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Future of Manufacturing in China

Smart Automation 2.0 to Create in China

logo_2B1stIn the years 2000s, China was paddling hard to become the “World factory” with its competitive advantage of labor costs lower than the rest of the world to support its economical growth and provide jobs to its billion inhabitants.

In that purpose all the Chinese Provinces rivaled from imagination to attract investors and establish new production units from greenfield in few months.

As a result the “Made in China” has become a global brand synonymous of high value for price.

China_Future-of-Manufacturing_Smart-Automation-2.0_World-Robots-FactoryBut in the last five years, the situation has changed where labor costs increased compared with other countries in Asia or Africa.

The energy cost and environmental issues have brought in new challenges that Chinese Authorities had to address to maintain any economical growth on the next decade.

The domestic demand has also evolved from cheap and copied products to more original and quality goods and equipment.

The example of the smart phones illustrates perfectly how the Chinese industry switched from the 19th century to the 21st century in less than a decade.

In the early years 2000s China started to produce smart phones out-sourced from North America or Europe as this country could offer a unique cheap and skilled manpower in quantity large enough to support booming mass production.

But every six months the new cell phones to be produced were more integrated and fragile supporting less and less manual handling while the volume of units to produce required these Chinese sub-suppliers to integrate robots on the line.

Every six months, more robots were installed on the line to meet the more demanding requirements and the escalating volumes of mass production.

As a result, in the years 2010, the production of cell phones in China was nearly 100 percent automatized by robots produced themselves by other robots next door.

In this context why to keep such a production in China?

China from Mass Production to Smart Automation 2.0

Meanwhile China realized that industrial countries were preparing initiatives to relocate manufacturing activities at home pushing Authorities to invent a new era.

China_Future-of-Manufacturing_Smart-Automation-2.0Based on the now well-established manufacturing sector, the Chinese Government motivate local and foreign companies to take a major leap from the famous “Made in China” to the innovative “Create in China”.

This ambition is supported by research and development joined programs between the companies and the universities.

These programs cover not only R&D investments to develop new products in China to go global but also the innovation related to improve the operating performances of the manufacturing industry.

This “Future of Manufacturing” program to support this second era of the Chinese industry has been named “Smart Automation 2.0” by reference to second generation of industry robotization.

Considering that China holds the largest robots installed base in the world, this “Smart Automation 2.0” program will find there a nearly unlimited ground for productivity improvement and growth during the next decade.

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