The hottest president of Omron Automation China I

2022-10-04
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President of Omron Automation China: I don't think "made in China" is shrinking

on November 7, the 17th China International Industrial Expo ended in Shanghai. As the first Industrial Expo in the first year of the implementation of the "made in China 2025" national strategy, intelligent manufacturing has become the core focus

in the process of moving towards intelligent manufacturing, many Chinese enterprises have rushed to attack the industrial robot market. According to the statistics of the International Federation of Robotics (IFR), in 2014, the global sales of industrial robots increased by 26% year-on-year, of which China has become the largest market for industrial robots

however, can China's intelligent manufacturing be realized by robot replacement? According to the planning standards for small and medium-sized enterprises and the data of the second economic census, at present, small and medium-sized enterprises account for 99.7% of the total number of enterprises in the country, and most of them are still labor-intensive enterprises. The simple replacement of robots also needs to overcome the challenges of knowledge-based production personnel training and the high cost brought by full automation

how to find a road of intelligent manufacturing suitable for China? 21st Century Business Herald recently interviewed Mr. Dachang Hezhi, chairman and President of Omron Automation (China) company. As a world-renowned manufacturer of automation control and electronic equipment, Omron has a dual identity in Intelligent Manufacturing: on the one hand, it is a supplier to improve automation and informatization in the manufacturing industry; on the other hand, it is also a manufacturing industry, and it also faces the need to constantly explore intelligent production

from Omron's own experience, the so-called intellectualization is not entirely to achieve the highest degree of informatization or automation, but to find the most suitable and matching practice for this industry according to different industries and the characteristics of industrial division of labor

in addition, Omron believes that at present, most of the intellectualization of Chinese factories still focuses on improving production management capabilities, combining with informatization and big data, and strengthening the visualization of production lines, so as to improve production quality and efficiency

the intellectualization of Chinese factories mostly stays at the visual level

21st century: at the just concluded Shanghai Industrial Expo, made in China 2025 is the hottest topic. How do you understand this action plan of China

great ambition: made in China 2025 is actually to improve the production capacity and added value of Chinese manufacturing enterprises. Previously, China's manufacturing industry was dominated by labor-intensive production, manufacturing products with low technological content and low added value, and relying on assembly line operations to earn profits. With the decline of demographic dividend, this model has become unsustainable. Now, the rapidly growing manufacturing industries, such as consumer electronics, intelligent devices, automobiles, medical and health care, are all industries with high added value and high technology content. I understand that achieving the sustainable development of manufacturing industry is the goal of made in China 2025 and the only way out for China's manufacturing industry

improving the autonomy of made in China is also an important goal of this plan. Take a simple example, for example, intelligence. Most of the parts are made in China, but we all know that the core components and semiconductors are imported. At present, the amount of semiconductors imported by China every year is equivalent to that of crude oil. I personally believe that technological innovation and exploration are also the key to the upgrading and transformation of the manufacturing industry

21st century: is fine manufacturing and customization the so-called intelligent manufacturing? Chinese factories need to comprehensively improve the intelligent manufacturing level of production lines and replace people with machines

big field Hezhi: I think the word intelligence contains many meanings. In terms of production equipment, it is very necessary to use automation technology to improve the efficiency and quality of production and reduce unnecessary resources and energy waste in production. However, intellectualization does not mean that everything on the production line should be replaced by automation to completely replace human hands

in fact, there are different types of intelligent chemical plants, such as our Shenzhen plant. It is a fully automated production line, which is basically highly intelligent. Another kind of intelligent is our OMS (Omron (Shanghai) Co., Ltd.) factory in Shanghai. It is a more customized production, that is, a small batch, but the production in each batch may be a little different, so it adopts an independent station, and the stations of human and automatic production match each other. Therefore, we believe that we should see which production mode is more suitable according to the different products we manufacture

21st century: is this Omron's intelligent concept

big field Hezhi: Yes. Omron's new automation concept is: let machines do what machines can do, release people, and do more creative work. Therefore, it is not that machines replace people to do all the work, but that machines cooperate with people and help complete the simple and repetitive processes. People need to engage in more creative, dynamic and flexible work. The cooperation between man and machine on the production line can enhance the flexibility and adaptability of production

we believe that the concept of made in China 2025 is not entirely to achieve the highest degree of informatization or automation, but to find the most suitable and matching practice for this industry according to different industries and the characteristics of industrial division of labor

