Flagship Product since 105 Years: 10 Billion Spark Plugs Made by Bosch

bosch_plug_plant.jpgThe 10-billionth Bosch spark plug recently rolled off the production line at the Bamberg plant, making Bosch the world’s most prolific manufacturer of spark plugs. The vast majority, 8 billion, of the Bosch spark plugs were manufactured at the Bamberg plant, founded in 1939, with the remaining spark plugs being produced in other plants around the world. Laid end-to-end, all the Bosch spark plugs together would form a chain stretching for more than 560,000 kilometers, circling the equator around 14 times. A hundred years ago, Bosch produced just a few hundred spark plugs a year. Today, the figure is more than 300 million, and the spark plugs are produced in factories around the world. The plant in Bamberg is the primary plant for Bosch spark plug production and sets production standards for all the other Bosch spark plug plants. Bosch factories in India, Brazil, China and Russia also produce spark plugs for the local automotive industries and markets according to Bosch’s worldwide quality standards.

105 years ago, Bosch unveiled its first spark plugs combined with a high-voltage magneto, and patented the innovative system on January 7, 1902. Bosch’s reliable ignition system for engines with ever increasing speeds finally solved what Carl Benz described as the “problem of all problems” in early automotive engineering. The spark plug in combination with industrial manufacturing techniques opened the way for the surge in vehicle production experienced during the following decades. The result was affordable vehicles for everyone.

Today, constant developments in Bosch spark plugs as integral system components have made a significant contribution toward more economical, cleaner, and more efficient fuel combustion, as well as to more reliable engines and catalytic converters. Despite the huge increases in performance, the service life for normal spark plugs is today around 20,000 to 30,000 kilometers, roughly 20 to 30 times higher than the spark plugs of a hundred years ago.

In recent years in particular, Bosch has demonstrated the ongoing potential of its flagship product, adapting it to the ever-changing developments in engine technology such as 4-valve engines, lean-burn engines, or ultra-efficient direct fuel injection. The versatility of Bosch spark plugs is the result of design modifications and the use of special metals such as platinum and iridium, or yttrium. By varying the number, design, and structure of the electrodes, many adaptations are possible: there are 31 different electrode configurations in the company’s current spark plug catalog alone. All of this allows engines to comply with ever stricter emissions targets, while at the same time increasing performance and efficiency.

With a long history of expertise in the field and its intensive spark plug development projects in close collaboration with almost all vehicle manufacturers, Bosch is one of the world’s leading suppliers for the original equipment market and retail, and is the market leader in Europe. Many top vehicle manufacturers use Bosch spark plugs as standard: Alfa Romeo, Audi, BMW, Cadillac, Citroen, Daewoo, Daimler-Chrysler, Fiat, Ford, GM, Lancia, Mitsubishi, Opel, Peugeot, Porsche, Renault, Saab, Seat, Skoda, Ssangyong, Suzuki, Toyota, Vauxhall, Volvo, and Volkswagen are just some of our clients. Because many of the latest engines now have bespoke spark plugs, the range has grown to more than 1,250 variants. In total, well over 20,000 types have been developed over the last 100 years. Details of which Bosch spark plug is suitable for your car (or lawnmower, motorbike, chainsaw, or boat engine) are available on the Internet at www.bosch.de.

July 2007
  • Author: admin | Category: bosch |

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