Placeholder Analysis of Focus Points of Digital Transformation in Equipment Manufacturing Industry | SINSMART

After surveying more than 100 small and medium-sized enterprises, experts from the Machinery Research Institute have given him the direct feeling that many enterprises do not care so much about the so-called "digital transformation" - it sounds like this may be contrary to the wave of digital transformation in full swing, but from some As far as the phenomenon seen in real industrial enterprises is concerned, this is consistent with reality, and it does not seem to have received so much attention.

This is especially true in equipment-oriented enterprises, and, from many phenomena, equipment-oriented enterprises still have some confusion about digitalization-this is mainly because of the current digitalization, and many of its theories, practices, and scenario analysis are based on terminal products Manufacturing industry - and obviously, this is different from equipment companies' demands for digitization. First of all, digital transformation comes from successful large enterprises, not a large number of small and medium-sized enterprises. Secondly, in terms of commercial value, the methodological system for digital connection to improve manufacturing site efficiency does not particularly support the discrete equipment manufacturing industry, because for large-scale manufacturing, this improvement in efficiency is feasible, but for Not necessarily the equipment manufacturing industry. Furthermore, as far as the actual status quo of equipment companies is concerned, their scale of operation has led them to consider survival and development more than management, which is an operating mechanism that is larger than business.

1. The current digital transformation focuses on terminal manufacturing

As far as the current discussion, practice, and system design of digital transformation are concerned, most of them are aimed at terminal production. In the manufacturing industry, it is divided into process and discrete manufacturing, and in discrete manufacturing, there is usually a forming part, which is mainly a variety of forming equipment, such as metal processing, injection molding, stamping, etc., used to produce various spare parts , and the latter is basically assembly. In these two parts, the focus of molding is on the process, while the assembly is more concerned with operational efficiency.

Digital transformation is to digitally reorganize the value stream of enterprises through various digital technologies, and form the ability to respond to market changes. Digitalization has more flexible adaptability, including the time granularity of data itself, which can increase the speed of responding to market changes.


Well, the current digital transformation is more about the assembly production process. In the past, the manufacturing industry used to buy equipment for early-stage spare parts molding and processing, and then manually carry out production and assembly—however, with the complexity of products, Changes in quality requirements and market demand require companies to build a digital operating system to cope.


Therefore, the current digital transformation does not focus on equipment manufacturing factories. After all, equipment manufacturing, unless it is a few industries such as construction machinery, elevators, and compressors, has relatively large volumes, and others are not very large-scale. Therefore, its operating efficiency It does need to be improved, but its current competitiveness is more focused on the competitiveness of process molding - its purpose is to provide support for higher yield rates and faster change response capabilities for terminal production - and these are not It is not improved through digital operations, but through engineering iterations of process technology.

2. The problem of building competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises

Relatively speaking, most equipment manufacturing companies are usually small compared to their downstream terminal product manufacturing industries. Most of the listed equipment companies have a scale of one billion, and most of them are small and medium-sized enterprises.


Because the scale is not large, and it is often due to the machinery manufacturing industry, it is difficult to be valued. Moreover, even if it invests in digital platforms, such as ERP/MES, industrial Internet applications, there are usually not many large projects-Comprehensive Various, often not so special attention. Therefore, digitalization is focused on large-scale terminal enterprises, because if it is a process industry, then 1% energy saving is a huge figure, and for large-scale discrete enterprises, the same increase in energy consumption and production efficiency is also quite attractive. — This makes companies pay more attention to digital platforms and investments.


Equipment enterprises do not take it as the focus, but care about the core basic issues in technology. There is also a lack of digital platform construction solutions for small and medium-sized enterprises-its core technological problem is that it is difficult for digital solution companies to get involved and propose effective solutions~this is an area in which the automation industry has always been deeply involved. Even some small-scale digital solution companies are not so active because it is difficult to obtain large project returns here.

