New factory driven by intelligent upgrades
Shanghai DEMC Group has recently put its new factory into use, a 61,000-square-meter space holding five production lines that can manufacture and assemble vehicle at the same time.
Industry 4.0 is driving forward the informatization and intelligent upgrade in the factory.
DEMC is a Jiading-based automobile equipment manufacturer that focuses on the vehicle frame production line. It used virtual adjustment technology to simulate the whole process of assembly and testing, which is able to save one-third of the time needed in an actual scenario.
In the past, original drafts needed to be revised many times through installation before the final assembly line took shape. This process would take about half a year.
The smart factory, however, turns the specifications into digital figures and gets the parts fixed before actual production, which means efficiency is largely improved.
Engineers at DEMC did the math. If a vehicle is priced at 100,000 yuan (US$15,000) , the company is able to make 120 million yuan of output value a day with the latest production capacity.
DEMC is also exploring a smart workshop without any workers. In the experimental workshop, the traditional streamline manual work has been replaced by robotic arms. They operate at the same time to fetch and weld materials.
Kong Bing, president of the company, said that this year DEMC is investing more in technological research to transform toward high-end manufacturing.
“Now we are developing a general assembly and production line, which will be capable of a mixed production of at least 10 models in one single line,” Kong said. “We will extend our collaboration with the OEMs to make breakthroughs in the car-making crafts. The lines we develop will be compatible for more materials like aluminum-steel alloy, all-aluminum or carbon-fiber.”
DEMC settled in Jiading in 2012 with fewer than 100 employees. Within two years its annual production value leapt to 200 million yuan. Now its team has grown tenfold and hit a sales record of one billion yuan last year.