Therefore, Germany will upgrade Industrial 4.0 to a national strategy. The United States industrial giants will vigorously promote the industrial Internet. The Chinese government will strongly promote "Made in China 2025." All major industrial nations have spared no effort to provide frameworks and systems for the upgrading of industrial innovation and create various basic conditions.
The road to industrial innovation is not clear and straightforward. The latecomers face the high technical barriers of the leaders, while the leaders are faced with highly uncertain technical routes. China, the United States, and Germany have different advantages in the industrial architecture. Different levels have encountered the dilemma of innovators.
Manufacturing innovation three-tier echelon
The global manufacturing industry has basically formed a four-tier echelon development pattern: the first echelon is a global science and technology innovation center led by the United States; the second echelon is a high-end manufacturing field, including Germany and Japan; the third echelon is a mid-to-low-end manufacturing field. Some emerging countries, including China; the fourth tier are mainly resource exporters, including OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries), Africa, and Latin America.
A new round of global industrial revolution is taking place. In the era of smart manufacturing or industry 4.0, the development of a new generation of information and communication technologies and manufacturing is the main line for a new round of scientific and technological revolutions and industrial changes. In the process of reshaping the global manufacturing landscape, the status of the first echelon (United States) and the second echelon (Germany, Japan) will be further consolidated, and the third echelon (China) is expected to upgrade and gradually be incorporated into the global manufacturing system. The key factor that determines the level and upgrade direction of a countryâ€™s manufacturing industry is innovation-driven. The innovation driven by different paths, cost efficiency and commercial return are very different:
The United States Emphasizes Market Creation Innovation
For example, the IBM mainframes that were born in the United States were originally built for hundreds of thousands of dollars, and were used only by a small group of professionals. Personal computers reduced the price to 2,000 US dollars, expanding the consumer group to millions; now smart phones. As long as 200 US dollars, thus expanding the consumer group to billions of people worldwide. American innovators often create new markets by revolutionizing complex or expensive products while advancing technological advances that increase production and reduce costs, innovating business models, and attracting new consumer groups.
Germany and Japan focus on efficiency-enhanced innovation
For example, the ultimate realization of â€œsmart factoryâ€ and â€œsmart productionâ€ requires innovators to interoperate and intelligently manage various digital devices such as CNC machine tools, heat treatment equipment, robots, AGVs, and measurement and testing. The advantages of technology, industrial software, etc., occupy a global leading position in intelligent manufacturing equipment, process management, and technology applications. Japan is stronger than process innovation. For example, Toyota's zero-stock production system can reduce the company's original two-year inventory period to two months, helping the company to release a large amount of funds.
China emphasizes cost innovation
For example, Lenovo acquired IBM's personal computer business, X86 server business and Motorola's mobile business, saying that "hardware is also a good business." How can Lenovo be confident of making a loss-making hardware business a profitable business? Most Chinese manufacturers are very good at â€œsweating towelsâ€. First, they can achieve greater scale, produce synergies in the procurement of raw materials, and reduce procurement costs. Second, as the scale increases, the cost rate will also drop significantly. Another example is Huawei's requirement that employees "don't reinvent the Wheel ," stressing that "more than 30% of innovation is wasteful." This is Huawei's R&D strategy. The root cause of Huawei's R&D efficiency is to quickly carry out â€œmicro-innovationâ€, continuously optimize mature products, and then quickly convert them into commercial returns.
Why does China's manufacturing innovation still belong to the third tier?
The United States won by relying on innovative products, Germany and Japan relied on innovative production system processes to win, and China relied on its advantages (or following strategy) to win. The â€œIndustrial Blue Book: Report on China's Industrial Competitiveness (2015)â€ issued by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences authoritatively pointed out that as a developing country, China still has a considerable gap between the level of industrial development and technological innovation capabilities compared with developed countries. There are available late-comer advantages. Only after China becomes an upper-middle-income country, it is more difficult to use its advantage of backwardness than it used to be. It cannot rely on the use of cost advantage and resource advantage to bring this kind of advantage to play, but only through a certain degree of innovation. Discover potential potential advantages.
