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A clean anniversary 400 million lambda sensors from Bosch 30 years of sensors for low-emission gasoline engines


· More than 40 million lambda sensors from Bosch every year
· For clean gasoline engines with regulated catalytic converters
· First used in US-versions of Volvo

The 400-millionth lambda sensor recently rolled off the production line at Bosch. Bosch first marketed the exhaust sensor 30 years ago. It was an innovation that facilitated the regulated catalytic converter to make gasoline engines extremely clean. “Each year Bosch manufactures more than 40 million lambda sensors in Germany, the USA, Korea and China which makes it the world’s market leader” explains Dr. Steffen Berns, Executive Vice President Engineering for Gasoline Systems at Bosch.

First lambda sensor ready for series production in 1976
Bosch was using the technology of oxygen measurement, needed for the exhaust sensor, in battery manufacture as early as 1968. The company benefited from this expertise in the 1970s, when the exhaust gas regulations in the USA were radically tightened: Bosch presented the first lambda sensor suitable for series production in 1976. Ten years after making its debut in the US-version of the Volvo 240/260 series, Bosch celebrated delivery of the ten-millionth lambda sensor. In 1993 the figure was 50 million, and by 2001 it had reached 250 million sensors.

No modern gasoline engine without a lambda sensor
Lambda sensors support effective suppression of harmful exhaust pollutants in vehicles with gasoline engines. Inserted in the exhaust system in front of and behind the catalytic converter, they measure the oxygen content, which is an indicator for the quality of combustion. This allows the engine control unit to make corrections to the injection system and thereby to facilitate optimum operation of three-way catalytic converters. Since 2002, the lambda sensors have also been used with diesel engines to adjust the quantity of injected fuel more precisely and achieve reduced pollutant emissions.

The Bosch Group is a leading global manufacturer of automotive and industrial technology, consumer goods, and building technology. In fiscal 2005, some 251,000 associates generated sales of 41.5 billion euros. Set up in Stuttgart in 1886 by Robert Bosch (1861-1942) as “Workshop for Precision Mechanics and Electrical Engineering,” the Bosch Group today comprises a manufacturing, sales, and after-sales service network of more than 280 subsidiaries and more than 12,000 Bosch service centers in over 140 countries.

The special ownership structure of the Bosch Group guarantees its financial independence and entrepreneurial freedom. It makes it possible for the company to undertake significant up-front investments in the safeguarding of its future, as well as to do justice to its social responsibility in a manner reflective of the spirit and will of its founder. A total of 92 % of the share capital of Robert Bosch GmbH is held by the charitable foundation Robert Bosch Stiftung. The entrepreneurial ownership functions are carried out by Robert Bosch Industrietreuhand KG.

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PI5537 - September 2006


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