How flexible automation helps manufacturing

2022-07-24
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Guchunyuan, vice president of ABB: how does flexible automation help the transformation and upgrading of the manufacturing industry

at the 3rd China robotics summit yesterday, Mr. Gu Chunyuan, senior vice president of ABB group and chairman of ABB Co., Ltd., explained in detail a very effective way for China's manufacturing industry to shift from made in China to made in China. More flexible and efficient automated production can be achieved through a production line composed of intelligent robots that can flexibly produce different products. Let's take a look at the content of this speech and learn how intelligent technology can promote the transformation and upgrading of the manufacturing industry

the following is Mr. Gu Chunyuan's speech:

today, I will briefly tell you how we view the challenges we face from the perspective of enterprises and manufacturing industry. What benefits can our so-called robot technology bring us

abb is a power automation enterprise. We use our power and automation technology to serve our customers in power industry rail transit and infrastructure. We do business all over the world. ABB China is a highly localized enterprise. At present, we have less than 20000 employees and 40 enterprises in China. The swinging mechanism, braking mechanism, electrical system and instigating device of the metal impact testing machine are all installed on the rack. As you can see, we have our business in more than 140 cities across the country. I won't go into details here

using this time, we simply reviewed and proved that the performance of this machine is stable and reliable. In this era of industrial revolution, different progress has been made. Academician Ding has said that every era of the industrial era needs some new production technologies to promote the industrial revolution

in the early days, we all knew that it was the revolution of power. From the carriage to the steam engine, the things that provide power have been improved. The second generation is to improve production efficiency through assembly lines, the third generation is digital, and now it is information

what are the characteristics of the information age? It is based on the Internet technology. Academician Ding made it very clear. He talked about two lines: one is information technology and the other is factory automation technology. ABB understands that in this era, people, things and services are integrated. Because what you produce is a thing, and ultimately a service. The object of service is people. In the past, these objects were independent, but today, when digital, cloud computing, all sensing technologies and other technologies are more and more mature, in the intelligent era, things, services and people can be organically linked. Why is this connection so important to our manufacturing industry

cost control has always been a difficult problem for the manufacturing industry. Manufacturing industry, for the manufacturing industry, the eternal topic is how to improve our quality and reduce our costs. Improve production efficiency and achieve sustainable development. This demand was the same a hundred years ago as it is today, and it will be the same a hundred years later. The only difference is that in different times, due to the development of different technologies, the implementation methods are different. This is also the way to divide the industrial era 1.0, 2.0, 3.0, 4.0 and the future 5.0. The difference lies in how these technologies improve the competitiveness of our enterprises. Why is it important to improve our competitiveness? There is no need to explain this, because taking simple consumer electronics as a case, our products are actually related to the market. Many products face the characteristics of short life cycle, rapid change and large production volume. Facing such a product, we need to control the cost in the production process

another point I want to talk about today is that there should be a flexible optimization process

how did the manufacturing industry face this problem (cost control) in the past? Through the innovation of business model. In the past decade or so, globalization is not only a business model, but also a means to face technological challenges. You can see a typical example: an apple has a very clear division of labor in the links of design, manufacturing, production, sales and service

at the same time, you can also notice that in this picture, China accounts for a large proportion of the manufacturing industry. Why are these manufacturing industries concentrated in China? Thanks to our reform and opening up, our labor cost is low, and our staff level is relatively high. These dividends form the prosperity of the manufacturing industry. However, due to the development of our economy, these dividends gradually disappear, which is an inevitable process. With the development of economy, our labor cost is bound to rise, and our population will decrease after slowly entering the middle class. How can we keep China's status as a big manufacturing country at such a time? The answer is that our industry needs transformation and upgrading. We should use automation, intelligence and informatization to upgrade our industry. Industrial robots are a very important means of industrial upgrading and the theme of this conference. You can see that there are some statistics in the world. We use the share of robots per 10000 manufacturing workers as a relative indicator to measure the degree of industrial automation in this country. You can see that China, as a large manufacturing country, has great potential in this place! At the same time, it can also be said that there should be unlimited business opportunities. Just now McKinsey also analyzed how many trillion market capacity and market opportunities there are. But mainly speaking, why will the Chinese robot market become the largest market in the world by 2016? This is an inevitable law

we can see that we talk about our challenges: population, land and environment. These challenges are also opportunities. In fact, the traditional automation technology led by robots can achieve the purpose of energy conservation and efficiency increase. It is also very effective to make a special robot only to improve production efficiency. However, when it comes to the robot flexible automation technology we are going to talk about today, its biggest feature is that I am not satisfied with the needs of users. I think it is actually an impact on your production cycle. Flexible technology can improve your production flexibility

in the manufacturing industry, it means getting the maximum return with the relatively minimum investment. At the same time, as I just mentioned, take consumer electronics as an example, because its life cycle is very short. Some products have a life cycle of only 6 months, up to 9 months. You certainly don't want to eliminate your equipment so quickly. At this time, the flexible automation technology represented by robot technology can be shown. This is why when we discuss Chinese robots, we should understand the whole value chain. Zhongwang not only provides all aluminum materials, but also pays attention to components. Of course, components are also very important. However, I think the application in the industrial chain is the core value of flexible automation. At the end of the product life cycle, it provides services and upgrading for our customers. This is a lot of examples that Professor Ding has just mentioned

to achieve such a full life cycle and upgrading is also a reflection of the overall improvement of our manufacturing industry. What is the bottleneck? The bottleneck lies in the integration of our robot systems. The realization of flexible automation is the bottleneck at present. Why do you say so? Because robots will be used in all walks of life, not only in the automotive industry, but also in food, wind power and other manufacturing. In terms of technology, there are welding and spraying, which are traditional, and there are also grinding machines for loading and unloading, handling, etc. In all walks of life, especially in industry. Talents not only need to understand machinery, but also need to know a lot. Because different industries have different needs, rules and restrictions. Therefore, due to these limitations, our robots will be subject to many restrictions when they are widely promoted. Of course, this limitation can be solved from two aspects: one is that we train a large number of talents, and the country is also promoting the training of talents by robots. The other is to make the use of machines easier and adapt to different processes. We should simplify more professional talents into general talents, and work together to solve this bottleneck from the two aspects of technology and education

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