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Intelligent Manufacturing: industrial robots beware of getting low-end

in recent years, China's industrial robot industry has entered a period of rapid growth, and has become the world's largest market for six consecutive years. Industrial robots are increasingly used in many fields of manufacturing. While the development of industrial robots is booming, the current irrational phenomena such as concept hype, mass action and low-end competition have also attracted attention from all walks of life. Experts said that the robot industry, as the "pearl on the crown of manufacturing industry", should actively take the path of independent innovation and development of core technology, promote intelligent manufacturing and improve the level of manufacturing industry through high-quality products and services, so as to avoid repeating the path of low-cost competition and low-level competition

there is a strong demand for industrial robots

the era of industrial robots is approaching, and more and more manufacturing enterprises begin to purchase and use robots to enhance their competitiveness. International Data Corporation (IDC) previously released a report showing that China is the world's largest robot market. Among all major markets surveyed by IDC in 2018, including China, there will also be a series of problems. Robots are the top priority of technology investment of manufacturing enterprises. In 2019, nearly half of China's robot system spending will occur in discrete manufacturing (including automotive, electronics, metal processing, etc.), with a market size of more than $16.7 billion

in the domestic manufacturing industry, industrial robots are emerging more and more. For example, in the glass manufacturing industry, hundreds of millions of pieces of glass produced and sold every year require a large number of manual inspection with the naked eye. According to the recent interview, Yantai gerun era has realized the automatic visual inspection of the cover plate by using the inspection robot developed by tulin technology. One equipment is equivalent to the workload of 24 production line workers throughout the day, which improves the efficiency of traditional inspection by dozens of times, and reduces the economic losses caused by manual false inspection

glass detection is only one of the common application scenarios of industrial robots. According to industry experts, with the improvement of technical level and the continuous optimization of product structure, the application scope and depth of domestic industrial robots have been continuously expanded in recent years. In particular, the promotion and implementation of several industrial robot demonstration and application projects directly drive the application of domestic industrial robots in household appliances, power electronics, auto parts, metal processing and other industries

at present, Shanghai has become one of the largest suppliers of intelligent manufacturing system solutions in China. In 2018, the scale of Shanghai's industrial robot industry ranked first in China due to the relatively lagging expansion of lithium battery capacity, with a total annual output value of 21.918 billion yuan, an increase of 8.3% year-on-year. Recently, the Shanghai FANUC phase III project, which is jointly operated by Shanghai Electric and Fanuc, can be called the "super intelligent factory" in the robot industry. It announced that it will land in Shanghai and establish the first digital intelligent production line for robot production in China

the Pacific Securities Research Institute believes that the industrial robot market has great prospects in the future, and the combination of robot and artificial intelligence technology is becoming closer and closer, which will become the "protagonist" of the production system. In the next few years, the domestic industrial robot market is expected to reach 500000 to 600000 units (the sales volume in 2018 is only 147700 units). With the advantages of price (30% to 40% cheaper than foreign countries), quality assurance service and timely response, domestic robots are likely to occupy 80% of the sales volume of the whole market

there is low-level competition in the industry

domestic industrial robots have made significant progress, with good prospects and continuously improving market competitiveness. But at the same time, the structural problems in the development of China's robot industry are also more prominent. While the high-end capacity is insufficient, there are hidden worries of low-level repeated construction and blind development in the low-end field. Many domestic industrial robot enterprises belong to robot body manufacturing enterprises, most of which are mainly assembly and processing, and are at the low end of the industrial chain. The phenomenon of low industrial concentration and small and scattered market is not optimistic

in view of the current development status of domestic industrial robots, some experts pointed out that there is still a significant gap between domestic industrial robots and the world level, and the key components are highly dependent on foreign countries. In terms of core components, China lacks leading independent innovation technology and products, and the market is mainly monopolized by foreign industry giants. In addition, there is overcapacity at the low end of the industry, and some enterprises blindly expand their production capacity. The robot products produced can only gather in the middle and low-end fields to compete in price

Tan Jianrong, an academician of the Chinese Academy of engineering, said at the "6th China robot summit" held some time ago that at present, the robot industry is booming, but there are still four major obstacles for enterprises to do digital workshops and promote intelligent manufacturing. First, many manufacturing models are labor-intensive, resource intensive and pollution intensive; Second, the technical route is mainly imitation; Third, the marketing strategy of low price competition; Fourth, extensive production workshop management

Qu Daokui, chairman of China robot industry alliance and founder and President of Shenyang Xinsong Robot Automation Co., Ltd., once pointed out that there is still a phenomenon of low-end application of robot products in China. "The vast majority of domestic robots are used in low-end fields such as handling and palletizing, but the results are not obvious in the fields of multi degree of freedom robots, interactive robots, fully autonomous mobile robots and so on."

