If smart manufacturing is a wave sweeping the world, then China is undoubtedly becoming a vortex in this wave. Various types of smart manufacturing demonstration factories and innovation centers in China are springing up like mushrooms,
Since the end of the 18th century, mankind has experienced three industrial revolutions. Whether it is steam engine, electric power or electronic information technology, each revolution has brought tremendous improvements to human productivity several times or dozens of times. However, in the last ten years, especially after the global financial crisis, global productivity growth has slowed sharply, which means that very slow economic growth will become a new normal, especially for advanced economies. Global optimism at the turn of the century has long been replaced by fear of prolonged stagnation. Some scholars even believe that productivity growth in the United States and Europe declined significantly before the global financial crisis. How to improve productivity and get rid of the long-term stagnation or even retrogression of economic growth is an urgent issue facing many countries.
At the same time, in the historical tide of the fourth industrial revolution that mankind is experiencing, manufacturing has once again become a priority in global competition. In the past few decades, almost all countries have seen tangible help industrialization has brought to the country ’s economic strength. The international financial crisis and the European debt crisis have made Western countries re-recognize the importance of the real economy, reviewing the consequences of the hollowing of the real economy caused by the past "de-industrialization" strategy. Taking the United States as an example, whether it is the Obama administration's "high-end manufacturing partnership" program or the Trump administration-led manufacturing return, "re-industrialization" has become an important means for advanced economies to guide the recovery of the real economy.
But today ’s “re-industrialization” with the main purpose of boosting economic growth in developed countries is not simply to return the manufacturing industry to its own country. In fact, since all countries in the world are optimistic about and developing the manufacturing industry, a lot of production capacity has appeared in the low-end manufacturing sector. The surplus situation, and industrial upgrading and industrial chain restructuring are the main starting points for the developed countries to try to revitalize the manufacturing industry. In other words, "new manufacturing", which is driven by a new generation of technology and improves productivity and economic growth, is the new pattern faced by manufacturing industries in various countries in global competition.
Against this background, in recent years, Germany, the United States, Japan and other manufacturing powers have proposed new national strategies. Whether it is "Industry 4.0" in Germany, "Industrial Internet" in the United States, or "Intelligent Manufacturing System" in Japan, it is a strategic plan for its own manufacturing industry based on its own situation.
As the world's largest manufacturing country, China has also proposed the national strategy of "Made in China 2025", which plans to transform China from a manufacturing country to a manufacturing power within the next 30 years, in which "smart manufacturing" is positioned as a Chinese manufacturing The main direction of industry transformation is also an important starting point for realizing the national strategy of "Made in China 2025".
Key features of smart manufacturing
Even from a global perspective, smart manufacturing is still in its infancy. Like all new things, in the early stages of development, they are always accompanied by various new concepts and new terms, such as Digital Twin and Digital Thread. Academics and industry have different interpretations of their connotations . In order to facilitate understanding, we can use a scene to describe the concrete effect that intelligent manufacturing can achieve. After all, only combining the concept and technology of the application scene has commercial significance.
Taking the automobile industry as an example, we often go to a dedicated brand 4S store to buy a car. An ordinary family car with a level of 100,000 yuan usually has three configurations of high, medium and low, and each configuration has about 5 different colors. If there are only 15 options for a family car, customers can choose. And car manufacturers only need to schedule manufacturing plans, purchase raw materials and produce according to these preset options.
In the era of intelligent manufacturing, customers will place orders directly with car manufacturers via the Internet, and make the most personalized choices for almost all configurations of engines, interiors, audios, safety configurations, tires, exterior colors, etc. according to their own needs. . Not only that, but in the era of intelligent manufacturing, customers can also customize the cars that have not yet been "tested" in the digital world through AR, VR and other technologies while customizing on demand, and can understand the progress of manufacturing customized cars in real time. Not only that, the entire manufacturing process is not completed by a single manufacturer, but is jointly achieved by a "manufacturing alliance" composed of the upstream and downstream of the industrial chain.
Obviously, such an implementation is unimaginable for traditional manufacturing based on resource planning. The "customized on demand" and "real-time manufacturing" involved in intelligent manufacturing are all-round challenges to flexibility and scalability. It will even completely change the manufacturing process, technology and industrial chain.
Based on the above description and understanding of the commonality of intelligent manufacturing, we can roughly summarize some key characteristics of intelligent manufacturing: First, the transformation from large-scale mass production to large-scale personalized customized production (flexible manufacturing); Second, from centralized Production shifts to networked and collaborative production in different places (decentralization); third, deep integration of informationization and industrialization (physical factory + virtual factory).
