Intelligent manufacturing in China: opportunity or challenge?

During the COVID-19 epidemic in 2020, many smart manufacturing companies demonstrated their strength. Faced with limited travel for residents, hindered business resumption, and shortage of medical staff, some intelligent manufacturing companies, relying on their technological accumulation and manufacturing advantages, have launched food delivery drones, automatic temperature measuring robots, and intelligent medical service robots to help with life during the epidemic.


Intelligent manufacturing enterprises usher in the “highlight moment”, from which we can see China’s great development. According to the in-depth Research and Investment Prospect Forecast Report of China’s Intelligent Manufacturing Industry from 2016 to 2020 released by CIC, the annual compound growth rate of China’s intelligent manufacturing industry is about 20% by 2020, and the output value is expected to exceed 300 million.


At the same time, China’s manufacturing industry has gone through the stages of mechanization, automation, and digitization, and has established a complete manufacturing system and infrastructure, playing an important role in the global industrial chain. This gives China the possibility and basic strength to realize intelligent manufacturing and promote the transformation of the global industrial chain.


But China still faces some challenges in smart manufacturing. Strong intelligent manufacturing is a combination of advanced manufacturing level and intelligent technology application. At present, there is a certain gap between China and developed countries in both aspects.


Although China’s intelligent manufacturing is widely used, it has not grasped many-core technologies. To compete with advanced countries, it must have sufficient capital and talents. As a result of the epidemic, global authorities have predicted that the economic growth rate of developed countries will decline, and China’s traditional export market of the manufacturing industry will shrink. Besides, high-end talents in global intelligent manufacturing are mainly concentrated in developed countries, while the number of relevant talents in China cannot fully meet the needs of the domestic intelligent manufacturing industry, which will affect the long-term development of intelligent manufacturing. To catch up with the advanced world level as soon as possible, China’s intelligent manufacturing industry has many shortcomings that need to be addressed. The most important is to give full play to the advantages of the domestic market, create a good business environment, and attract capital and talents from the global intelligent manufacturing industry. On the one hand, we need to further open up and improve regulations to make China an environmentally friendly investment destination. On the other hand, we will improve the policy of attracting international talents so that global talents are willing to work and start businesses in China.


In the general trend of China’s intelligent manufacturing development, enterprises should rely on their own core technologies to achieve a wider range and deeper innovation, which can promote the arrival of the era of China’s intelligent manufacturing as soon as possible.


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