Factory transformation

Implementation of sustainable utilization concepts for green hydrogen in the factory system.

Motivation and definition of objectives 

The utilization of hydrogen technologies in the factory system is an important building block for the decarbonization of industry. A prerequisite for this is a detailed understanding of the entire hydrogen value chain – from energy generation, through hydrogen production, and on to direct application for production processes. A simulation-based planning system is therefore being developed in order to enable factory systems to become CO2-neutral through the application of hydrogen technologies. 

© Robert Bosch Elektronik GmbH

At the Bosch location in Salzgitter, around 1,400 employees manufacture engine control units. By implementing Bosch solid oxide fuel cells in the energy supply, the project will contribute towards the achievement of CO2 neutrality. 

© Robert Bosch Elektronik GmbH


In the project, the Fraunhofer IST is developing a digital model of the factory which permits the evaluation of various design scenarios and therefore enables investments in hydrogen technologies to be safeguarded  both economically and ecologically  prior to realization. A comparison with other technologies or media is also being thereby carried out. The integration of hydrogen technologies is tested in a real factory system using the example of Robert Bosch Elektronik GmbH in Salzgitter. Furthermore, the economic and ecological advantages for the factory are being evaluated. The approach is transferable to diverse factories and industries, particularly to manufacturing companies. 

© Fraunhofer IST, Grafik: A.Struve

Contents and elements in the factory transformation project 

Development of a modular factory model 


The aim is the development of a modular factory model that can be used to evaluate design scenarios for the utilization of hydrogen technologies: 

  • Development of part models for hydrogen technologies and applications within the factory system, e.g. a power-heat coupling by means of fuel cells 
  • Interconnection of the part models to form an overall model as well as technical, ecological and economic evaluations of differing design scenarios 

Result: Evaluated scenarios for the realization of hydrogen infrastructure within the factory system. 

Integration of hydrogen technologies in the pilot factory 

The aim is the development, realization and operation of a real hydrogen infrastructure within the pilot plant: 

  • Validation of simulation models using the real hydrogen infrastructure 
  • Development of practical expertise in the construction and operation of hydrogen infrastructure as well as the retrofitting of existing factory infrastructure 
  • Investigation of viable business and operating models 


Result: Operational hydrogen infrastructure within the pilot factory of Robert Bosch Elektronik GmbH. 

Transfer of project results 


The aim is the synthesis of practical experience in developing and operating the infrastructure as well as the findings from the digital factory model: 

  • Conceptualization of a general planning procedure as well as specific recommendations for action for the decarbonization of factories by means of hydrogen technologies 
  • Transfer of the findings and results to other factory systems and sectors 


Result: Planning methodology for the step-by-step decarbonization of factory systems by means of hydrogen. 


Each partner of the consortium acts in its own name until the Wasserstoff Campus Salzgitter e.V. has been founded.

Wasserstoff Campus Salzgitter
on the premises of Robert Bosch Elektronik GmbH

John-F.-Kennedy-Str. 43 – 53
38228 Salzgitter


Allianz für die Region GmbH
Frankfurter Straße 284
38122 Braunschweig
Phone +49 531 1218-0

Fraunhofer-Institut für Schicht- und Oberflächentechnik IST
Bienroder Weg 54 E
38108 Braunschweig
Phone +49 531 2155-0

Salzgitter AG
Eisenhüttenstraße 99
38239 Salzgitter
Phone +49 5341 21-01

Alstom Transport Deutschland GmbH
Linke-Hofmann-Busch-Straße 1
38239 Salzgitter 
Phone +49 5341 9000

MAN Energy Solutions SE
Stadtbachstraße 1
86153 Augsburg
Telefon +49 821 322-0

Stadt Salzgitter
Joachim-Campe-Straße 6 – 8
38226 Salzgitter
Phone +49 5341 839-0

Amt für regionale Landesentwicklung
Friedrich-Wilhelm-Straße 3
38100 Braunschweig
Phone +49 531 484-1002

Robert Bosch Elektronik GmbH
John-F.-Kennedy-Straße 43
38228 Salzgitter
Phone +49 531 2850

WEVG Salzgitter GmbH & Co. KG
Albert-Schweitzer-Straße 7-11
38226 Salzgitter
Phone +49 5341 408-216/-269