Guangdong’s manufacturing industry is now undertaking a series of profound changes. With the introduction of automatic production and the establishment of industrial belt, the world’s factory is now upgrading its technologies, products and industrial models, and thus, becoming more influential in the global market.
Replace human with robots in manufacturing workshops
Yu Xiaojie, a 20-year-old worker, is controlling a robotic arm to grab and transfer components on the production chain , finishing tasks that used to be manual a year ago. DESIGNA, the company Yu is working for, produces automatic equipment and robots in Foshan city of Guangdong.
‘The company was labor-intensive and owned 3000 workers,’ said Hu Yajun, the general manager of DESIGNA, ‘but we now just have 500 workers and will down to 300 in the future. With the industrial robots, we halve the workers but double the output.’
However, DESIGNA is not the only company that embraces intelligent manufacturing. Technology upgrading is supported and activated by a series of government policies and subsidies.
‘We allocated 1.5 billion yuan and let financial institutions re-lent the money to the enterprises based on their market performance.’ said Guo Jiaxin, head of the Foshan finance bureau, ‘more than 550 enterprises have benefited from this strategy since last year.’ According to the Foshan government, the investment in industrial technology reached 41.1 billion yuan and exceeded the investment in real estate in the first three quaters of 2016.
Besides, industrial robots also trigger upgrading of other factors. For example, technology colleges in Guangdong start inviting lecturers from the industry and establishing practice bases to provide talents that feed the demands of intelligent manufacturing.
According to the plan released in 2015, Guangdong wound allocate 940 billion yuan in the next three years and help over 50% of enterprises accomplish technology upgrading.
Selling packaged services instead of selling products
A nuanced change is also undertaken here as manufacturers tend to provide diverse producer service, such as product management and problem solutions.
He xin is a manufacturer of mass spectrometer in Guangzhou with around 100 million annual turnover. The company started providing environmental solutions for clients a year ago and has solved atmospheric pollution problems for more than 30 industrial parks up to now.
“we sold products with free service in the past. But it’s now opposite. Clients could pay for our solution plans and rent the spectrometers instead of buying them,” said Jiang Miren, general manager of He Xin, “the turnover of our service increased and took up 30% of the overall turnover this year.”
The change in the business models also brings higher profit. Everstar was an ordinary garment factory in Foshan until it started its R&D project and sold the sewing robots. ‘The profit we gain from selling one sewing robot is more than producing tens of thousands of clothes in the past.’ said Fan Youbin, the CEO of the Everstar.
Now over 4.5 million manufacturers have ‘sevitized’ their business in Guangdong. The added value of their service nearly doubled from 55 billion yuan in 2005 to 195 billion yuan in 2015. ‘The scale of producer service is continuously growing, supporting the development of advanced manufacturing industry here.’ said Chen Hongyu, Guangdong government adviser.
“Servitization is not transferring the industry outside the region. It’s a new form of industry that converges manufacturing and service,” said Xiang Xiaomei, director of the Institute of Industrial Economics of Guangdong Academy of Social Sciences, “manufacturers are now improving their profitability through involving in R&D and marketing service.”