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Post-epidemic era: How will the digitalization of Chinese manufacturing develop?

Since December 2019, a new coronavirus pneumonia epidemic has broken out across the country, and the current new crown epidemic has gradually shifted from the peak period to the control period.

The impact of the epidemic will eventually end, but the impact on the society and economy will continue. Then in the post-epidemic era, what kind of pattern will the digital development of China’s manufacturing face?


Looking at the flexible production and digital transformation of manufacturing enterprises from the production of masks

Faced with the sudden outbreak of new crown pneumonia, masks have become a shortage of supplies on the market for a while.

Most companies that can produce masks in special periods have automated and digitalized production lines so as to avoid the spread of the epidemic caused by gathering of people while resuming production.

At the same time, in addition to traditional mask manufacturers, manufacturing companies represented by Foxconn, SAIC-GM-Wuling, and Everwin Precision, and intelligent manufacturing system integration companies such as Lyrico, Tuoye Robot, etc. have also quickly joined the mask production team. middle.

These cross-border manufacturers rely on strong flexible production capacity and digital basic support to form mask production capacity in a very short time.

Flexible production system refers to an engineering manufacturing system that allows a certain degree of product changes due to predictable or unpredictable changes and can be automated.

The reason why the flexible production system can achieve different degrees of flexibility is related to the components of the system and the degree of digitization.

The main feature of the flexible manufacturing system is that when changing product types during the production process, it does not require frequent replacement of production machinery. It only needs to rely on its flexible components and complete digital production system to modify system parameters to meet diverse product requirements.

Therefore, behind the flexible production is the result of the digital transformation of the enterprise. Under the crisis of the epidemic, the ability to reproduce in the first time truly reflects the role of flexible production and production system digitization supported by intelligent production in responding to the short-term demand for a large number of diversified products.


Looking at the trend of smart manufacturing led by smart factories from the resumption of work

The short-term shortage of labor can be said to be the biggest impact of the new crown pneumonia outbreak during the Spring Festival on the manufacturing industry.

The total number of domestic working-age population has been declining year after year, which is undoubtedly worse for companies that already have labor shortages.

But learning from the pain, this may become another driving force to promote the intelligent transformation of enterprises.

In the face of the gradual control of the epidemic, how to steadily and orderly resume production for manufacturing companies has become an unavoidable topic.

Under the influence of unfavorable factors such as the lack of labor, the shortage of protective equipment, and the crowd’s panic about the personnel-intensive production, the production capacity recovery of the traditional manufacturing industry is facing a greater crisis.

It also makes many companies face tremendous pressure to survive, and it is more likely to usher in the immeasurable consequences of the replacement of the global supply chain.

Case: Intelligent chemical plant represented by Baosteel

Relying on its extensive and in-depth foundation of digital transformation, and using remote operation and maintenance technology based on big data and artificial intelligence, Baosteel has turned the cold-rolled hot-dip galvanizing smart workshop at Baoshan base into a 24-hour operation without the need for many people on duty. Black Light Factory”.

This “no-face production” approach has become a weapon for Baosteel to fight for stable and high-yield production, and it is also the dividends brought by vigorously advancing intelligent manufacturing to help Baosteel survive the crisis in this special period.

In order to cope with labor shortages caused by the epidemic, weak offline demand, broken supply chains, and tight capital chains, the Industrial Internet will give full play to its technological advantages, connect the downstream demand of enterprises with upstream supply, and help enterprises accurately connect with customers and realize enterprises through remote collaboration. Employees working online, based on the prediction of market changes, help companies find key development directions, and rely on platforms to connect capital and companies to ease funding constraints.


The epidemic is a danger to the industry, and digital transformation is an opportunity for enterprises

The arrival of the epidemic has made many Chinese manufacturing companies face the dilemma of forced suspension of production, and the development of the global manufacturing industry will not stagnate due to any regional shutdowns.

Many companies, including Toyota and Hyundai, have begun to urgently expand their domestic and Southeast Asian procurement scales to cope with the insufficient production capacity of Chinese manufacturing companies. This will pose a greater challenge to the status of Chinese manufacturing companies in the global manufacturing supply chain. .

