China Daily: Intelligent manufacturing empowers companies in Foshan city of southern China's Guangdong Province to pursue high-quality development and expand overseas
Chinese article by 爱集微
English Editor 张未名
02-22 14:51

(JW Insights) Feb 22 -- Digital transformation prompts companies - Yifang Pharmaceutical, Wision Furniture and KUKA Robotics (Guangdong) - in Foshan city in southern China's Guangdong Province to pursue high-quality development and make their mark globally, reported China Daily on February 21.

As China's largest traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) formula granule producer, Yifang Pharmaceutical, located in Nanhui district of Foshan city, has tried to integrate advanced technologies such as intelligent traditional Chinese medicine granules dispensing system.

Founded in 1992, Yifang Pharmaceutical can ensure ingredient's safety with a built-in error checking and visual-audio verification system. This guarantees that the right TCM herbs are dispensed, which in turn eliminates human error, said the China Daily report.

Zhou Lin, a senior executive of Yifang, said the introduction of technologies, including AI and cloud computing, is key to helping solve the problems and increase efficiency. The deep integration of modern technologies and TCM makes the traditional industry shine, and offers more possibilities for TCM to play a bigger role.

Smart technology has played a new role not only in the TCM sector, but also in other areas ranging from traditional furniture industry over the past decade in Foshan, according to the report.

Wision Furniture, a Foshan-based manufacturer, has adapted intelligent manufacturing to enable more customized consumption, replacing most of the traditional human work. Even the carts to carry raw wood materials and finished products are automated guided vehicles. The 40,000-square-meter plant only needs five to eight workers, who operate the computers in the control center and take an occasional tour of inspection.

The internet has made it possible for the company to receive several orders in a single day from customers across the country. While this has helped drive the company's growth, it has also posed a tough challenge in terms of the need to produce a high volume of tailor-made furniture using traditional methods, said the report.

Li Gan, general manager of Wision Furniture, said, "That's why intelligent manufacturing is necessary, which will make it possible to produce customized products on a large scale, standardize our production criteria and achieve a material utilization rate of 93 percent."

With the help of digital transformation, Wision Furniture goes after new markets to capture the growing global demand.

Thailand is an important overseas base for Wision Furniture. As early as 2017, the company established a partnership with local traditional furniture enterprises which ranked in the top three in Thailand, mainly by transforming the local manufacturing workshops and production systems of Thai enterprises to transfer Wision Furniture's technology overseas.

Currently, Wision Furniture provides information services to overseas enterprises and charges a service fee of "one dollar per barcode". Its business volume in the Thai market is about RMB80 million ($12 million).

China's industrial robot market has seen a new peak in applications, with vigorous development in new energy vehicles, furniture, biomedicine and other industries, said the China Daily report.

Chen Feng, director of operations and human resources of industrial robot manufacturer KUKA Robotics (Guangdong) in Foshan, said, "While we get off work, the production line doesn't."

KUKA Robotics (Guangdong) officially began production in 2019. It has produced over 6,300 robots by 2020, with a sales revenue of RMB972 million ($149.5 million). In 2021, the company continued its rapid growth, with robot production exceeding 17,000 units (accounting for nearly 4.9 percent of the national output), and the annual output value of robotic bodies reached RMB2.57 billion ($395 million), a year-on-year increase of 165 percent, according to China Daily.

(Chen HX)

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