About the digital transformation of equipment enterprises

Transformation is definitely necessary. For equipment companies, how to carry out digital transformation deserves special consideration and treatment, with targeted strategies—or more often, we believe, this should be self-driven by the enterprise—based on its own On the basis of problem analysis, it can be realized with the help of corresponding technology-but the methods, tools and platforms on the market cannot be used to solve the problem.

1. The problem of lean and digitalization

There are many erroneous understandings of "lean", and the typical one is that "lean is outdated", which is what people who basically don't understand lean or have no deep lean operation at all will say. Digitization is helpful to lean in several ways:

Automation has already been digitized, including if we incorporate automation, informatization, and intelligence into the general framework of digitization—in fact, the current digitization is somewhat generalized. Strictly speaking, digitization is a means. Realize automation, and intelligence is an extension of a way to realize automation.

(1). Digitization makes lean data collection more convenient and efficient. Of course, this includes communication technology for data collection, data accuracy, and real-time performance. These technologies make data more efficient.

(2). With smaller time granularity, lean is also a closed-loop iterative process. Digitalization can make this closed-loop process a lower cycle time, which can be achieved by means of higher real-time data collection.

(3). Reduce the dependence on personnel - the improvement of personnel dependence by digital means includes several aspects. First, the original analysis, data transmission and other tasks come from the transmission of personnel. Digital can make this information flow faster and reduce the burden of personnel. Accuracy issue. Secondly, digital methods include scheduling and optimization, which can reduce the dependence on people. Furthermore, digital technology reduces the need for people, such as robots and flexible conveying technology, which can reduce labor consumption.


If we want to do a good job in the digitalization of enterprises, we still need to start from the lean foundation, especially for manufacturing enterprises, starting from sweeping the floor (5S). A chaotic factory will inevitably produce a chaotic factory and chaotic work—this is not difficult to understand. Including the productive maintenance of equipment starting from TPM, establishing effective production materials, personnel, and production flow, and sorting it out clearly-improving the operating efficiency of the factory and cultivating high-quality equipment manufacturing personnel are the basic skills-as for whether it is good or not In fact, compared with mass production, digital systems are not necessarily necessary for equipment companies. Because the digital core of our equipment is providing the value of the equipment.

2. Where should the transformation go?

After surveying many small and medium-sized enterprises, it is said that many enterprises are very envious of the high profit margins that European and American companies can achieve, or they value the high per capita output value they can achieve. This is a question, how to break through the vicious price competition in order to win high technical barriers and obtain higher profits. The R&D managers of equipment companies mentioned before that they also want to be able to better product R&D, but the price is very high, and their profits are not enough to support it—and, as a leading manufacturer in the equipment field, they often have to get Faced with those price competitions, the value of their better machines cannot be effectively competed - this is not difficult to understand, because the end user's product quality requirements are not high, if it uses a device that can produce better products, it will The cost appears to be higher - therefore, as Mr. Guo often said, only high quality can have higher technical requirements.

"Specialization, specialization and newness" is a good way, which is especially suitable for the equipment manufacturing industry, because the equipment manufacturing industry must have such professionalism (vertical industry segmentation), refinement-more refined product pursuit, characteristics, novel. Only high-quality products will have special needs for high-end equipment, special materials, and innovative engineering realization. Only when there is market demand can there be the pursuit of high technology—there is no need for high technology without a market to exist and develop.

2.1 Breaking through the vulnerability of low profits

Many companies pay more attention to the indicator of "profit margin", because the so-called high-quality development, I think, must first have a certain "anti-fragile" ability, that is, their own strong resistance.
A company with low profitability is like a body with weak resistance. It is vulnerable to viruses and is more likely to get sick or even die. For the environmental changes of enterprises, payment risks caused by trade policies, tax policies, environmental protection, and downstream capital chain problems... There are too many factors that will make enterprises seriously ill.

For a long time, the manufacturing industries in developing countries have been fighting wars with scale effects. Enterprises in some countries pay special attention to the "velocity of capital turnover", that is, to obtain rapid capital turnover by means of "small profits but quick turnover". , even a 1% profit after 12 turnovers a year can be very profitable - but, this high speed has to maintain a stable environment, and it is difficult to stop. You have to work hard to survive. Once the market does not have high growth, then this model will be unsustainable.