In the face of a possible production capacity substitution crisis, domestic manufacturing companies are required to respond to changes in the international situation with a more forward-looking layout to ensure that my country’s manufacturing industry continues to maintain its unique advantages in international competition.

Faced with such a situation, accelerating the digital transformation of the manufacturing industry is a good medicine for enterprises to save themselves.

The newly-listed “Lighthouse Factory” of Baosteel Co., Ltd. Shanghai Baoshan Base Factory has shown its unique advantages in responding to the epidemic: The intelligent production system covering the entire factory not only improves production efficiency, but also realizes epidemic prevention and control during special periods. Effective balance of stable production.

Foxconn’s “lights off factory” has been fully automated through the introduction of industrial Internet and intelligent manufacturing, and production can be completed without human involvement.

Whether it is Foxconn or Baosteel, companies that can go upstream in times of crisis are pioneers in the digital transformation of the manufacturing industry. The sudden crisis may further accelerate the pace of corporate transformation.

The Industrial Internet will continue to support the digital transformation of the manufacturing industry through the comprehensive connection of the entire factor chain, the entire industry chain, and the entire value chain of the industrial economy, and further reshape the industrial manufacturing and service system through the continuous generation of new technologies, new models, and new industries.

The focus of the development of the Industrial Internet will sink to the production line that produces industrial data. Edge computing will be the main direction to help the intelligent flow of industrial data, and the cloud-side collaboration will provide more accurate services to industrial enterprises and various industries on the industrial Internet. Class demand side.


Some suggestions for the digital transformation of enterprises

Transformation advice


Clarify the awareness of digital transformation.

Digital transformation is not a simple machine replacement, let alone a simple communication technology transformation, but a comprehensive coordination of software and hardware in the factory, truly digital and online, and open up the entire data chain within the enterprise.

Digital transformation is a major reinvention of the enterprise, and the process is destined to be difficult.

However, when a company completes a series of digital transformations such as business form, organizational structure, technical management, and corporate culture, it will grow and grow in the digital wave at an efficient and agile speed, and it will be more able to deal with emergencies such as the new crown pneumonia epidemic in an orderly manner. event.

Among them, we must first improve the cognition of all employees of the enterprise, especially the cognition of middle and senior managers.

Further use data as an asset, technology as a means, and relying on talents to build a technology platform system that can support continuous business innovation.


Accelerate the embrace of a new generation of information technology.

The application of the new generation of information technology in the manufacturing industry is not only the automation of the production line, but also should be accelerated in areas such as enterprise management, remote collaboration, and even online meetings.

Since the outbreak of the new crown pneumonia epidemic, “cloud office”, “virtual production” and “cloud manufacturing” have all become buzzwords during the war.

Many remote office software even occupy the top few of the APP list. Alibaba Dingding surpassed WeChat for the first time and jumped to the first place in the Apple App Store rankings. At the same time, corporate WeChat rose to third in the rankings and fourth in Tencent conferences.

The stability and intelligence of remote office software are the main factors that affect user experience, and various emerging applications will also help manufacturing companies to comprehensively upgrade from management, operation, production, logistics, and sales.

For example, the cloud MES, which integrates MES management, cloud platform storage and big data computing functions, can not only achieve efficient execution in tasks such as task assignment, data collection, production tracking, quality control, resource management, etc., but also can be used in the later stages of production Artificial intelligence technology analyzes cloud data, further discovers problems, summarizes the reasons, and continuously improves.


Promote the use of digital twins and virtual production as the starting point to clarify the path of digital transformation of manufacturing enterprises.

Different from simple CAD, CAE, CAM, etc., digital twin is a new manufacturing model driven by data and models, and supported by digital twins and digital threads. It can connect, map, analyze, and feed back the assets of the physical world through real-time connection, mapping, analysis, and feedback. Behaviors to maximize closed-loop optimization of the entire industry, the entire industry chain, and the entire value chain.

The digital twin contains the interface between the virtual world and the real physical world. Therefore, the development of digital twin technology is a key step in realizing virtual production, and it is also a good starting point to promote the digital transformation of enterprises.

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