Factory and Technology Center in Dillingen

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Bosch factory in Dillingen, 1976. (Source: Robert Bosch GmbH - Corporate Archives, signature 6 001 13262)

A special honor was bestowed upon the Strahlkopf mountain in the Allgäu Alps on October 4, 1997: Employees from the BSH[1] dishwasher plant in Dillingen erected a self-transported summit cross made of stainless steel at its highest point. This action illustrated the team spirit among the employees in Dillingen – and the excellent contact with its suppliers, since the individual parts of the cross came from suppliers of stainless steel to the factory.[2]

The site at Dillingen an der Donau was founded by Robert Bosch GmbH in 1960.[3] Initially the facility manufactured fuel pumps and food processors. BSH has been producing dishwashers here exclusively since 1976.[4] In 1978, just two years later, the two millionth dishwasher was produced.[5] More than 1,500 different dishwasher models have been produced here since then.[6] The factory's portfolio also included small home appliances.[7]

Technological milestones

The BSH sound lab in Dillingen, 2009. (Source: BSH Corporate Archives)

The development department for dishwashers was located at the Giengen site until 1996, after which it relocated to Dillingen.[8] The BSH engineers developed a number of functions that would go down as milestones in the development of dishwasher technology. These included the AquaStop system from 1985[9] (reliable protection against water damage), the 45-cm dishwasher from 1987[10], the AquaSensor system from 1996[11] (automatic replacement of water at a certain turbidity level), the world's first fully automatic dishwasher in 2000[12], as well as the development of Zeolite technology for dishwashers in 2008[13] (optimizes drying results while minimizing energy consumption).

BSH's global technology center for dishwashers has been located in Dillingen since 2014. The center boasts a number of different laboratories, including the dishwashing lab.[14] "In the dishwashing lab, we test how thoroughly our appliances clean and how much energy they consume with the set parameters," explained lab boss Hein Heißler in 2015.[15] The first dishwashers fitted with the Home Connect function were added in the same year.[16] Home Connect enables communication between home appliances and an app running on a smart phone or tablet. For example, the app can be used to turn down the temperature of the oven when on the go or to check the contents of the refrigerator for finalizing the shopping list.

More than two million dishwashers every year

Environmental protection and economical use of resources are right at the top of the priority list at the Dillingen site. Because suppliers are located around the company premises, the materials required for production can be supplied cost-effectively and on an environmentally sound basis.[17] Appliances are also largely distributed by rail from the site.[18]

The factory at Dillingen has a workforce of around 2,300 employees at present.[19] It is one of the largest employers and also trainers in the region (approx. 90 junior staff at the same time).[20] More than two million dishwashers are manufactured every year at seven parallel assembly lines. Dillingen is therefore currently home to one of the largest and most state-of-the-art dishwasher plants in the world, breaking the 60 million mark in 2015 for dishwashers produced.[21]

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Notes

  1. BSH was founded in 1967 as Bosch-Siemens Hausgeräte GmbH - BSHG for short. In 1998, the name was changed to BSH Bosch und Siemens Hausgeräte GmbH, with the short form BSH. Since the sale of the Siemens shares in BSH to Robert Bosch GmbH the company’s name is now BSH Hausgeräte GmbH, but still BSH for short.
  2. BSH Corporate Archives, A05-0036, inform 2013/2, page 15.
  3. BSH Dillingen Site Overview Flyer, page 3.
  4. BSH Corporate Archives, A01-0001, Business Report 1976, page 3; A05-0023, inform 2000/December, page 27.
  5. BSH Corporate Archives, A01-0001, Business Report 1978, page 5.
  6. BSH Dillingen Site Overview Flyer, page 4.
  7. BSH Corporate Archives, A01-0001, Business Report 1979, page 8.
  8. BSH Corporate Archives, F-BSH-004, Ernst Stickel: Chronik der BSH-Geschirrspüler 1960-2000, o.O. 2011, page 170.
  9. BSH Corporate Archives, F-BSH-004, Ernst Stickel: Chronik der BSH-Geschirrspüler 1960-2000, o.O. 2011, page 115. Corporate Archives, A05-0008, inform 1985/1, page 1.
  10. BSH Corporate Archives, F-BSH-004, Ernst Stickel: Chronik der BSH-Geschirrspüler 1960-2000, o.O. 2011, page 126.
  11. BSH Corporate Archives, A05-0019, inform 1996/4, page 26.
  12. BSH Corporate Archives, F-BSH-004, Ernst Stickel: Chronik der BSH-Geschirrspüler 1960-2000, o.O. 2011, page 172. The first pilot series was constructed in 1999.
  13. BSH Corporate Archives, A05-0031, inform 2008/3, page 16.
  14. BSH Corporate Archives, A01-0030, Business Report 2012, page 43; A01-0035, Business Report 2015, page 28; A05-0042, inform 2015/4, page 14.
  15. BSH Corporate Archives, A05-0042, inform 2015/4, page 14.
  16. BSH Corporate Archives, A05-0041, inform 2014/4, page 13.
  17. BSH Dillingen Site Overview Flyer, page 4. Business Report 2002, page 12.
  18. BSH Dillingen Site Overview Flyer, page 4.
  19. BSH Corporate Archives, A05-0042, inform 2015/1, page 17.
  20. BSH Dillingen Site Overview Flyer, page 9 and 11.
  21. BSH Dillingen Site Overview Flyer, page 3 and 5.