Beijing Factory Given “Lighthouse” Status for Digitalization

Image credit: iStockphoto/Fritz Jorgensen

Beijing’s SANY drilling machinery factory has been recognized for its use of new digital technologies in the World Economic Forum’s “Lighthouse” list of factories.

The SANY factory combines the comprehensive application of up-to-date technologies such as advanced automation, human-machine collaboration, AI, and IoT. It has boosted productivity by 185% while reducing production lead time from 30 to seven days.

SANY began its digital transformation in 2018 and prompted the launch of a new subsidiary SANY Robot Technology, which the company created to drive the mission of becoming a pioneer in intelligent manufacturing.

Examples of breakthroughs made by the new division include a three-dimensional warehouse for steel plate, the loading and unloading of heavier materials with 5G-enabled Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs), the automatic assembly and welding of material in narrow spaces, and large groove coordinated welding by multi-robots with laser sensors.

New updates include a new Intelligent Storage System based on AR and speech recognition technologies, which assigns picking and distribution tasks to workers through AR glasses.

The factory now has eight flexible work centers, 16 intelligent production lines, and 375 production facilities connected to the internet.  It can manufacture nearly 30 types of machinery.

SANY has said it expects the transformation to help it reach sales of USD46 billion, recruit 3000 more workers and hire 3,000 engineers by the end of the 14th Five Year Plan in 2025.

The company plans to upgrade more than 30 of its factories worldwide to the same level as the Beijing facility.

The Lighthouse list was created in 2018 by consulting group McKinsey and the World Economic Forum. Nineteen factories have been selected globally as the best examples of digital manufacturing and globalization 4.0.

Image credit: iStockphoto/Fritz Jorgensen