Aug 03,2018

Non-standard Automation Equipment: A New Perspective Of Industrial Value Transformation

The transformation of industrial perspective

If the first three industrial revolutions have greatly increased productivity in the direction of mechanization, scale, standardization, and non-standard automation, then the biggest difference between the fourth industrial revolution and the previous three is that the starting point of it is no longer based on the production demand of the manufacturing end. Instead, the client value is regarded as the core of the entire industrial chain, which changes the model of industrial value chain driven from production end to consumer end and from the upstream to the downstream. It provides customized products and services from the value needs of the client, which is referred to as the common goal of the whole industrial chain to make the whole industrial chain realize the coordination optimization. The essence is the transformation of industrial perspective.

Invisible problems

In the present manufacturing, there are many uncertain factors that can not be quantified and cannot be mastered by the decision-makers. These uncertainties exist both in the manufacturing process and in the process of use outside the manufacturing process. The first three industrial revolutions mainly solved visible problems, such as avoiding product defects, avoiding processing failures, improving equipment efficiency and reliability, avoiding equipment failures and safety problems. These problems are easy to avoid and solve in industrial production because they are visible and measurable. Invisible problems are usually characterized by poor performance, deterioration of health, wear of components, and high operational risk. Because these factors are difficult to be quantified through measurement, they are often uncontrollable risks in industrial production, and most of the visible problems are caused by the accumulation of these invisible factors to a certain extent. Therefore, the focus and competitive point of the industrial Internet is to avoid these invisible factors and make them transparent.

Invisible demand

Another feature that is invisible to the perspective of the experience of the use process is the continuation of the manufacturing process and manufacturing value to the use process. It is not only about making a product but also about how to use it well to maximize the value of the product. The innovation and creation of the product are no longer only oriented to meet the user's visible needs, but to use the user's data of use to deeply understand the user's usage scene and find the user's demand gap from the scene. These gaps are called "invisible requirements" because even users are difficult to realize. For example, most car buyers will demand fuel-efficient cars, so all car manufacturers try to change models and engines to make cars more fuel-efficient. However, little attention is paid to the impact of user's driving habits on fuel consumption, because driving habits are also invisible to users, so there are no users who require the car to provide driving behavior management functions. Therefore, the market competition in the era of the new industrial revolution will also change from meeting the perceived needs of customers to looking for the user’s gaps of needs. In the past, we almost reached the end of the production value chain after selling our products to our customers, and the spread of new technologies such as cloud computing has further extended the value chain to the user side, which uses the product as a carrier of services and data as a medium of services. During the process of use, the user’s need gaps are constantly excavated and the information services generated by data mining are used to create value for users. Data is still the most important medium for providing customers with customized products. Manufacturing in the new industrial revolution will connect the end customers to the manufacturing system through data. These data will automatically determine the decision-making of the various links of the production system, realize the integration of the production upstream and downstream, and the difficulty of human work will be greatly reduced. In this way, the organization structure of the factory will tend to be flat, and the efficiency of production resources will also be optimized.

One example is the recently popular smart bracelet, which can be worn to collect data during sleep, and when you wake up, you can see the results of the data analysis. You can see the quality of your sleep, the time of deep sleep and the curve of sleep alternation. It was only then that we discovered that what determined the quality of sleep was not a few hours of sleep altogether, but the proportion of deep sleep that accounted for the entire sleep time. Daytime energy is a visible phenomenon, but the quality of sleep is invisible. The smart bracelet uses the analysis of sleep data to turn the invisible quality of sleep into visible measurable results and uses this information to help users manage visible life.

The new industrial revolution is not just a revolution in manufacturing, but a more profound change. Innovation models, business models, service models, industrial chains and value chains will all revolutionize the culture of manufacturing, from "machine worship and process worship” to "value definition" of the humanistic perspective. Today, the retail industry has gradually shifted to "content, IP",  and in the future, manufacturing products or services will also be transformed into "IP-oriented manufactured products." Production lines and consumer use are in a state of eternal interaction and extend data-based value-added services. Cloud computing, artificial intelligence, and big data are the basic condition of the transformation. The most fundamental driving force for industrial upgrading comes from the innovative technological changes of business models and intelligent service systems, which are the blue ocean of future industrial competition.