2.2 Falling into homogenization, innovation is not difficult

Innovation definitely requires investment, and it must burn money—anything for nothing is an unreasonable idea, and any innovation that does not burn money is a false innovation. Some people say that we use disruptive innovation—disruptive innovation has never been It requires continuous iteration of the project to complete.

Some time ago, I saw the Quantum School talk about the lack of 0-1 in developing countries instead of 1-100. In fact, I don’t think so. Many times, we don’t know much about engineering innovation, and we don’t know much about the word “scientific research”. There may be a large cognitive bias.

Science pays attention to 0-1, but engineering does not pay attention to 0-1. Many of our problems are not scientific problems, but engineering problems, just like the moving platform, lens group, photoresist, and electronic special gases in the lithography machine. It's an engineering problem. Looking back at each industry, we will find that basically there is no so-called 0-1 problem in any manufacturing industry. Because of the innovation in engineering design, it has almost no way to build on the basis of 0-1. Its 0-1 is not really 0-1, but a new design is produced by other mature technologies according to the current demand. For example, digital printing technology, which is formed by combining traditional web printing's coiling and tension control technology with inkjet technology-however, this so-called 0-1 in engineering does not include technical 0-1 , but use 100's two technologies to combine a so-called 0-1 rather than a scientific "discovery". That 0-1 is not the same thing.

Therefore, engineering innovation does not come from pure 0-1, it may come from the fusion of two, three or more technologies. Or continue to iterate on the original technology to achieve higher precision and higher speed. Just like the lithography machine, the higher and higher requirements have made more new requirements for the solutions required by the original lithography process-however, key technologies such as optical devices and motion platforms are all due to engineering, With the improvement of speed accuracy, after the mechanical system mode changes, continuous engineering test verification is required to find a more stable working area—all these are engineering problems. Engineering innovation is hardly 0-1 like science.

On the contrary, scientific research needs 0-1, which is the seed of discovery, and then expands to 100 possibilities—engineering is based on existing mature technologies to solve problems in different scenarios—for example, TSN just combines the PHY and MAC of Ethernet The data scheduling algorithm is implemented, it is an engineering innovation, not a scientific innovation.

In fact, the discovery of innovation in the equipment manufacturing industry is not difficult. Today, I communicated with friends in the printing machinery industry and mentioned that photovoltaic perovskite, fuel cell proton exchange membrane, and lithium battery coating actually need to use winding control, tension control, and coating. Cloth technology—these are innovations that require cross-border. Coating technology has high speed and high precision in the printing field of mechanical systems, and it can also be applied in the new energy industry—this is not impossible. This kind of innovation is to enable enterprises to enter new markets.

In the packaging industry, this kind of innovation is easier to find. The simplest is how to open the bottle more conveniently. Laoganma’s bottle is not easy to open, it is easier to open, and more convenient to store... These are some mechanical improvements. It can make the machine sell better - there is a large printing company in Shenzhen, and he showed a lot of new packaging materials and packaging techniques. As long as you pay attention to your daily life, you can find many places where you can innovate.

Please believe that consumption upgrades and energy upgrades in developing countries—the high-quality development advocated by the state—will lead our manufacturing industry to the high end and allow innovators more room to live. If you believe this, you can boldly invest in R&D and innovation.

The key to equipment lies in technology, while assembly depends on operational efficiency

The digital focus of the equipment industry must be different from the digitalization of the terminal manufacturing industry. The key to equipment lies in the process KNOW-HOW, while assembly lies in the operational efficiency of the production line. The digitalization of the equipment industry takes into account the characteristics of the vertical industry, and it is difficult to have a digital solution that can satisfy the fragmented market in the market.

