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Chinese Manufacturing Companies Should Be ‘Depending On The Company’ In Implementing Smart Manufacturing Processes
- Feb 01, 2019 -

The Chinese Academy of Engineering's "Engineering" published the latest opinion article "Towards a new generation of intelligent manufacturing", which pointed out the technical route of "parallel advancement and integrated development" for the intelligent transformation of China's manufacturing industry.It can be seen that the top-level design of intelligent manufacturing in China has deeply realized that the realization of intelligent manufacturing/industrial 4.0 cannot be achieved overnight, and it needs to be step-by-step, fill in shortcomings, and exert force in parallel.Therefore, Chinese manufacturing companies should “depend on the enterprise” in implementing the intelligent manufacturing process, avoiding blind follow-up and one-sided understanding.

Misunderstanding 1: Smart manufacturing for smart manufacturing

Due to the “great heat” of smart manufacturing, some companies blindly follow the trend and there is a phenomenon of intelligent manufacturing for “smart manufacturing”. Companies should first identify the economic goals they need to achieve – improving quality, increasing efficiency, reducing costs, shortening cycles, and reducing energy consumption. According to its own foundation, the main problems solved by intelligent manufacturing and the technical means adopted are different for different goals.

Misunderstanding 2: Intelligent Manufacturing = Unmanned

Many manufacturers have put forward the slogan of “machine substitution” and “unmanned factory”. The machine can replace a lot of manual labor of human beings to achieve high-efficiency, high-quality precision manufacturing, but can not blindly adopt "machine substitution", in addition to the balance between machine and personnel replacement costs, it is also necessary to comprehensively consider the operation site and information interface , maintenance costs, etc. Moreover, in the long period of 2.0, 3.0, and 4.0 upgrades, machines or "robots" are just an automated or intelligent device that is difficult to independently meet increasingly complex production requirements.

As an important resource for intelligent manufacturing, “human” is still at the center of responding to customized production and complex and variable production environments. Especially for the current "2.0 Supplementary Course, 3.0 Popularization, 4.0 Demonstration", the synergy between people, information systems and physical systems is particularly important. Intelligent manufacturing still requires artificial intelligence to participate in policy interpretation, regulatory constraints, knowledge accumulation, craftsmanship, cultural development and Coordinating organizations, etc., to achieve orderly production and generate benefits, these are the machines that can't be replaced at this stage.

Misunderstanding 3: Automation + Software = Intelligent Manufacturing

Automation and software are necessary but not sufficient conditions for intelligent manufacturing. Intelligent manufacturing emphasizes the integration and vertical and horizontal synergy of automation systems and industrial software, and reflects advanced process technology and management concepts. In addition, it is necessary to implant advanced sensing systems, control methods, network technologies and cloud computing, etc., for long-term data collection and accumulation, data analysis and modeling, and iterative optimization to achieve rapid and effective production process. In order to support advanced manufacturing methods to achieve self-adaptation, and to cope with complex production environments.

Misunderstanding 4: Internet + Big Data = Smart Manufacturing

The Internet and big data are just one of the means to improve intelligence. The body of intelligent manufacturing is "manufacturing", and the digitization of manufacturing equipment and production processes is the foundation. Without data acquisition and interconnection of manufacturing equipment and systems, the Internet, cloud, and big data will all be passive water.

After the concept of CAD, computer integrated manufacturing system (CIMS), manufacturing informationization, integration of two technologies, Internet of Things, deep integration of two technologies, intelligent manufacturing, Internet + and other concepts, China's manufacturing digitalization has more than 30 years of history. However, there are still many companies lacking the foundation of digitization—automation and informatization, and the resulting databases. Many other companies have deviations from the understanding and implementation of these concepts. A basic route to achieve intelligent manufacturing from the manufacturing ontology should be 2.0 (automation) - 3.0 (information) - 4.0 (intelligent). Although Industry 2.0 does not have to implement 3.0 to pursue 4.0. In the process of upgrading and upgrading, enterprises should plan automation, digitalization, network, and intelligent upgrade plans in an overall manner. But this does not mean that the technical basis of Industry 2.0 and 3.0 can be omitted and leapfrogged. Professor Liu Qiang of Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics called: "Do not automate on the basis of backward technology, and do not engage in informationization on the basis of backward management. Don't be intelligent on the basis of not having digital networking."

To achieve intelligent manufacturing, we must first lay the foundation for industrial automation and informationization, and then accelerate the 4.0 process with digital networking methods such as big data, Internet and cloud.