The digital transformation of the manufacturing industry makes the manufacturing enterprises no longer worry about “changing the cage for the bird”

In the past ten years, many places have been implementing the Industrial transfer and upgrading policy of “vacating the cage for the bird”, hoping to transfer some low-value-added factory manufacturing links, and only retain the factory headquarters locally, and also hope to attract electronics, Financial, service and other industries move in. Therefore, many manufacturing enterprises, especially those in big cities, have to move to more remote places.

In fact, in addition to migrating out, there is another option to choose from, that is, the digital transformation and upgrading of manufacturing enterprises, so that the low-value-added manufacturing industry can be upgraded to a high-value-added manufacturing industry. On June 23, at the “2021 5th Industrial Control and Communication Technology Seminar” held by the electronic Enthusiast Network, the guests participating in the roundtable discussion discussed the topic of “The digital transformation of the manufacturing industry is accelerating, is the industrial chain ready?” discussed.

What are the benefits of the accelerated digital transformation of the manufacturing industry?

In recent years, with the support of relevant policies, the digitalization level of my country’s manufacturing industry has been continuously improved. Compared with the previous aspects, the level of networking of factory equipment and facilities, the penetration rate of industrial software, and the data mining and utilization of production sites have been significantly improved. little progress.

Today, under the guidance of “carbon peak” and “carbon neutrality”, manufacturing companies must consider how to reduce energy consumption, reduce costs, and improve efficiency. Coupled with the arrival of an ageing population, manufacturing companies have to speed up the pace of transformation and upgrading of the manufacturing industry.

The digital transformation of the manufacturing industry makes the manufacturing enterprises no longer worry about “changing the cage for the bird”
picture:STMicroelectronicsLuo Zhihong, Industrial automation Strategic Marketing Manager, Asia Pacific

According to Luo Zhihong, strategic marketing manager of industrial automation in STMicroelectronics Asia Pacific, the digitalization of manufacturing can improve the factory sidematerialsThe visibility, including the incoming, outgoing, inventory, ordering status, etc., even allows the operator to clearly grasp the factory funds, inventory, delivery time to the client. Thereby further improving the production efficiency of the factory.

such as in ShanghaiTeslaIn the super factory, the factory even saves the material preparation area, and directly relies on digital supply logistics. After the parts are taken out of the container and sent directly to the production line, the two processes of first unloading and then stocking are eliminated, which greatly improves production efficiency and reduces costs. management costs. In the field of automobile assembly, in order to allow workers to screw up to the standard and to be able to archive and trace the screws, the Tesla factory has specially equipped workers with digital torque wrenches with WiFi. server……

“In history, every digitization has brought about huge changes, such as the digitization of cameras, giving each of us the opportunity to become photographers. The digitization of manufacturing will also change the status quo, making the processing process and technical solutions all the same. It has become possible to record, reproduce and inherit. This has laid a solid foundation for factory intelligence and automation. That is, digitization can quantify the entire manufacturing process.” said Shi Weinian, general manager of Shenzhen Weima Data Equipment Co., Ltd.

RenesasXu Zheng, senior director of the Electronics Group, believes that the benefits of digitalization in the manufacturing industry, in addition to being transparent and quantifiable, also provide a new opportunity for China. Because my country has always been a big agricultural country, a country with a large population, but not a big industrial country. “Now, we have the opportunity to compete with overseas companies on the new runway, and on the new digital runway, we have the opportunity to bridge our gap.”

Digital technology maturity

The digitization of manufacturing requires the use of many different technologies, such assensor,AI,interfaceProtocols, etc. So what is the maturity of these technologies at present?

From the perspective of semiconductor manufacturers, these technologies have been used for many years in developed countries such as Germany, Japan, and the United States, and they are all very mature technologies. It’s just that there are more protocols for communication, and it is more troublesome to integrate. STMicroelectronics Luo Zhihong said that the current industrial communication protocols include Modbus,RS485, HART, ProfiNET,EthernetEtherCAT, CC_Link, etc., the factory needs to integrate different communication protocols.

He believes that although the technology is mature, the promotion speed in the industrial field will be relatively slow, because industrial equipment generally takes 10 to 20 years.

The digital transformation of the manufacturing industry makes the manufacturing enterprises no longer worry about “changing the cage for the bird”
Photo: Xu Zheng, Senior Director of Renesas Electronics Group

Xu Zheng from Renesas Electronics recognized this. He believes that China is developing by standing on the shoulders of giants. Relatively speaking, the speed of digitalization is faster than overseas.

However, from the perspective of solutions and terminal products, Weinian Shi of Weimar believes that the digital technology is not very mature, and may just pass the test. “The maturity of technology is not only about the chip side and the solution side, but also needs to consider the supporting industry chain, whether its peripheral equipment is rich, and whether the cost is acceptable to everyone.” He also pointed out that the current digital technology cost is still relatively high. High.

Challenges of digital transformation in manufacturing

Although the technology of digital transformation has basically matured, when enterprises actually implement digital transformation and upgrading, they will still encounter some problems and challenges that need to be overcome.

In the view of Xu Zheng from Renesas Electronics, in the process of digital transformation of the manufacturing industry, enterprises need to adjust their concepts first. China has always been relatively weak in the formulation of industrial agreement standards, the understanding of standards, and the establishment of an ecological environment. “This is also a bottleneck that we need to break through.” He emphasized.

His suggestion is that domestic enterprises can learn to follow first, and then seek development.

The digital transformation of the manufacturing industry makes the manufacturing enterprises no longer worry about “changing the cage for the bird”
Picture: Shi Weinian, General Manager of Shenzhen Weima Data Equipment Co., Ltd.

For the problem of many industrial communication protocols, Shi Weinian of Weimar is deeply touched. Their approach is “compatibility”, “using technical means and various software methods to abstract different communication protocols, All are normalized, so that no matter what the protocol is, it can be used on the same platform. In this way, we can be compatible with the best tools and solutions in the world, so as to create unique digital products in China.” He said during the roundtable discussion.

Luo Zhihong from STMicroelectronics agreed with the views of the previous two guests. At the same time, he also saw that digital transformation actually requires a large investment in corporate funds, and some even require long-term investment. This is not a small challenge for SMEs.

The digital transformation of the manufacturing industry makes the manufacturing enterprises no longer worry about “changing the cage for the bird”

For example, some factories have deployed some digital products and have certain digital capabilities, but they are mainly displayed to customers and not actually enabled. Because they don’t know what to do with the collected data, if it is handled by a third party, they will worry about whether the data will be leaked if they use the same supplier as their competitors. After all, the data related to production is more sensitive . And if you recruit data analysts yourself, this cost is a bit unbearable.

Summarize

The trend of digital transformation in the manufacturing industry is irreversible. What is important is how to support the digital transformation of enterprises. It is hoped that through the digital transformation of enterprises, factory manufacturing will be turned into a high-end industry, a company that is expected, and a company that is popular with local governments, rather than a company that is driven away by “vacating the cage and changing the bird”.

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Published on 05/04/2023