TheFuture of Chinese Manufacturing
Thearticle “4.0:Challenges and Opportunity for Chinese ManufacturingIndustry” written by Dr. Zhenji Zhang, Dr. Shifeng Liu and Dr.Micong Tang mentions that Industry 4.0 is considered to be human’sfourth industrial revolution which was first named by Germangovernment. Industry 4.0 refers to the application of information andcommunications technologies (ICT) and digitalized manufacturingtechnologies (Tang et al 1). Simply one could state that the industry4.0 is a model of combo, the Internet and automatic machine which isthe future of the world industry manufactory. Our human being hasexperienced three times including the age of stream, the age ofelectricity and the age of computer, Internet and information. Theforth revolution is in fact the combination of the virtual world andreal world (Tang et al 1). Virtual world refers to the Internet andinformation technology while the real world refers to the factory andproduction.
Thearticle stated that the aim of industry 4.0 is to realize real-timeconnections, recognitions and communications among humans, machinesand products, and as well as to promote a flexible customized anddigitalized smart manufacturing model (Tang et al 1) This meansthat people are able to use Internet to place order or control theautomatic machine from a distant place. It is necessary for China tokeep pace with the industrial development and revolution and adjustits old industrial structure to a more efficient and integrated one(Robvan and Verbeke 12). Faced with such an opportunity, China willbenefit from Industry 4.0. China will also be able to realize asuccessful transformation of its manufacturing industry.
Industry4.0 has met China’s strategy that promotes information andindustrialization. With the help this industry, China will haveaccess of updating the industrial structure that promotes industrialdevelopment through quality and comprehensive benefits (Tang et al1). Moreover it was reported that China replaced the Unites States asa leading manufacturing country in 2010. However, Chinesemanufacturing industry remains in the middle and low end. Thisimplies that China faces challenges as the largest manufacturingcountry in the world through overconsumption of resources and energy(Robvan and Verbeke 12). Hence pollution coupled with low technologyis the main problem existing in China’s incomplete developmentmode. The weakness of Chinese manufactory model has made China tolack competitiveness in the international trade. Therefore, if Chinaadopted Industry 4.0’s opportunity, several sophisticated problemscould be solved with a more perfect development mode.
Industry4.0 emphasizes the standardization and modularization of products.However, the current products mode in China lacks creativity andindividuation (Leuenberger 20). However Industry 4.0 can breakup the old industry chain and standardize new production element andorganization modes. Chinese manufacturing industries remain in themiddle and low end. There is nonetheless room for improvement interms of profitability and positioning of brands (Tang et al 2). Theold industry chain was followed from top to bottom rule. This meantthat the products would undergo several processes that included theexploitation of raw materials, the aftermarket, and many levels ofdealers to the final consumers. The new mode of industry advocatesfor a more intelligent forms of production and consumption.
Thepersonalized needs of the consumers would be sent directly to theproducers and a best producing plan will come into form. This isthrough the interactions that exist between human and the equipments(Robvan and Verbeke 12). Such changes will eventually force theChinese manufacturing industry to employ a sustainable developmentmode. Industry 4.0 promotes new production system such as 3-DPrinters, Human-machine Hybrid Intelligence and so on. The oldequipments should be developed into intelligent models (Leuenberger21). Throughout the creation of Cyber-Physical System, various newemerging areas will discard the places old automatics. Hence the newareas will promote a more efficient production mode and at the sametime realize better combination of every industrial sector.
Industry4.0 will dig out the potential market and fields of China’smanufacturing industry. Processes, advanced technologies and relatedindustries will be spread throughout the world to gain more tradingand cooperative opportunities. Updating China’s productionstructure will enable it gain more piles in the whole internationalmarket and become more competitive (Tang et al 2) . Industry 4.0 willimpact people’s lifestyle in China and aid to solve some socialproblems. It will break the boundary between space and working areas.Therefore the staff will have a high autonomous right to workwherever they like. They will be able to adjust their workingconditions at any time hence will be ready to meet more challenges(Middler 15). They won’t have to report to work every day whichwill relieve the traffic burden in the harsh time. Air pollution willbe promoted at the same time.
Inaddition the education system may be transformed into a more pointedreference mode. A qualified engineer would be all rounded in handlingvarious activities that includes machinery, electricity, software andother comprehensive professional knowledge backgrounds (Middler 17).This will enable one to cultivate the abilities of dealing withvarious kinds of problems. Schools will pay more attention on thepractical ability and overall quality instead of learning boring anduseless knowledge from textbooks. In addition, the process ofurbanization will be accelerated to gradually overcome the welfaresystem, air pollution, resource waste, education system and othersocial problems (Leuenberger 25).