21st century: as an important manufacturing town, Guangdong has recently said that some large electronic enterprises have been shut down or transferred. How does Omron view this trend? As an enterprise providing products and services for the manufacturing industry, will it worry that China's market will shrink from now on

big market Hezhi: I don't think our Chinese market is shrinking. At present, we see that many factories in Guangdong and Dongguan have closed down, but if we observe carefully, most of the closed enterprises are traditional processing enterprises. They rely on intensive labor to produce products with low cost and low added value. Once labor costs continue to rise and profits are compressed, they cannot survive. But on the other hand, we also see that manufacturing enterprises with certain technological background and emerging industries are growing. Therefore, this is exactly in line with the direction indicated by made in China 2025, and the overall structure of China's manufacturing industry will continue to change. Although the process of gradually moving towards high added value, high output value and high technology content is painful because there is no need to design the structure, it is also the necessity of the development of the industry. In this transformation, Omron's automation technology and solutions can provide help and support for the manufacturing industry

21st century: with the launch of made in China 2025, what is the future development strategy of Omron Automation in China

great ambition: the upgrading and transformation of China's manufacturing industry is a rare opportunity for Omron and manufacturing enterprises. The made in China 2025 plan, or the process of industrial transformation and upgrading, has brought a lot of demand and complexity. We believe that there are three points, which are mutually consistent with the concept of i-automation proposed by our current automation department:

improve production management capabilities, combine with informatization and big data, and strengthen the visualization of production lines, so as to improve production quality and efficiency

improve production technology, replace human hands with more accurate and flexible production control and robots, and liberate workers from complicated assembly line operations to do more creative work while improving production capacity and efficiency

according to the needs of the times, constantly innovate in products and production methods to meet the production needs of the new era

these are also the three most important aspects of the transformation of manufacturing enterprises to intelligent production. At present, most of our enterprises are still in the first stage, that is, to improve the visualization of production lines, but soon, a large number of enterprises will begin to enter the second and third stages, which is where our opportunity lies after the power is turned on. We plan to double the sales volume of our automation business in China to US $1billion by 2020

smart manufacturing in China not only relies on robots

21st century: I learned in the interview that for many manufacturing enterprises in China, especially 3C enterprises, the great challenges encountered in the process of intellectualization are flexible manufacturing and intelligent requirements. In other words, robots and modified production lines that cost a lot of money should be able to switch products at any time. In this regard, what is Omron's strategy

Dachang Hezhi: Yes, this is also a very difficult place for the manufacturing industry I know, because there are many categories of their products, which need to be adjusted according to external orders at any time, and there is a need for very small batches and frequent changes, which we have been exploring

for the production mode of multiple varieties and small batches, the use of fully automated production lines will cause excessive pressure on customers at this stage. For this, the amplified signal voltage can reach 10V, and the conversion chip can be converted into a digital signal. We suggest that it be corresponding through the cooperation mode of simple automation and manual production. For Omron Shanghai OMS factory mentioned above, we have introduced the low cost intelligent automation system LCIA (low cost Intelligent Automation), which can effectively improve production efficiency and quickly and flexibly respond to the changing market demand through relatively low-cost investment

also, recently, we acquired adept technology, Inc., an American industrial robot enterprise, and delta tau, an automation control enterprise, which strengthened the combination of production line control and high-performance motion operation, and combined Omron's high-performance controller with robot high-performance motion control technology to help our customers adjust the operation of production lines more flexibly and quickly to meet the needs of different production orders

21st century: does the acquisition of robot enterprises mean that Omron is working on industrial robots? What do you think of the current trend of machine replacement in China

great ambition: the acquisition of robot enterprises is an important measure for us to further cater to China's manufacturing transformation and provide Chinese customers with more complete manufacturing solutions

if the problems faced by China's manufacturing industry are divided into two, the short-term development topic is how to quickly improve production efficiency and product quality. From this point of view, robot replacement is a good solution. Using a large number of machine arms to replace workers can not only solve the problems of rising labor costs and difficult employment, but also ensure that our production quality is more stable. But in the long run, simply replacing a station with a simple robot will not fundamentally solve the long-term development of the manufacturing industry, such as the flexibility problem we just mentioned

Omron used to focus on the field of automatic sensing and control, while the robot manufacturer we acquired has leading experience in visual guidance technology of motion control. The combination of the two enables us to better solve the complex action control that was difficult to complete with PLC (programmable controller) for customers in the past, maximize the productivity, safety, flexibility and product quality of the manufacturing industry, and provide innovative automation solutions and service support for automotive, digital equipment, food and beverage, packaging and other industries

21st century: can it be understood that Omron's acquisition of this robot company is actually not to sell robots, but to sell system solutions

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