Recently, the World Economic Forum announced the list of the latest batch of lighthouse factories in 2021. 21 excellent factories stood out from thousands of selected factories in the world, 10 of which are located in China.

This is a global demonstration benchmark for “digital manufacturing” and “industry 4.0” jointly selected by the World Economic Forum and McKinsey Consulting, and represents the world’s highest level of digital manufacturing. To be selected, it needs to integrate at least 5 world-leading technology applications, and achieve significant improvements in business indicators such as production efficiency, operational agility, and ecological sustainability. In other words, this factory can be regarded as a benchmark for the transformation and upgrading of manufacturing enterprises.

What does the “Lighthouse Factory” look like-with an intelligent brain, realizing full-process digitization, and highly flexible intelligent manufacturing. Stepping into the No. 6 CITIC Dicastal Aluminum Wheel Factory, the first thing you see is the thermal processing zone. After melting, die-casting, and heat treatment, a piece of aluminum alloy will be preliminarily cast into shape. Unlike traditional thermal workshops, there are hardly any operators here, all equipment runs in an orderly manner, and every process is orderly. How can the “unattended” state be realized?

The answer lies in the thermal digital control center. Six screens are displaying the operation status of equipment and key processes. Through the sensors installed on the die-casting equipment, the center can collect and analyze data in real time, and conduct centralized platform monitoring, which will transform the previous mode of relying on personnel on-site monitoring. Active reminder mode for abnormal events.

“Once an abnormality occurs, the incident can be automatically pushed to the staff on duty through the mobile APP, and the maintenance experience database can be automatically associated according to the equipment and abnormal conditions to achieve a second-level response.” The person in charge of the thermal workshop told reporters.

Thermal processing often faces multiple safety risks. How to ensure safe production through intelligent means? On the smart security billboard, the current workshop’s natural gas content, dust flammable and explosive point, electrostatic grounding and other indicators are flashing and “jumping”. It turned out that all the key process safety risk points of the No. 6 factory have all been connected to the intelligent security system. When the warning value is exceeded, the safety officer will be immediately pushed to intervene and solve in time.

“Every wheel after die-casting will go through X-ray defect inspection to ensure that the subsequent products are qualified.” Xu Weijie, head of the factory’s intelligent operation department, said that after the product is molded, X-ray non-destructive testing is required, based on the AI vision inspection system With big data image analysis of tens of millions or more, CITIC Dicastal pioneered the large-scale industrial application of digital quality management in the industry, which not only increased the inspection efficiency by 40%, but also reduced the inspection personnel by 50%. After die-casting, the aluminum wheels will flow into the machining workshop through the automatic conveyor belt. Here, the product will be completely “reborn” and will appear as a customized wheel.

CITIC Dicastal’s highly flexible automated production line can produce a variety of different styles of wheels at the same time

With the gradual trend of small-batch and rapid listing of automobile manufacturers, it poses a challenge to the flexible and intelligent manufacturing capabilities of upstream component manufacturers. How to quickly connect and meet the needs of auto manufacturers? In the painting area, through several display screens, we witnessed CITIC Dicastal’s hard work in agile and intelligent manufacturing. I saw a few mechanical arms waving smartly, and the aluminum wheels that entered one by one were sprayed with different paints. “Based on the two-dimensional code and visual recognition technology, up to 32 kinds of paint can be sprayed online at the same time, truly achieving ‘thousand rounds and thousands of different’.” Xu Weijie said.

A smart factory must have a smart “brain”. Following in the footsteps of Xu Weijie, we walked into the “central” of the entire factory-the digital operation center of the No. 6 factory. On the huge screen, the factory’s production, quality, safety, energy consumption, equipment and other indicators can be seen at a glance. Through unified digital management, it can analyze in real time the problems that a certain module needs to pay attention to, and realize the whole process monitoring and timely response.