The status of smart manufacturing
If the aforementioned scenario is used as a criterion, smart manufacturing is clearly still in the very early stage. From a macro perspective, the current fourth industrial revolution of human society is still in the stage of paradigm construction, and smart manufacturing, as the core of the fourth industrial revolution, requires corresponding basic technology as a prerequisite for industrial development.
Generally speaking, the basic technologies required for smart manufacturing include the Internet of Things, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, blockchain, 5G networks, etc., which are integrated with all aspects of manufacturing activities such as design, production, management, and service. Unified information physics system. At present, only a few of these technologies have matured, and most of them are still in the development period before large-scale outbreaks.
In addition to the maturity of the technology, we can also understand the current development status of smart manufacturing from some related fields (such as the Industrial Internet of Things, Industry 4.0, etc.).
In 2017, Deloitte China conducted a survey of 156 Chinese manufacturing companies to explore the status, trends and challenges of industrial Internet of Things applications. The survey revealed:
Chinese manufacturing companies generally agree on the importance of the Industrial Internet of Things, but have not yet formed a clear strategy-89% of the interviewed companies agree that the Industrial Internet of Things will be critical to the success of the enterprise within the next 5 years, and 72% of the enterprises The industrial Internet of Things application started on the Internet, but only 46% of enterprises have formulated a relatively clear industrial Internet of Things strategy and plan.
Manufacturing companies are still in the initial stage of data application, and it will take some time from "post-perception" to "foresight"-the interviewed companies are still in the perception phase of data applications rather than the action phase, and most companies use acquisition The data obtained explain the laws and root causes of historical performance, rather than using the data for predictive analysis to support decision-making;
The three biggest challenges faced by the interviewed companies in the application of industrial IoT are the lack of interconnection standards, data ownership and security issues, and the lack of skills of related operators-52% of the interviewed companies believe that the lack of interconnection standards is the enterprise industry The main challenges of IoT applications, followed by 46% of the interviewed enterprises that data ownership and data security issues are the main challenges, and 42% of the interviewed enterprises believe that the lack of relevant technical personnel is the main challenge of industrial IoT applications.
In addition, in early 2018, Deloitte Global also published an article entitled "The Fourth Industrial Revolution Is Coming-Are You Ready?" ”Research report, through a survey and interviews with 1,600 executives in 19 countries, we found that only 14% of respondents believe that their companies can take full advantage of the transformation opportunities brought by Industry 4.0, while only four One out of five executives believe they have the combination of employees and skills they need in the future. In other words, most companies only have a general understanding of trends such as smart manufacturing and Industry 4.0, and have not delved into strategy or daily operations.
But there are also pioneers. For example, China has begun to explore step by step in the past few years, and the pilot demonstration of smart manufacturing has started in 2015. In 2016, over 60 projects were selected in China, and 97 projects were selected in 2017, covering many manufacturing fields, including not only petrochemicals, steel, nonferrous metals, automobiles, pharmaceuticals and other traditional manufacturing industries, but also aerospace, aviation, High-end equipment manufacturing, robots, new energy and other strategic emerging industries that China is actively developing.
According to the information from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, China will continue to implement intelligent manufacturing pilot demonstration projects in 2018, and there will be more than 100 selection projects during the year. The industry predicts that in addition to continuing to cover the above important manufacturing fields, it is also possible to choose related projects in traditional industries such as nonferrous metals, rare earths, textiles, and home appliances; in addition, 5G, Internet of Things, Internet of Vehicles, intelligent transportation and other emerging fields of intelligence Manufacturing projects will also be selected.
The future of smart manufacturing
The "2016-2020 China Intelligent Manufacturing Industry In-depth Investigation and Investment Prospect Forecast Report" released by CIC Consultants predicts that China's smart manufacturing industry will have a compound annual growth rate of about 20% in the future, and the output value is expected to exceed 3 trillion yuan by 2020.
According to the "Thirteenth Five-Year Plan of China's Intelligent Manufacturing", China will promote the "two-step" strategy of intelligent manufacturing by 2025: the first step, by 2020, the development foundation and supporting capabilities of intelligent manufacturing will be significantly enhanced, and traditional manufacturing The key areas of the industry have basically realized digital manufacturing, and the conditional and foundational key industries have made significant progress in intelligent transformation. In the second step, by 2025, the intelligent manufacturing support system has basically been established, and key industries have initially achieved intelligent transformation.