Although the term “Industy 4.0” originated with the German government, the idea of a fourth industrial revolution has resonated with manufacturers around the globe. There’s a tendency to associate cutting-edge manufacturing technology with the West, but countries around the globe have been doing their utmost to gain a competitive edge. So, what does Industry 4.0 look like outside of Europe and North America?
The Chinese government released already in 2017 implementation guidelines for the “Made in China 2025” strategy. The guidelines outline the Chinese manufacturing sector refurbishment, emphasizing innovations-based production, which should lift the country into a higher value-added economy. The strategy, which is in essence similar to Germany’s economy digitisation “Industrie 4.0” programme, creates one of the largest rivalries to Germany’s efforts.
The “Made in China 2025” strategy provides the correct incentives to cope with the country’s deteriorating competitive strength, such as low value-added operations, lack of innovation and rising labour costs, as well as combats the country’s other problems, like pollution. Looking ahead, it is the combination of connected machines and big data analytics which will cut manufacturing and service costs. The greatest benefits delivered by the IoT will be applications that capture and analyze the vast amount of data generated by automated systems. Future investment will focus on developing applications to add value to the industry-specific use of industrial robotic systems.
Source: Euromonitor International from national statistics
Fluid Intelligence in China
At the end of May Fluid Intelligence was part of a delegate that visited China, the city of Chongqing in Jiangbei district. Chongqing is a big city with over 30 million inhabitants around the muncipality. It is a fast groving industrial center located in the inland.
There is a lot of interest for Nordic know-how in China. We had a signing seremony of a Letter of Intent for co-operation between city of Chongqing and a Finnish alliance led by University of Oulu. We also participated a government seminar about China-Finland collaboration and WCIFIT Fair. A lot of interesting meetings and discussions took place and here are some of our learnings.
1. Local partners and government support is essential
With government’s support we had an opportunity to visit several companies representing different industries in Chongqing. It seems that Chinese automotive industry is groving very fast in that area. There are also a lot of energy and heavy industry operations around.
It’s very essential to have a support and acceptance from government to your business plans. It makes it possible to agree and have meetings with local companies to start co-operation with. After you have a solid business case and get to have a meeting with a potential customer, you need to start planning the possible business models, including local partners. If you are able to establish a local company with local partners, it’s even better.
Fluid Intelligence is now planning the next steps for China. It means a lot of preparations, localized materials and presentations, further discussions with government, and also discussions and preparations with suitable companies to start co-operation with.
2. China is a big player in Big Data and IoT
Gathering data from everywhere is very common there. Most of the companies we visited had a large showrooms where they shared the most important messages in the big wall screens to their visitors. Often, they showed a lot of graphics and analytics that they had processed from the huge amount of data they have gathered.
Data management is a big challenge when gathering, processing and analyzing huge amounts of data from different sources. The technologies as such are already there and in use, it’s more about how to manage the data so that we can utilize it properly and get the most out of it.
Fluid Intelligence has a very comprehensive solution for Oil Condition Monitoring for heavy industry, energy plants, logistics, etc. It combines data management, industrial IoT, Cloud system, monitoring and intelligent data analytics into a one entirety. There seems to be a lot of benefit and interest for that in the area of Chongqing, one of China’s industry capitals.
3. Green and clean is a good approach
In China, people and companies have realized the pollution challenge. They are trying to make the change and want to discover clean and green approaches for the future.
Fluid Intelligence’s statement is that there are a huge amount of unnecessary lubrication oil changes and waste oil generation in the heavy machineries just because of uncertainty. We will bring the knowledge-based information of the oil performance in real-time. We can cut the waste oil streams in half globally.
These kind of initiatives are very welcome in China. We need to work intensively to prove our statement and targets there. We need to collaborate with other international companies, as well as build the relationships and co-operations with local companies with the support of the government. We had a good start and we’re looking forward to the next steps.
Written by Eero Juustila, CDO, Fluid Intelligence