“To be selected as the’Lighthouse Factory’ this time, we are focusing on the pain points of the industry, and promoting the deep integration of artificial intelligence, 5G, big data and other technologies with the industry, so as to increase production and reduce costs, improve quality and create efficiency, and green manufacturing is the key.” CITIC Dai According to Li Zhiguang, manager of the Card No. 6 factory, overall, CITIC Dicastal’s “Lighthouse Factory” has achieved a 33% reduction in production costs, a 21.4% increase in overall equipment efficiency, a 20.9% reduction in product defect rate, a 37.9% reduction in delivery time, and an increase in energy efficiency. 39%.

How to become a “lighthouse factory”-digital production, obvious improvement of key indicators, and popularization and replication. As the highest honor of the global manufacturing industry, the “Lighthouse Factory” is not only a medal to commend advanced manufacturing companies, but also a goal that many manufacturing companies strive for. Statistics show that since the latest expansion on September 27, the total number of members of the “Global Beacon Network” has reached 90. After 10 shortlisted in China this time, the total number has increased to 31, accounting for 34% of the total, and the growth momentum is obvious. .

A detailed analysis of the Chinese shortlisted companies, they are mainly distributed in the manufacturing fields of machinery manufacturing, automobile manufacturing, household appliances, steel manufacturing, electronic equipment manufacturing, textiles and clothing, food manufacturing, etc., and they have demonstrated their excellence in production and operation management. For example, Midea, which has been deeply involved in the home appliance manufacturing industry, has realized the digital operation of the entire value chain, intelligent production scheduling, and digital logistics management by connecting online and offline, which has increased production efficiency by 28%, reduced unit costs by 14%, and shortened order delivery time by 56%. . In the field of clothing production, Alibaba’s Rhino Intelligent Manufacturing has realized mass customized production of user-connected manufacturing, shortening delivery time by 75% and reducing inventory by 30%.

Li Zhiguang introduced that being selected as the “Lighthouse Factory” requires a clear value creation for the industry. In terms of manufacturing cost reduction, production efficiency improvement, and environmental protection and sustainability, at least 5 world-leading technology applications must be integrated and built The extended industrial Internet platform supports the large-scale replication of use cases. In addition, there needs to be a matching digital management model, talent team and corporate culture. Not only that, judging from the selection criteria of the lighthouse factory this time, sustainable development and green and low-carbon have become new trends. In this selection, three companies, including Ericsson, Schneider Electric, and Henkel, won the new title-“Sustainable Development Beacon”, that is, factories and value chains that have made breakthroughs in sustainable development and production efficiency. .

According to Zeng Cheng, the person in charge of Shenzhen Xinrun Fulian Digital Technology Co., Ltd., the lighthouse factory must meet three conditions. Digitalization of the entire value chain of the service; the second is to achieve effective manufacturing, which can show excellent improvement results in key operational indicators, such as production efficiency, energy consumption, and speed to market; the third is to be reproducible and able to be used in multiple factories Carry out replication and promotion to promote the transformation and upgrading of its production, management, and R&D.

CITIC Dicastal No. 6 factory personnel inspect intelligent equipment and automated production lines

Taking CITIC Dicastal as an example, the demonstration and leading role of the Lighthouse Factory has already emerged. In the first half of this year, benefiting from the recovery of the automotive market and the increase in light-weight demand, profits increased by 81% year-on-year, laying a solid foundation for the company’s high-quality development. The experience of the CITIC Dicastal Lighthouse Factory is not limited to internal empowerment. It has been replicated in many of its factories around the world and will be further promoted in other subsidiaries of CITIC Group in the field of advanced intelligent manufacturing and advanced materials to promote the realization of high-end, intelligent and Green and low-carbon development.

Nowadays, the construction of smart factories represented by lighthouse factories has increasingly become the starting point for promoting smart manufacturing. At present, Guangdong, Shanghai, Xiamen and other provinces and cities have successively introduced policies to support the cultivation of lighthouse factories and promote the digital transformation of the manufacturing industry. It is believed that more lighthouse factories will emerge on the land of China in the near future.