Department of the Environment

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Environment industries archive


Key departmental publications, e.g. annual reports, budget papers and program guidelines are available in our online archive.

Much of the material listed on these archived web pages has been superseded, or served a particular purpose at a particular time. It may contain references to activities or policies that have no current application. Many archived documents may link to web pages that have moved or no longer exist, or may refer to other documents that are no longer available.

Robert Bosch Australia
Cleaner Production - Motor Vehicle Emission Control and Electronic Engine Management System

This case study is no longer current with respect to the Company's business activities and operations and was not updated in the review of 2001, but is retained for informational, educational and historical purposes


Robert Bosch Australia was established in 1954 in Clayton, Victoria. The main manufacturing plant remains there to this day. The company has some 1,150 employees in Australia.

Robert Bosch manufactures and distributes a wide variety of products from electronic consumer goods, to industrial hydraulics, to hot water systems. The focus of activity in Australia is manufacturing components for the automotive industry. Products include starter motors, alternators, fuel pumps, fuel injectors and a complete range of motor vehicle electrical equipment.

Why Robert Bosch Australia needed cleaner production

In recent years, the Australian automotive industry has become very aware of the need for environmentally sensitive products. This is particularly the case with Robert Bosch as a large proportion of their output involved fuel pump and fuel transmission devices. Ways and means of reducing emissions are integral to the design of these products. The Bosch Group also manufactures specific motor vehicle emission control and electronic engine management systems which help reduce engine pollution.

Robert Bosch management felt that environmental considerations were an important part of the company's overall commitment to total quality assurance.

How Robert Bosch Australia approached cleaner production

Robert Bosch Australia's German parent company has been working on environmental strategies and redesign of its products since 1980. Bosch engineers consider all aspects of production during the design process: materials used, manufacturing techniques, energy consumption, noise levels and ergonomics.

An environmental committee was established at Robert Bosch Australia in 1993. It was charged with identifying better production methods to reduce waste, and to examine environmentally friendly ways to improve working conditions.

The company also, by its own initiative, undertook an environmental audit by the Australian Conservation Foundation in 1994, and became the first ever manufacturing company to pass the ACF corporate sponsor criteria.

A large quantity of electronic components are manufactured at Clayton. The production process is highly automated, with special industrial robots producing electronic printed circuit boards in large quantities.

A wide variety of engineering measures have been implemented to ensure cleaner production and optimum efficiency on the factory floor. Many of these measures involve modifications to the production process:

The benefits to Robert Bosch Australia and the environment

The cleaner production cost equation

Costs of cleaner production

Installation of the new flux rotating drum robotic application process cost approximately $25,000.

Annual savings as a result of cleaner production

Projected savings in excess of $35,000 per annum are expected.

Date of implementation: 1993-1995
Case Study Prepared: February 1995 by Turnbull Fox Phillips - Consultants - Sydney
Last reviewed: June 2001.