit solutions like the Bosch IoT Gateway

A smart museum piece

An infographic shows how the connectivity of the lathe works.
The old workbench is now connected thanks to the IoT Gateway.

The “tuned” workbench on the one hand enables the monitoring of the processes involved in the perpetual quality control, and, on the other, constant equipment state monitoring to prevent unplanned downtimes. For process monitoring, sensors register, amongst other things, the revolutions per minute: too high or too low average speeds are detrimental to manufacturing quality when turning metal and can damage the tool. The data collected and transmitted by the IoT Gateway can be viewed by the foot pedal operator in real time on a monitor. He therefore always knows whether he has to pedal faster or slower to retain the optimal cycle time. Additionally, the connected workbench also recognises the smallest changes on the drive. With increasing age, the leather drive wheel and the spindle containing the work piece can start to slip: something that is invisible for the human eye. Sensors however recognise minute deviations. When the pre-defined limit is reached, the system automatically informs the respective maintenance team that the belts have to be replaced.

Fast and simple connectivity thanks to the IoT Gateway


The IoT Gateway from Bosch makes the oldest machines compatible with Industry 4.0 — even a 130 year old workbench out of a museum. It enables companies with an older machine park to be part of this era of connection.

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