70 Years of Chinese Intelligent Manufacturing

Since the founding of the People’s Republic of China 70 years ago, China’s industrial production capacity has increased rapidly. The output of major industrial products has entered the forefront of the world and become the world’s largest industrial manufacturing country.
Manufacturing industry is the main body of the national economy, the main battlefield of scientific and technological innovation, and the foundation of founding, rejuvenating and strengthening the country.
At present, a new round of scientific and technological revolution and industrial transformation characterized by the integration and development of the new generation of information and communication technology and manufacturing industry are stepping up in the global scope, which forms a historic intersection with the transformation and upgrading of China’s manufacturing industry.
Facing the problem of manufacturing industry being big but not strong, Made in China is speeding up its new journey towards “Made in China by Intelligence”.
Making great powers stand in the East
When New China was founded, the industrial base of our country was almost poor and white. Throughout the 70 years since the founding of New China, especially since the reform and opening up, a poor and backward agricultural country has grown into a major industrial manufacturing country in the world.
From low-end manufacturing represented by “three to one” to high-end global value chain represented by high-end equipment manufacturing industry, from “world factory” at the end of the industrial chain to “China Intelligent Manufacturing” of independent innovation, in the process of accelerating transformation and upgrading, Made-in-China has not only formed a complete manufacturing system. And the value added of manufacturing industry continues to grow.
According to the World Bank data, in 2010, China’s manufacturing added value surpassed the United States for the first time and became the world’s largest manufacturing country. Since then, China’s manufacturing added value has ranked first in the world for many consecutive years. In 2017, China’s manufacturing added value accounted for 27.0% of the world’s share, becoming an important engine driving global industrial growth.
Although China is a big manufacturing country, the manufacturing industry has been in the middle and low end of the industrial value chain for a long time. The low-end overcapacity coexists with the insufficient effective supply of high-end products. In 2015, the development plan of China’s advanced manufacturing industry described a grand blueprint for building a manufacturing power. With accelerating the deep integration of new generation information technology and manufacturing industry as the main line and promoting intelligent manufacturing as the main direction of attack, China has begun to accelerate the historical leap of manufacturing industry from big to strong.
“The background of the development plan of advanced manufacturing industry is that many developed countries have implemented the strategy of’re-industrialization’. With the rapid development of artificial intelligence, 5G, industrial Internet and other emerging technologies, intelligent manufacturing has become an important development trend of global manufacturing industry, which has a profound impact on industrial development and division of labor pattern, and promotes the formation of new production modes, industrial forms and business models. Accelerating the development of intelligent manufacturing is the only way to cultivate new momentum of economic growth and create new competitive advantages of manufacturing industry. Wang Xiaoming, a researcher at the Institute of Scientific and Technological Strategic Consultation of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, told China Economic Times.
Intelligent manufacturing has great application potential. Yang Yuanqing, chairman of Lenovo Group, once took Lenovo as an example to say that the intellectualization of manufacturing industry will not only be limited to the manufacturing sector, but also include the development, supply, manufacturing, marketing and service of products. For example, when developing a product in the past, we should talk to users about the impression of the product, and then improve it.
Now, there are thousands of data on the Internet, and all users’feedback can be analyzed through the application of big data, so R&D is more intelligent.
Innovation Enables the Future of Manufacturing Industry
Intelligent manufacturing is a strong demand for transformation and upgrading of China’s manufacturing industry. According to the sample survey, 73% of the 1815 enterprises in 10 cities in China have strong willingness to implement intelligent manufacturing.
According to the survey of intelligent manufacturing related projects, after the intelligent transformation of 308 projects in 2015-2017, the average productivity increased by 34%, the average operating cost decreased by 22%, and the average product development cycle shortened by 32.4%.
According to statistics, the funds for upgrading the technology of intelligent transformation in Guangdong, Jiangsu and Zhejiang have accounted for more than 70% of the local industrial investment.
China’s manufacturing enterprises are in different stages of development. Their digital transformation includes not only improving the information level of enterprises in the lower stage of development, but also realizing the digitalization, networking and intellectualization of enterprises in the higher stage of development. In recent years, China’s manufacturing industry digital transformation has achieved some results. The level of digitalization, integration and interconnection, intelligent collaboration has been continuously improved, and the scale of industrial Internet applications has been expanding. However, there is still a big gap from the requirements of the manufacturing powers.
Shen Hengchao, a researcher in the Innovation and Development Research Department of the Development Research Center of the State Council, has recently shown that problems such as lack of authoritative data standards, data security issues to be solved, data openness and sharing level to be improved, relatively weak technological base and information infrastructure, and severe challenges to employment still exist. It hinders the further deepening of the digital transformation of manufacturing industry. It is suggested that relevant departments should improve their support and encouragement policies, promote the construction and application of industrial data standards, strengthen data security protection, support key technology tackling, enhance the supporting capacity of information infrastructure, promote international cooperation, and achieve overall planning with reemployment training and social security system.
“China’s Internet economy, big data, Internet of Things, 5G, artificial intelligence and other development levels are on the same starting line as the developed countries in the world. The scale advantage of industry provides very good conditions for the application of digital, networked and intelligent technology. The transformation and upgrading of manufacturing industry has a very good foundation.
Generally speaking, the development of Intelligent Manufacturing in China is at the initial stage, and there is still a need for innovation and breakthroughs in key technical equipment, industrial software and system solutions.