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Inside Bosch’s 20,000 crore bid to de-risk from the auto sector

BSH Household Appliances’ washing machine plant at Sriperumbudur can produce 350,000 units a year

Several years of weak growth in auto is pushing manufacturing conglomerates to diversify. What are the new bets?

In Tamil Nadu’s Sriperumbudur, the poster at a plant’s lobby announces what you may expect inside: “Nothing leaves our factory until it is 100%. We’re German. We’re mad about our machines."

Huge machines do the heavy lifting at this front-loading automatic washing machine factory run by BSH Household Appliances, a Bosch Group company. In the pre-production arena, rectangular metal sheets are pressed and converted into cylindrical components. A few machines hum at 85 decibels (dB)—a sound intensity somewhere between the noise made by a car horn (110 dB) and a vacuum cleaner (70dB). Workers who’re picking and placing components wear earplugs. By the time the washing machines are assembled and packed, it is tested multiple times, not just by humans but also by camera vision systems. A scratch in a component, for instance, is flagged on a screen in bright red colour.

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