Follow strategy and cost innovation
The innovative path and strategy of China's manufacturing industry to take advantage of its latecomer advantage is not the same for state-owned and private enterprises.
State-owned enterprises use the existing industry categories and technical performance of the United States, Europe, and Japan as "fixed targets", and concentrate their efforts on narrowing the gap between production capacity and technology, and finally form the following models for industry and technology. In this process, we strive to use the market for technology, to achieve the introduction, digestion and absorption (especially localization of key components), identify those core technologies that restrict Chinese companies to obtain higher added value along the mature industrial chain, and then organize engineers. Conduct technical research. Following the strategy has enabled Chinese industry to achieve breakthroughs in many core technology "points", such as China's high-speed rail and nuclear power industry has reached the world-class level, and began to counterattack the international market.
The use of market-for-technology to achieve "reverse innovation breakthroughs" in industrial technology has great limitations - it must be a market with strong state control, in order to change to good technology. For example, how large China's high-speed rail and nuclear power markets are depends on the size of government investment. Overseas technology exporting countries will lose market share in China if they fail to produce sophisticated technologies. However, for markets where the stateâ€™s control is not strong, for example, the Chinese automobile industry is a technology that has opened up the market but has not been able to replace it. Which brand of Chinese cars do Chinese prefer, the state can not control, multinational auto companies have little market share in China and how much advanced technology is transferred.
The private enterprises' technological innovation is mainly guided by market returns. As long as the innovation strategy is appropriate, the Chinese manufacturers of Industry 1.0 can defeat the international opponents of Industry 3.0. Take BYD as an example: BYD initially started from producing batteries. Many years ago, founder Wang Chuanfu took 2 million yuan to Japan to buy a battery production line, and was surprised to find that a production line would cost millions of dollars. For Chinese companies, buying a production line is not the same as this project cannot do. However, Wang Chuanfu did not think so. He knew what he wanted, after all, it was the production of batteries instead of a specific production line. He then decomposed the production process into a series of processes that could be completed manually and invented a "semi-automatic" production line. The production line for "manual + tool" production of the product cost as little as 1 million yuan. Lithium battery production lines are expensive because the entire production line must be in a fully enclosed clean room. BYD's designers found that it was the battery, not the person, that really needed to be dust-proofed. So a transparent, dust-free operation box with gloves on both ends was designed. Because of this series of peculiar production methods, BYDâ€™s fixed asset investment is 1/15 to 1/10 of that of its Japanese counterpart, and the price of its products can be 40% lower than that of its competitors.
Chinese private manufacturers are usually self-righteous, but they actually act rashly. They struggle to meet the needs of today. They have indeed seized the opportunity of history. Most of the privately-owned enterprises are doing business first and then dare to buy technology when they have a business. They also pay more attention to the practicality of technology and more emphasis on cost innovation.
Years of efforts to follow strategy and cost innovation have given China's manufacturing system a considerable scale advantage. According to the investigation of the New York Times, Chinese industry has the most complete supply chain in the world. China is the only country in the world that possesses all industrial categories (39 industrial categories, 191 medium and 525 subcategories) in the United Nations Industrial Classification, and has formed an industrial system with complete categories and complete independence. From basic parts such as screws to communications, aerospace, and high-speed rail, it is possible to draw materials locally and ready for use.
At the same time, in the process of moving China into the ranks of high-income countries, it has become very difficult for Chinaâ€™s manufacturing industry to have more advantages in its latecomer advantage. When you follow the trail, the technical route is clear. You know exactly where the direction is. You don't have to bear too many risk costs due to the uncertainty of the technical direction. When you approach the leader (or become the leader), you will be in front of a layer of fog. You don't always foresee what the future is like. You can only assume what the future world will be like. Assuming it is right, you will succeed and lead the innovation trend. If the hypothesis is wrong, it may fall into the same recession as Sony, Sharp, and Panasonic. You chose the wrong direction, used resources in the wrong place, and of course declined. The R&D resources of today's manufacturing industry are extremely expensive. If they are not in the right direction, it will cause huge waste. However, if you do technological innovation, how can you guarantee that you will not make mistakes? In the future, innovative R&D in China's manufacturing industry will face increasing trial and error costs.
