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Current Situation and Demand of Smart Manufacturing

In this discussion, we separate the world's largest manufacturer China, and world's main technological developers Europe and USA.

Current Situation of Smart Manufacturing in China

China is still in the early stage of Smart Manufacturing. Made in China 2025 is also a supplementary course in industry 3.0 (Digital Manufacturing), industry 2.0 (electrification / basic automation) and even industry 1.0 (mechanization), in order to realize industry 4.0 (intellectualization).

The current situation in China is:

  • The development of real intelligent systems in the market is mainly at the beginning and end of production, such as incoming materials, warehousing and logistics: Online models based on process / product / equipment and scene use cases for on-site problem solving. Such software systems are real intelligent systems, which are very rare at present (except for a few process industries).   

  • Those with data do not know how to make Smart Manufacturing: how to carry out pre calculation, re calculation, final calculation, short-term and long-term self-study and other actuarial algorithms, and the technical difficulties are still great!

  • The intelligent production line without intelligent system leads to the investment dilemma: due to the deviation in the understanding of intelligent system, the Smart Manufacturing production lines built at a cost of hundreds of millions actually have no intelligent system, and the return on investment is very slow or even unable to return.

The Stage of Smart Manufacturing in China and Europe and America

China's mechanization should have been completed, and the continued development in this field is also the demand of European and American countries. There are not many people on the production line in Europe and America, because they should not have completed automation; At present, China's machine generation is still a key development field, so China's basic automation has not been completed! China's digitization is still one of the areas vigorously promoted by all parties, and the government has strong support for it, such as the "implementation of standardization and standardization". As a considerable number of enterprises in China still focus on manual operation, and even the problem of conflict between digitization and enterprise benefits will occur. Employees' bonus based on the number of products is easy to lead to neglect of data collection, which makes the data quality in China low. Therefore, the digital manufacturing based on data board can be maintained, but the Smart Manufacturing based on model, which needs high-quality data, is difficult to promote! Therefore, the main body of China's manufacturing industry is still limited to the peripheral fields of Smart Manufacturing, such as logistics and warehousing. Even if Western Small and medium-sized companies pay great attention to digitization, they are only at the level of digital manufacturing, although they want to promote Smart Manufacturing. In Europe and the United States, only those large companies that have completed digital manufacturing are fully promoting Smart Manufacturing.

The above mechanization, basic automation, digitization and intellectualization are mainly at the level of industry 1.0, industry 2.0, industry 3.0 and industry 4.0. The main feature of industry 4.0 is customization, which makes it difficult to carry out large-scale replication sales. This is also a major difficulty for large western companies to promote. If digitization can be mainly delivered to computer professionals, then intellectualization must be in the charge of people in both engineering and software fields! China is also promoting networking, but networking is difficult to be juxtaposed with the above. First, some Smart Manufacturing related systems are not allowed to access the Internet, such as the primary system for basic automation operation and the Level 2 for process and logic optimization, which are only used for control optimization at the workshop level and are not allowed to access the Internet; Second, the report data at the level of industry 3.0 and industry 4.0 can enter the network!

See: Digitization? Intelligent? What is the current situation of Smart Manufacturing in Chinese enterprises (Only in original version in Chinese).

Technical Requirements of Smart Manufacturing

China's promotion of Smart Manufacturing includes supplementary courses, that is, supplementary courses in basic automation of industry 2.0 and digitization of industry 3.0. Of course, it also involves the promotion of intelligence of industry 4.0. Automation and digitization are very important to Chinese enterprises, but not all of them are Smart Manufacturing! Where does intelligence come from? It should come from the accurate prediction of the model and model-based optimization! Of course, the models here are not limited to mathematical models. In reality, there are also various models, such as digital models (describing the physical world with data and databases), numerical models (including FEM, FDM and others), and so on. We believe that Smart Manufacturing at the 4.0 level should include engineering modeling, machine learning and intelligent system architecture development. In the early stage, China's Smart Manufacturing focused on the discussion of importance, such as the significance when the demographic dividend gradually disappeared, and the discussion of "what to do", that is, automation, digitization, networking, intelligence and so on. The discussion on "how to do" should be increased. It just draws a lot of block diagrams of "what to do". Who should develop it? Engineering people say I can't build and develop large-scale software, while software people think it's completely engineering logic and we can't develop it! The team believes that "how to do" should start with engineering modeling, machine learning and intelligent system architecture development! How? See the discussion below.


How to carry out engineering modeling, machine learning and intelligent system architecture development? First of all, the main person in charge must be familiar with both engineering and software. Having both engineering and software is the advantage of our team!

China's Smart Manufacturing system development needs to consider four aspects at the same time: intelligent system development, integration with MES and other systems, automatic control of mechanical equipment, and integrity and accuracy of data acquisition. The Smart Manufacturing of Western companies such as Europe and the United States can focus on the first two, while the Smart Manufacturing of China needs the development of all the above four fields, so the cost is much higher than that of the West!

If there is no intelligent system (Level 2), MES (tertiary system) and basic automation (primary system) cannot be directly connected. When the production line has problems or is not optimized, MES cannot call basic automation to solve on-site problems. Intelligent systems must be developed to be complete.

In the development of a lithium battery defect early warning system for an electric vehicle, our team withstood the challenge of strict model quality! At the beginning of cooperation: the factory strictly inspected the level of Metal Pass model with this pole slice slitting burr prediction model, which is very difficult to model. It is required that the hit rate of the model is 85% and that of Metal Pass is 98%; As a result, the later cooperation has been achieved, such as the defect early warning system in the second phase of the project and the subsequent software and hardware for the gap detection of lithium battery electrode slice slitting tool. In view of the weak data acquisition ability of China's manufacturing industry, the software measurement technology with high difficulty in the industry has been successfully applied! Soft sensing is to predict the parameters to be measured by using high-precision model when it is difficult to measure directly; This model is based on the MES and quality inspection data of the factory.

The team also promotes and supports this main business through the following businesses: (1) technical consultation: manufacturing intelligent system / new generation secondary system; Lithium battery defect warning system is installed in MES. (2) Industrial internet promotion, with the help of industry 4.0 national network (MetalData.com/cn), the use license management of core industrial software and the download and use of industrial apps (there are dozens of them); 200 satellite websites are used to surround and support the main website. Each satellite website represents a manufacturing field. When users click dozens of times, they will automatically connect to the main website. (3) Carry out Smart Manufacturing training, including Smart Manufacturing training in emerging industries and traditional industries, as well as the sharing of learning methods summarized by team leaders for decades. (4) Marketing and enterprise planning on this basis, such as the complete road map of MES installation according to the defect early warning system → equipment software / some equipment manufacturers → enterprise Smart Manufacturing technology manufacturers / equipment.

Online Order System and Domain Name

Metal Pass  industry 4.0 system includes Metal Pass intelligent system (i.e. discussed above) and online order system. The website needs domain name (some people call it net name). What is a domain name? Relationship with the company's website? How to promote low-cost sales? Does the promotion of Internet companies provide domain names? What is a good domain name? After reading the articles of my circle of friends and the corresponding website articles, you will understand all this! See Company domain name

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