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Manufacturing revolution in China: factory automation replacing human production
Add Time:2021/2/23 11:08:33

Guide: for China's manufacturing industry, this rapid adjustment means more opportunities: with the in-depth implementation of "made in China 2025", China's robot market will rise to a trillion level industry during the 13th Five Year Plan period. More importantly, the large-scale popularization of such "unmanned factories" will hedge China's "demographic dividend".

With 60 grinding robots and 60 workers, through human-computer interaction for production, compared with the original 600 people, manual grinding by grinding lathe, how much can the work efficiency be improved? As the chairman of Guangdong Changying Precision Technology Co., Ltd., Chen Qixing has been quietly calculating such an account these days. The final data made him very happy: robot grinding efficiency has been increased by 2 times, the average production capacity has exceeded 21000 pieces / month, and the defective rate of products has been reduced by 20%.

As the first private enterprise in Dongguan, Guangdong Province to set up an "unmanned factory", Changying precision is actually starting a big step in the transformation and upgrading of China's manufacturing industry.

Data show that Dongguan City alone, the current employment gap is as high as more than 100000 people. With the gradual decline of China's demographic dividend, the aggravation of structural labor shortage in enterprises, and the increase of labor costs year by year, these realistic pressures force the manufacturing industry to fully release the benefit space of automation through "machine replacement" and the development of intelligent manufacturing.

For China's manufacturing industry, this rapid adjustment means more opportunities: with the in-depth implementation of "made in China 2025", China's robot market will rise to a trillion level industry during the 13th Five Year Plan period. More importantly, the large-scale popularization of such "unmanned factories" will hedge China's "demographic dividend". The "brain bonus" of China's labor force may appear, and the era of "intelligent manufacturing in China" is coming!

"Intelligence +": from "labor shortage" to "super factory"

In the robot grinding workshop recently put into use by Changying precision, precision manipulators and a few operators are "cooperating" to polish parts in an orderly way. The whole workshop is clean and open, and the "rustling" sound of the machines is looming, which makes it more quiet.

As a high-tech enterprise that produces and sells mobile phone series connectors, shielding parts and ultra precision hardware terminals and molds, it's hard to imagine that before that, a workshop of Changying precision had to install more than 600 workers and rows of manual grinding lathes. The roar of the machine makes the workers communicate with each other basically by roaring. A large amount of dust in the workshop not only damages the health of workers, but also is flammable and explosive. What's more, this kind of dirty and tiring work makes the labor cost of enterprises increase at a rate of 20% every year, and it can't guarantee to recruit as many people as possible in the coming year.

All kinds of constraints finally made Chen Qixing make up his mind to become the first "crab eater" in Dongguan - introducing robots to build an intelligent "unmanned factory".

"The number of workers in our workshop has been greatly reduced, but the efficiency has been doubled, and the defective product rate has been reduced by 20.7%." Ren Xiangsheng, executive deputy general manager of Changying precision, introduced that the enterprise mainly replaced manual labor by hardware manipulator, and established a highly intelligent software control system for network remote control. "When the automation system of the entire" unmanned factory "is completed, the number of workers will be reduced on a large scale, reaching the level of 90%."

In fact, since Dongguan, Foshan and other cities in the Pearl River Delta successively issued the strategic plan of "machine replacement" in 2014, under the incentive of special fund subsidies, the real manufacturing enterprises in these regions are transforming towards industrial robot intelligent equipment.

Take Dongguan as an example, the city has set up a special fund of 600 million yuan for "machine replacement", with the maximum subsidy ratio of 15% of the total equipment. So far, Dongguan has promoted 505 "machine replacement" application projects in traditional and advantageous industries, with an investment of 4.2 billion yuan, which can reduce the employment of more than 30000 people. The investment cost of enterprises is expected to be recovered within two years.

Of course, in a strict sense, the "unmanned factory" built by Changying precision today should be regarded as "unmanned workshop", because when machines and machines, machines and people realize all-round interconnection through all kinds of intelligent devices, the ultimate form of modern industrial development - "super factory" will appear.

At last year's "China (Ningbo) smart city technology and application products Expo", experts from the Chinese Academy of sciences have shown such a beautiful picture to the public: next to rows of three-dimensional warehouses, the stacker moves up and down, quickly identifies the electronic labels, and automatically delivers the materials on the warehouse to the intelligent guided vehicles through the conveyor line. These vehicles follow their respective tracks in an orderly manner , distributed to the production line, different robots or welding, or loading and unloading assembly

It can be said that with the emergence of all kinds of intelligent robots such as intelligent guided vehicle, rectangular coordinate robot, automatic welding and loading robot, and widely used in intelligent transportation, intelligent medical treatment, intelligent tourism, Internet of things, 3D printing, intelligent home, UAV and other intelligent science and technology fields, "intelligent +" is becoming the key word for the transformation and upgrading of China's manufacturing industry.

Force: from "machine for man" to artificial intelligence

What does "unmanned factory" mean? To answer this question, we should explore it from the source.

According to the general explanation, "unmanned factory" is also called "fully automatic chemical factory", which refers to a factory where all production activities are controlled by computers and equipped with robots instead of workers on the first line of production. As a future development form of manufacturing factory, the earliest "unmanned factory" in the world appeared in Tsukuba Science City 30 years ago.

"Because Japan is relatively short of manpower, it began to attach importance to machines very early and took the lead in building" unmanned factories "that can improve production efficiency." Wu Xinyu, a researcher at the integration Institute of Shenzhen advanced technology research institute, said.

