CEC–DeTao Smart Manufacturing Pilot Community Focuses on Informatisation and Industrialisation Integration

2017-11-03 16:07:43

A new round of global scientific and technological development is fast emerging, which along with the transition and improvement of the Chinese manufacturing industry mark a historical milestone. Following the proposal of the development plan Made in China 2025 and supported by Internet technologies such as cloud computing, big data and smart technology, some foresighted and innovative enterprises have been on their transition to smart manufacturing.

So what exactly does smart manufacturing mean? Where does the “new path of industrialisation” lead to? What principally drives traditional enterprises towards new manufacturing and the eventual manufacturing-service industry transformation? The answer to all of these questions may be found in the CEC (China Enterprise Confederation) – DeTao Smart Manufacturing Pilot Community.
Driven by enterprise requirements the two major platforms join hands in powerful collaboration

CEC joined hands with DeTao Group and launched a smart-manufacturing pilot community in Qingdao, Shanghai and Shenzhen from October 2017 to March 2018, in which the most authoritative experts in smart manufacturing across China along with globally noted smart-manufacturing masters are gathered in response to the call for “Trailblazing industrialisation” at the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in order to thoroughly implement Made in China 2025, Guiding Opinions of the State Council on Furthering the Integrated Development of the Manufacturing Industry and the Internet and Development Plan for Smart Manufacturing (2016-2020).

The pilot community is scheduled for six months and takes place both online and offline. It covers the analysis of domestic and foreign situations and business case studies while offering measures suited for local conditions from experience in the U.S. and Germany. Experts on informatisation and industrialisation from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and senior management of smart-manufacturing model enterprises are invited to provide macro guidance and personal advice, respectively. The community aims to cultivate foresighted trailblazers who are able to lead Chinese manufacturing industry onto the stage of global industry and compete. Furthermore, it hopes to build a collaboration and communication platform for smart manufacturing, which will drive businesses to adapt to smart manufacturing in different domains and industries and high system integration, so as to achieve business transformation and transcendent development.
Zhu Hongren, Executive Vice Chairman & Director General of China Enterprise Confederation/China Enterprise Directors Association (CEC/CEDA), remarked that the smart-manufacturing pilot community, co-organised by CEC and DeTao Group, combined the advantages of both platforms. DeTao Group boasted seasoned foreign experts and scholars from professional fields, who would be able to introduce the community to the latest technology, knowledge, achievements and ways of thinking from foreign smart-manufacturing fields and the trend leading Industry 4.0. CEC, on the other hand, possessed abundant business resources, through which close relationships between enterprises and entrepreneurs were formed. The combination of these strengths would facilitate learners to produce new ways of thinking when promoting smart manufacturing in their businesses, which would become a continuum. 

Coordination of strategy and execution based on national smart-manufacturing model enterprises

The first CEC–DeTao Smart Manufacturing Pilot Community successfully took place in Qingdao between 28 and 31 October, which saw industry experts, scholars and entrepreneurs offering comprehensive and thought-provoking interpretations of smart manufacturing from perspectives such as the global macro-economy, national macro-policy, cross-domain integration, design transformation, industry features and business innovation. Some of the attendants included Zhu Hongren, Executive Vice Chairman & Director General of CEC/CEDA; Xu Kemin, Director of the Department of Industrial Policy of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology; Zhang Ruimin, Chairman of the Board of Directors and CEO of Haier Group; Zuo Shiquan, Director of the Institute for Equipment Industry Research of China Center for Information Industry Development; Mathis Heller, concept designer of BMW’s 3-, 5- and 7-series; and Sun Huifeng, General Manager of CCID Consulting Company Limited and External Expert at the Bureau of Operations Monitoring and Coordination of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.
Furthermore, the first pilot community handpicked Haier Group as its case study – a national model enterprise of smart manufacturing and the only major-appliance enterprise to have entered the general demonstrative project of smart manufacturing of Made in China 2025. Learners studied the innovative management model “integrating staff and company” of the group and its execution in addition to visiting its first Internet-based smart factory for magnetic-levitation chillers. The business visit, site tour, classical case studies and situation-and-policy theory complemented each another, which intensified learner perception and understanding of smart manufacturing while serving as great reference for businesses implementing smart manufacturing.
Chinese and German experts shaping smart Chinese enterprises with the advent of new-energy industry.

The first CEC–DeTao Smart Manufacturing Pilot Community attracted industry giants such as transformer leader TEBA; photovoltaic giant Golden Concord Group Limited; Hesteel Group, which boasts the second largest iron-and-steel capacity in China; and Shenghong Group, whose printing and dyeing capacity is number one in Asia. Learners in the community were primarily mid- to upper-level management in production and technology departments of large or extra-large state-owned enterprises in new energy, textile, home appliances and materials, which means the community also served as a dialogue and network platform for the participating management.
All learners showed great interest on the topic of how to launch smart manufacturing in businesses. Zhu Hongren encouraged major businesses to shoulder the responsibility and brave innovation, while small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) must benchmark themselves against their German counterparts in the trend of smart manufacturing and strive to become “invisible champions”. They must take advantage of their core technology and thoughtfully integrate their resources, so as to enhance their core competitiveness. Sun Huifeng believed the reconstruction of business systems were key to business transformation and innovation. The greatest challenge in introducing smart manufacturing was to adapt the conventional way of thinking to research client needs and improve management before recreating technological process. Mathis Heller, who was involved in design projects of BMW, BSH Home Appliances and the Intercity-Express of Germany, elaborated the critical role industrial design played in smart manufacturing as he viewed smart manufacturing in China based on the trend of international industrial design. With 25 years of industry experience under his belt, Heller pointed out the economic returns were twice as much or more for industries investing in industrial design compared to their non-investing counterparts. 

As head of the first learner committee of the community, Fu Dafan, Director of Informatisation of TBEA, remarked that experts at CEC–DeTao Smart Manufacturing Pilot Community offered thorough and comprehensive interpretations of smart manufacturing. Moreover, they provided clear guidance for the direction of future business strategies and how they might be executed. The business visit allowed learners to meticulously, systematically and personally experience the concept while offering good reference for future employment. The pilot community is of tremendous significance in driving Chinese manufacturing industry and manufacturers from being “big” to becoming “strong”, which may then enhance their efficiency and core competitiveness through smart manufacturing in addition to transforming their business models and platform thinking.

It is understood that CEC–DeTao Smart Manufacturing Pilot Community will come to Shanghai and Shenzhen, and more pioneering technological applications from both home and abroad will be introduced. Some national and international experts are expected, including Yan Jin, professor of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering at University of Southern California (USC) and Director of USC IMPACT Laboratory; Jay Lee, founding director of National Science Foundation and one of the “30 Visionaries in Smart Manufacturing” as selected by Society of Manufacturing Engineers in 2016; and Rajashekara Kaushik, member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering and former technical experts at General Motors and Rolls-Royce. Visits will also be made to benchmark enterprises in smart manufacturing such as GE, Siemens and Gree, so as to systematically boost the business of smart manufacturing within the pilot community.