Leading industry ecology is more important than leading industry chain
Right now, the world is cultivating a drastic change in the industry centered on "smart manufacturing". China's manufacturing industry is already at a crossroads. 3D printing, intelligent robots, Internet of Things, and smart factories come one after another. "Made in China" is far less powerful than people think. Western industry has not declined to the point of relying on China.
European and American industrial powers are stepping up their blueprint for the â€œfuture factoryâ€: For example, if you want a smart TV, you only need to open the APP, enter your customized requirements, and the information will be sent to the factory. The factory will express all the features of the products you express. It is converted into data, and then the distribution of the materials, the grinding of the parts and the assembly of the machine are arranged by calculation. The most important thing is that each component on the assembly line is produced according to your will. It has its own identity information, and the machine will interpret this information. If it does not meet the requirements, it will be adjusted immediately and then automatically assembled. Of course, the entire process is almost unoccupied.
Smart manufacturing must achieve such an effect that your cola can add sugar according to your degree of obesity, your fragrance is modulated according to your personality, and the medicine you eat is based on your genes to formulate... This satisfies the people today The pursuit of diversified, personalized products.
Under the general trend of smart manufacturing and industrial unmanned, China's manufacturing industry is facing the biggest innovation in the transformation and upgrading of the lack of "system dominant power."
The key point of today's global industry and technology competition has shifted from the â€œindustrial chainâ€ to the â€œindustrial system (industrial ecosystem)â€. For example, who can master the core technology of aeroengines, whoever will be able to control the key points of the aircraft industry chain, who can master the core technology of the CPU chip, who will be able to control the key points of the PC industry chain, this is the industry chain competition. However, intelligent manufacturing must not only control the key points of the industrial chain, but also control the key systems that form the industrial ecology.
Industrial 4.0 or industrial Internet must realize the customization and diversification of products. It will generate huge amounts of data. Taking the German Amberg factory as an example, there are more than 1,000 on-line monitoring nodes in the production line, collecting over 50 million data every day. How to monitor and track these data, sensing systems and cloud computing systems are critical, must have high-sensitivity sensors that can accurately track the production process, and build a highly efficient and reliable cloud computing network, but the world can supply high-end industrial sensors Only a handful of vendors can provide complete cloud computing solutions.
CPS (a multidimensional and complex system for integrated computing, network, and physical environments) is seen by Germany as the core of Industry 4.0, which is the direction of German industrial innovation. Note: CPS is not a technology or software, but an action goal, an all-encompassing system engineering. CPS is based on the IoT, and manages digital computing and physical processes in a coordinated manner. It pursues the digitization and virtualization of manufacturing systems, as well as the close connection and high degree of consistency between digital virtual factories and actual factories.
CPS brings global manufacturing into the era of â€œsystem competitionâ€. Different CPS (and corresponding industrial ecosystems) will compete fiercely for market dominance. If you are under the control of the system level and direction of development, it will be less effective for any local technology and solution (such as robots, sensors, etc.).
From this point of view, where is the core point of China's manufacturing innovation and upgrading? China is more concerned about whether China is going through a large-scale "machine-for-machine" process like European and American countries. Is the huge stock in China's industrial system beneficial to the upgrading of China's industries and what are the key links and the micro-foundation of the stock upgrade?
To raise these specific issues to a higher level, Smart Manufacturing, Industry 4.0 and Industrial Internet, the concepts are different but point to the same, all are system engineering, system competition, and the consequence of losing system ownership will be the subsequent knowledge-intensive service (maintenance, Consultation, upgrade) to hand people.