According to Mizumoto Waji, executive director of the industrial robotics Association of Japan, this kind of efficiency improvement was hard to refuse at that time: in the past, nearly 100 skilled workers and the latest machines controlled by computers were needed, and small rotary gear machines and diesel engines that took two weeks to manufacture were "unmanned factories", which only took four workers a day to manufacture .

It is also from this period that robots have been welcomed by Japanese business owners. After a short period of more than ten years, Japan has become the kingdom of robots, and the output and actual number of installed robots have ranked first in the world.

This is also in line with the law of the development of human industrialization, that is, every technological progress means the deepening of the replacement of manual labor by machines.

From the actual situation of our country, this kind of "substitution" is more urgent. According to a previous report released by the National Bureau of statistics, the proportion of the population aged 15-59 in China's total population in recent years is less than 70%, and the proportion is decreasing year by year. As the main force of the manufacturing industry, migrant workers are also from the early satisfied with the problem of food and clothing to now put forward higher requirements for wages and working conditions.

In Dongguan, recruitment advertisements can be seen everywhere, and the phenomenon of "labor shortage" and "difficult recruitment" is very common. Even if the implementation of the "machine replacement" strategy has replaced more than 30000 people, it is still far from being able to make up for the employment gap. It can be said that the era of China's sustained decades of relying on cheap human costs to achieve the development of manufacturing industry is gone forever.

On the other hand, this kind of backward force will mean that more and more robots and even artificial intelligence technology will be applied in the production field.

"Unmanned factory" does not mean that "people" really disappear from the production process, but that people change from producers to managers, defenders and even inventors. It should be said that putting robots in the factory is only the first step, and how to manage and maintain them is the second step. It is a complicated system engineering to integrate them into a whole process system from production to sales through artificial intelligence technology.

Among them, there are many key technologies that need to be broken through, such as flexible production technology, industrial robot control technology, overall safety and monitoring technology, system safety monitoring of all machines, etc. Only when all parts of robots can independently and cooperatively complete various operations such as loading, moving, processing and packing through highly intelligent computing, can we say, "this is a real" unmanned factory. "

Change: from "demographic dividend" to "brain dividend"

According to some foreign economists, "the third industrial revolution" is in progress. Its core is the digital revolution in manufacturing industry, and its foundation is the application and manufacture of industrial robots.

According to the latest data of IEEE, more than one million industrial robots have been deployed around the world. According to the prediction of the international industrial robotics Association, by 2015, China's robot market demand will reach 35000 units, accounting for 17.5% of the global sales, becoming the world's largest market. On the other hand, in robot manufacturing, more than 70% of the market share is occupied by overseas enterprises.

Recently, Miao Wei, Minister of the Ministry of industry and information technology, said at the 2015 International Conference on intelligent manufacturing that the overall plan of "made in China 2025" will be released soon. This programmatic document, which promotes the upgrading of made in China to automation and makes robots from industrial level to service level, has aroused wide attention from the beginning of drafting. Industry insiders generally expect that with the implementation of "made in China 2025", China's robot market will usher in a golden age of rapid growth, which can reach the order of trillion yuan.

In recent years, not only the Ministry of industry and information technology has issued guidance on promoting the development of industrial robot industry, but also local governments have issued guidance and preferential investment policies on various types of "machine replacement" and promoting the development of robot industry.

Various "policy dividends" stimulate more market players to enter. According to the media summary, there are two robot companies in China every week. And in various places, from Heilongjiang Province, the northernmost part, to Guangdong Province, the robot industrial park has presented a situation of "blooming everywhere". According to incomplete statistics, there are nearly 40 industrial robot Parks under construction or under construction.

What needs to be reminded is that how to avoid low-level repeated construction and prevent overcapacity, how to increase the independent R & D capacity of robot core components (such as reducer) and improve the industrial supporting capacity of core components are testing the wisdom of the government and enterprises.

Whether it is the robot industrial park carrying the dream of local government transformation, or the "unmanned factory" that is popular with enterprises, we should not forget a key link - the transformation and upgrading of workers. From the perspective of the factory, it is a question of "where should the workers go after the robots enter the factory on a large scale"; from the perspective of the country, it is a question of who will support and lead the coming "Chinese intelligence" era.

It can be said that this is a new dividend we can cultivate - "brain dividend". We should use our brains to improve workers' knowledge, culture and technical level through more channels and different forms of education and training, so that they can get new jobs with more technology and wisdom, and have great potential in the coming "unmanned factory".

The era of "intelligent manufacturing" is coming. No matter the government, enterprises, society or workers, they should be prepared from the policy level, the technical level to the psychological level to fully meet the arrival of this era!

Link: China's main robot Industrial Park

Northeast China: the first area in China to engage in industrial robot production. The main enterprises include Shenyang Xinsong robot company, Harbin Boshi automation equipment company, etc. Among them, Shenyang Xinsong company, founded in 2000, is the first listed robot company in China, and now occupies 1 / 3 of the market share of domestic industrial robots.

Beijing Tianjin Hebei region: robot production base supported by technology. Representative enterprises include Beijing Ziguang, agimer, Yuanda Superman, Topol, etc., covering industrial robots and their automated production lines, industrial robot integrated applications and other products and services.

Yangtze River Delta: a robot industry cluster based on manufacturing industry. The main enterprises include Shanghai Fu'an factory automation company, Shanghai Mechatronics Engineering Center, Shanghai guangmaoda Partner Robot company, etc. From the perspective of layout, Shanghai Pudong and Baoshan are likely to become the most important robot industrial parks in China. In the future, Shanghai will be based on the two links of robot industrialization and demonstration application, reaching a scale of 20 billion yuan by 2015.


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