Zhang Xun, co-founder of tulin technology and R & D director of the Ministry of industry, believes that the so-called low-end phenomenon of industrial robots mainly refers to some robot body manufacturing enterprises, which mainly focus on assembly and OEM, and the core components need to be imported, which mainly refers to the machinery and control parts. Although this low-level assembled industrial robot can meet certain localization needs, the market competitiveness of the product is limited. With the rapid development of artificial intelligence and other new generation information technology, the threshold of competition in the industrial robot market is getting higher and higher. For example, the core of the tulin cover plate detection robot lies in its optical system (perception) and recognition algorithm (judgment). These are the "brain" of the whole robot, involving various technologies such as control system, circuit system and high-performance supercomputing, which have very high technical requirements for the team

high end industries should avoid falling into the quagmire of low-end production.

as the key supporting equipment of advanced manufacturing industry, industrial robots will play an important role in the process of manufacturing in China to intelligent manufacturing in China. However, at present, China's robot products are mostly medium and low-end, and the problems of small enterprise scale and uneven product quality are very obvious. They mainly rely on "cost performance" rather than core technology to open the market, and are at the lower end of the industrial chain. In addition, due to the lack of strict high-tech standards, a large number of low-end robot production capacity swarmed

Zhao Jie, leader of the expert group for the key special demonstration of "intelligent robot" in the national key R & D plan of the 13th five year plan, divides the development of the intelligent robot industry into three stages: the first stage is to break through basic and core technologies, improve the innovation ability of the robot industry, and improve the robot technology and industrial level of our whole country by 2020 or 2021; The second stage is that by 2025, intelligent manufacturing will enter the interconnected intelligent stage. Domestic robot technology should reach the world advanced level, and the core parts and components account for more than 50% of the equipment in domestic robots; In the third stage, by 2030, the hollowing out of the robot industry will be fundamentally solved, the key core technologies should be autonomous and controllable, and the application level and installed capacity of industrial robots should reach the level of developed countries

in order to avoid the low-end competition tendency of domestic industrial robots, experts suggest that the first is to break the industrial boundary, promote integration and innovation, and draw the force strain curve according to the needs of users, so as to generate more new technologies, new products and new applications, so as to create a good industrial ecosystem. Second, we should improve product quality, avoid low price competition, effectively solve the key technologies that affect the improvement of product quality, and win the market with high-quality products and services rather than low prices. Third, we should aim at the segmented market, focus on the segmented industry, create robot products that meet the needs of the segmented field of manufacturing industry, and realize differentiated development. Fourth, we should deepen strategic cooperation among enterprises in the industrial chain, establish a business model of mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and cooperation, and create a harmonious and healthy market environment

in the view of insiders, the key to avoiding the low-end trend of domestic industrial robots is to continuously improve the independent innovation ability of the robot industry. Therefore, we should focus on the needs of market and industrial development, strengthen the technology and quality research of key robot parts and high-end products, and improve the independent innovation ability and core competitiveness of local enterprises. On the one hand, we should comprehensively improve the quality stability and mass production capacity of key components such as high-precision reducers, high-performance servo motors and drives, and high-performance controllers, break through technical barriers, and break the long-term dependence on imports. On the other hand, we should focus on intelligent manufacturing and intelligent logistics, and promote domestic robot products to move towards the high value-added direction of the industrial chain and the medium and high-end market around the automobile, machinery, electronics, dangerous goods manufacturing, chemical industry, light industry and other industries

in addition, for the application and promotion of domestic industrial robots, Tan Jianrong suggested that we should adhere to innovative design first. Innovative design is an important prerequisite for the promotion of robots. We should combine innovative design with the original process of the enterprise, and improve and reorganize the original process by using automation, digitization and intelligence. Industrial robot applications should also be combined with big data, pattern recognition, virtual reality, lean production, etc. only through the combination of these aspects can industrial robots be used better

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