The party that has won the system dominance, the human resources that will be released after smart manufacturing and machine substitution are implemented will enter the higher value knowledge service sector. If China loses the system dominance, the substitution of machinery will only lead to a net decrease in the number of jobs within the Chinese economy. China's manufacturing industry is still stuck in the low end of the industry chain and will be stuck with the third-tier global manufacturing innovation for a long time.
Flexible manufacturing to deal with global industrial changes
Because China's manufacturing industry does not possess the dominant power of the system, even if it is followed by many years of follow-up strategy and cost innovation, it is still difficult to sustain itself, and it has encountered a lot of innovation resistance. The United States and Germany are at the forefront of the global industrial upheaval, and it is inevitable that they will also have uncertain futures, continuous trial and error, and face different degrees of innovation.
U.S. entrepreneurs are good at "innovation from zero to one." Many innovations are subversive, and one innovation out of other similar industries must die. German entrepreneurs are stronger than "innovation from one to N" and focus on intermediate technologies. Industry 4.0 is to use a more systematic, integrated and integrated approach to improve the level of manufacturing, can make the manufacturing industry more sophisticated and more efficient. However, Germany did not introduce many advanced technology products. Advanced technology products are still the most intensive in the United States.
In the contemporary world where market demands are diversified and customized, new high-tech products will be updated at a faster rate, which will also require more and more flexible manufacturing.
While many large industrial companies have been subject to ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), highly automated ERP systems have been used on a large scale in Germany's industrial sector early on, which can increase integration but reduce flexibility. The product is best not to modify, once you want to modify will encounter great trouble, because of the lack of adaptability. This is a big dilemma facing German manufacturing innovation.
The United States, which has strong originality in science and technology, is often trapped in the capital environment. Because U.S. investors believe in the importance of capital efficiency, the financial industryâ€™s tool for measuring profitability has long been not how many U.S. dollars, Japanese yen and renminbi it has earned, but ROE and ROIC. index. High-value original innovations often require a return on investment of 5 to 10 years, while efficiency-enhancing innovations can be effective in as little as one to two years. When U.S. investors use financial indicators to measure some innovations, it takes a long time for high-value original innovations to be undoubtedly difficult to win.
The U.S. government has promoted the "re-industrialization" strategy and has actively funded multiple IMIs (American manufacturing innovation agencies), guiding "advanced enterprise leaders to realize that factories are an innovation and profit center worth investing, not just one." Cost centers, and sometimes cost centers for outsourcing overseas because of their low strategic value.â€ And the famous Harvard Business School professor Christensen is still struck by the confusion: even if the cost of capital has set a record low, companies with huge cash reserves It is still reluctant to invest in innovative activities that may promote development. According to Moodyâ€™s Investors Serviceâ€™s public data, the total cash reserves of non-financial companies in the United States reached US$1.73 trillion in 2015, and nearly one-third of them were in the hands of Apple, Microsoft, Google, Cisco and Oracle.
China's manufacturing spectrum is very broad. Components from industry 1.0 to industry 3.0 and even industry 4.0 exist within a single economic system at the same time. It is difficult for the innovation power of transformation and upgrading to follow the United States or follow Germany. Whatever the wisdom of the United States GE The factory or the thinking factory of Germany's Bosch Rexroth is still only a concept of the future.
The fundamental way to break through the manufacturing innovation dilemma must be based on the core advantages of the domestic industry ecology. Chinaâ€™s manufacturing capacity ranks first in the world, with a supplier system that is more than four times larger than Japan, 150 million experienced industrial workers, and fairly modern infrastructure. China's huge domestic market and a well-developed supply chain can realize the rapid commercialization of innovation (technology and products) and give Chinese companies a cost advantage.
It must be noted that Industry 4.0 and smart manufacturing are not a revolution and will not cause Chinaâ€™s current industrial system to change color in the country overnight. The global economy is not fully satisfied with the flexible manufacturing needs of sophisticated products. The Chinese industrial system needs to regard flexible production and agile manufacturing as an important direction for innovation breakthroughs and to step out of the innovation dilemma as soon as possible. China must adhere to the status of a global manufacturing center and respond to the immediate global industrial changes with continued openness and flexibility.
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