Itis understood that Industry 4.0 is divided into two broad themes. Thefirst one is smart factory that focuses on intelligent productionsystems and processes as well as a distributed network of productionfacilities. The second is the intelligent production that mainlyinvolves the entire enterprise production logistics management,human-computer interaction and 3D technology in industrial processes(Tang et al 2).In the field of innovation in the manufacturingindustries such as product design and production planning stages,human ingenuity is still indispensable (Leuenberger 25). Similarly,at the operational level, humans play a central role. They will nolonger engage in manual labor but mainly engaged in innovativedesign, control and testing and other work.
Thereare many opportunities that China can get during the realization ofIndustry 4.0. The first one is the market opportunities. Intelligentintegration of information and communication technology andmanufacturing development has brought an important change is theadvent of intelligent manufacturing era , cloud computing , big data, artificial intelligence, machine learning and other drivers ofhuman intelligence to a higher level. These in turn promote the humanvarieties of production tools and modernization (Tang et al 2).
Moreovercheap manual labor will continue to be replaced by machine and at thesame time, the number of mental workers will be replaced by smarttools. Mankind is moving towards a second machine age (Tang et al 1).Change and industry structure will affect employment beyond thehistory of the past 300 years of industrialization. Based on a newgeneration of intelligent equipment, production organization will bewidely spread, from the popularity of stand-alone intelligentproduction lines, to the popularity of smart, intelligent workshop,intelligent plant (Leuenberger 26). All these are behind huge,fast-growing smart equipment market. Germany has been exploring allwalks of life in what manner to seize the fast-growing market.
Secondlyin the technology opportunities, intelligent manufactures requiresnot only a single technology breakthrough, but also requires acomprehensive integration of various technologies, which is Germany`sadvantage (Tang et al 2). Faced with the global trend of a newgeneration of information technology and manufacturing technologyintegration, German ushered consolidate and strengthen technicaladvantages of opportunities mostly the first industrial softwareadvantage. Industrial software is the core and foundation ofintelligent equipment, the German enterprise resource planning (ERP),manufacturing execution systems (MES), Product Lifecycle Management(PLM), programmable logic controller (PLC) and other core industrialsoftware in the world are in a leadership position (Middler 30).
Inthe second, industrial electronics advantage, integration of sensing,computing, industrial electronic communication is the core ofintelligent equipment. This is German’s superiority in the field,where a number of German companies lead the world in the developmentof automotive electronics, machinery and electronics, machineelectronics, medical electronics and other fields (Tang et al 1). Thethird is the manufacturing technology advantage. German industry`sbasic materials, basic technology, basic equipment, basic componentsand core technology has been in a leading position in the globalmachinery exports accounted for 16% of the world, ranking first inthe world, and its research, development and production of innovativemanufacturing technologies in the field, as well as complexindustrial process management leadership unparalleled (Robvan andVerbeke 31). Traditional manufacturing technology and industrialsoftware, combined with industrial electronics technology for Germanyto seize the high ground of intelligent equipment competition broughta rare opportunity.
Inthe third, the industry opportunities, equipment manufacturingindustry is Germany`s most competitive industries in the face ofglobal intelligent manufacturing opportunities (Tang et al 2). Allsectors of the German consensus are able to grasp the trendinformation and communications, technology and equipment,manufacturing integration, targeting the rapidly growing globalmarket intelligence factory equipment, to ensuring that Germancompanies become globally intelligent Manufacturing industry,“leading supplier " status.
Germanyis a potential market but however there is no country that is moredeveloped than in Germany’s Intelligent Manufacturing conditionsand advantages. Germany Related Association survey showed that 60 %of German machinery and equipment the manufacturers were confidentthat their technology and products have a competitive advantage willbe improved in the following five years (Midller 35). In Europe,Germany lost the opportunity of the Internet but one cannot lose theopportunity of things. The main battlefield networking applicationsare industrial areas, not only in Germany but also in technologicalchange to seize the opportunity and lead the trend.
Inconclusion Industry 4.0 will result to both opportunities as well aschallenges in China. China should therefore seize the opportunity tomake a radical revolution its manufacturing and industry structure aswell as the division of labor in the production chains. Based on thesolid fundamental of well-organized manufacturing structure,undoubtedly China’s economy will be faced with a dramatictake-off.Bottomof Form
LeuenbergerTheodor. FromTechnology Transfer to Technology Management in China.Germany. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. 2012. Print.
MiddlerPaul. Poorlymade in China: An insider’s Account of the China’s manufacturingIndistries. China.Liberty of Congress Catalogue. 2010. Print
RobvanTulder,Verbeke Alain. TheFuture of Global Organization.U.K. Emerald Group Publishing Limited. 2015. Print
TangMicong, Liu Shifeng, Zang Zhenji. Industry4.0: Challenges and opportunities for Chinese ManufacturingIndustries.China. Technical Gazette. 2014. Print