Many Chinese companies are leveraging their strengths in smart manufacturing to keep production going amid the novel coronavirus outbreak, thus contributing to the fight against the epidemic.
Compared to traditional manufacturing companies, smart manufacturing companies can respond more swiftly to the crisis due to their resilience, said Zhou Chengxiong, a researcher with the Institute of Science and Development under the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
Zhou added that companies with intelligent manufacturing solutions have been less impacted by the epidemic from the perspective of the recent resumption of production.
Chinese smart energy company Envision Group is a typical example. It set up a new production center for masks in Wuxi, east China’s Jiangsu province, in just 15 days. The new center can produce 100,000 masks a day on three production lines, one of which makes N95 masks.
Thanks to its long-term experience in design and operation of ultra-clean workshops based on its battery technology subsidiary Envision AESC in Japan and the United States, the group was able to establish a production center to make masks.
The group has donated 100,000 masks to enterprises, schools and local communities to help them fight the epidemic.
Another example is Jiangyin Xingcheng Special Steel Works Co., Ltd., one of the earliest steel companies to have actively embraced information technology and smart technology.
“Our main production lines have been automated,” said Qi Jianguo, head of the company’s computer center, adding that the company’s main production lines have been operating smoothly during the epidemic.
IT-based intelligent production lines not only reduce the need for large gatherings, and cut down the error rate and production costs, but also improve efficiency, product quality and competitiveness, Qi noted.
It has become a trend for traditional industries to introduce IT management systems and intelligent manufacturing equipment, Qi said, adding that remote operations will play a greater role with the development of 5G technology.
According to Zhou, the epidemic will allow more companies to realize the significance of smart manufacturing and bring about transformation. (People's Daily Online)
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