1. To solve the problem of equipment integration into the digital production line

What equipment companies should consider is the integration of their own equipment into the digital factory, not the digitalization of their own factories. This is the first thing to be considered, because it affects the business problems of the equipment itself. In this regard, it can include the following aspects of capacity support:
(1). Connection problem. Through open interface connection, the equipment itself can provide data related to factory operation, such as data related to quality, OEE calculation, and energy consumption. From the perspective of factory operation management, it provides data connection, which can be designed with the help of industry user specifications and standards.
(2). Long-term digital service capabilities, including the ability to provide convenient remote diagnosis, maintenance, and software upgrade services for machines. This digital capability can help equipment manufacturers reduce their own service costs and satisfy customers. degree of improvement.
(3). Data security issues. Through digital capabilities, the user's key process data and processes are under multi-level control, access, authorization management, etc. Especially in the pharmaceutical, lithium battery, photovoltaic and other fields, there is a relatively high demand for this.

2. Solve the problem of digital modeling of equipment

The overall development of the equipment industry is a typical process of engineering iteration and improvement. It is necessary to observe one's own product design from the perspective of users. Carry out digital system construction around this topic.
The digital transformation of equipment is mainly caused by several factors, which makes the demand for digital design more urgent.

aFirst of all, the products to be produced by the equipment are more complex. For products that are relatively single or have little variation in variety, after a certain amount of validation, although a portion of the validation material will be consumed, this loss can be accepted in the case of large batches. However, as the machine produces a large variety of products with a large variation and a wider range of materials. It becomes necessary to model them to form process adaptations under different products. However, this product quality stabilization process requires a lot of physical test verification, so one chooses to perform these test verifications in a digital virtual environment.

Secondly, with the higher requirements of speed and accuracy of equipment, the interaction of machinery, control and transmission mechanism, and process will be out of linear interval or cannot be described by mechanism model, then it needs to rely on some learning methods to help people find the law hidden behind the data, and this time needs some methods like machine learning, deep learning to help machines to get stable quality and efficient production.

Therefore, for equipment, digital methods are needed to help test and verify equipment through digital tools such as CAE and process simulation software, as well as to filter out non-linear and uncertain disturbances through data-driven modeling. Whether based on physical fields or using intelligent methods. It is necessary to improve speed and quality, and the engineering data, models, methods and functions formed in this process can be encapsulated in software form to be reused - this is exactly why "industrial software" is valued today.
For equipment companies, the use of digital design, testing and verification, intelligent analysis and optimization, to improve the adaptability of their own equipment manufacturing, quality stability at high speeds, has become the key. With the benefits brought by the digital factory - which is more able to build their own technical barriers, forming a technical moat difficult to be broken - to ensure the enjoyment of long-term innovation dividends.
 

3. Sustainable development of digital platform issues

For equipment companies, shaping their own differentiated competitiveness, to provide users with more flexible, efficient, high-quality production capacity is the core competitiveness. Then provide users with equipment into the production system, can provide the digital capabilities needed for global optimization of the plant, as well as value-added service capabilities, which is the core competitiveness of the equipment business.

And to shape these into a sustained capability, it is necessary to build the platform architecture required for digital design, embedded application development, and services. The adoption of unified specifications and interfaces makes it possible to open up into a whole R&D platform.

(1). Digital design, in fact, there are many software for mechanical and electromechanical modeling, which can quickly build the required mechanical drive design, including the design of the entire chain of sensors, reducers, motors, drives, and controls. Of course, it is also possible to achieve this model interaction through something like FMU/FMI.

(2). Embedded system design, as machine control are designed using embedded control architecture, and this design platform itself is able to reuse the knowledge, can create a continuous software knowledge protection system for the equipment enterprises.

(3). Intelligent integration, machine learning, deep learning algorithms carried out on Windows/Linux architecture, the same can be achieved through a unified specification interface to connect, the integration of computing and control - now the industrial PC can be used between GPOS and RTOS fusion to achieve such an integrated architecture.

In summary, for the digital transformation of equipment, is still user demand-oriented, to provide users with better product production adaptability, efficient, digital connectivity and optimization of the overall system. The formation of their own sustainable product upgrades and the construction of competitive barriers.

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