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"Industry 4.0" concept machine tool was born in Shanghai

How did the Shanghai team develop a "model machine tool" that embodied this concept before Germany proposed "industry 4.0"? "Many people looked at German industrial software and were scared away because it was too professional. We just thought, can we make the user interface close to the software and make people interested in clicking?" Huang Yunying said

recently, a well-known Japanese enterprise reduced the price of two products - machine tool CNC system and drilling and attacking center in the Chinese market by more than 20%. The important reason is that the CNC drilling and tapping center produced by Shenyang Machine Tool Group has entered the Pearl River Delta on a large scale for the manufacturing of electronic product parts such as shells. Previously, this market was almost monopolized by Japanese enterprises. The reason for breaking the monopoly is that the Shanghai Research Institute of Shenyang Machinery Co., Ltd. has independently developed the "i5" numerical control system in five years and creatively implanted the interconnection gene, so that Siemens held a meeting to discuss: why was the machine tool embodying the concept of "industry 4.0" first born in China

this question can be further focused: why was the i5 intelligent system born in Shanghai? What enlightenment has this brought to Shanghai's scientific and technological innovation, especially the technological innovation of state-owned enterprises

state owned enterprises should have a long-term vision in their R & D decisions

the medium and high-end CNC machine tools used by Chinese enterprises have been monopolized by Siemens, FANUC and other foreign enterprises for a long time. In July, 2006, under the instruction of the central leadership, Shenyang Machinery Group began to develop CNC system. The group cooperates with Japan Yaskawa Electric Co., Ltd., an Italian CNC machine tool enterprise, and Shenyang Institute of computing technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences. Guanxiyou, the general manager of the group, also found zhuzhihao, a senior brother of the University, and hoped that he could lead the R & D team of Shenji to cooperate with Japanese and Italian enterprises

Zhu Zhihao, who was a teacher at Tongji University at that time, was not a professor, let alone an academician, but he had long studied CNC machine tools. When he learned that Shenji group and the local government would jointly invest 100million yuan in R & D every year, Zhu Zhihao was persuaded and decided to "go out" to help his younger martial brother, but he put forward two requirements: the R & D team must work in Shanghai; Shenyang Machinery Management should ensure the autonomy of the R & D team and should not intervene too much in the decision-making of the technical route

"Shanghai is the highland of domestic scientific research talents. If the team stays in Shanghai, it can recruit more excellent employees." Zhu Zhihao explained, "the second requirement is that state-owned enterprises often have more administrative intervention, and the R & D team is vulnerable to the selection of technical routes. Fortunately, the management of Shenyang Machinery Co., Ltd. provides a very loose environment. HC performance film is a better choice for lightweight products that need high-pressure cushioning and protection. The distance between Shanghai and Shenyang is thicker than shopping plastic bags in shopping malls, which also makes us in a 'free range' state."

Zhu Zhihao set up a founding team of 10 people, most of whom are post-80s masters, from Tongji, Shanghai Jiaotong University and other colleges and universities. Their academic qualifications are not high, and they have not studied CNC machine tools before, but masters in related majors. In November, 2007, the Shanghai Branch of Shenji (Group) design and Research Institute was established. Zhu Zhihao led these young people on the road of "learning while working"

at the beginning of the establishment of the branch, Yaskawa, Japan, hoped that the Shanghai team would adopt their digital bus technical standards, but Zhu Zhihao did not agree. Admittedly, after adopting this enterprise agreement, the research and development process can be greatly accelerated. It is estimated that the CNC system can be made in oneortwo years, but the scalability of the product will be limited. At that time, the management of Shenyang Machinery Co., Ltd. had a "dilemma": was it to introduce foreign enterprise technical standards and make products as soon as possible, or did it research and develop independently to increase time and uncertainty? Finally, they chose the latter

Zhu Zhihao felt deeply about this: "the leaders of state-owned enterprises have tenure. If they can't do anything in twoorthree years, the pressure can be imagined. But for long-term development, the leaders of state-owned enterprises should try to avoid being affected by short-term interests when making decisions." The management of Shenyang Machinery Group spent five years of patience and hundreds of millions of yuan of continuous investment in exchange for the breakthrough achievements of the Shanghai team

mastering core technology should be "bottom-up"

Huang Yunying, a master of Tongji University, is a member of the founding team. After the establishment of the Shanghai Branch, he and his partners went to Italian Cooperative Enterprises for training. This company produces five axis CNC machine tools with high technology content, leading these young "laymen" into the door. Turn to version 7 (continued from version 1) however, the subsequent joint venture process has disappointed Huang Yunying and others: Italian enterprises have given Chinese personnel a motion control platform in a "black box" state, and all data and codes are not open. What Chinese personnel need to do is to make the user interface Chinese, without any technical content. "After half a year of cooperation, we found that we definitely couldn't learn the core technology, so we decided to completely develop our own research and development."

it's not easy to make this determination. The code of machine tool numerical control system is up to millions of lines. To write them line by line, we can imagine the technical difficulty, labor and time cost. Guan Xiyou asked the Shanghai team: do you want to buy this Italian company? The latter answer: even if the acquisition, we still do not know how to write the code. The method of mastering core technologies in many fields is not joint venture, acquisition, or secondary development on the introduced platform, but to build the whole system "from bottom to top" by our own strength

Huang Yunying recalled the scene when he developed the system: the winter in Shanghai was very cold, and a group of young people wrapped in down jackets were tapping codes in the workshop, making their hands and feet cold. I don't know how long it took. When I looked up, it was dark all around. Since the production of customers cannot be delayed, members of the marketing department can debug the system only after customers get off work. Sometimes they work all night, and some people "cross the year" in the customer workshop. Since 2008, the Shanghai team has started from the bottom algorithm, writing code while doing machine tool experiments. According to incomplete statistics, they have carried out a total of 1917 versions of CNC system updates, writing more than 200000 lines of overall code and more than 50 core algorithms in the core part of CNC, and more than 20000 lines of core code and more than 20 core algorithms in the servo drive control part

during this period, the advantages of Shanghai's talent highland have further emerged: in order to complete the project, the R & D team has been expanded to about 200 people, with undergraduate and master's degrees accounting for 40% respectively. A group of backbones come from well-known universities in Shanghai

the R & D organization mode should be more conducive to innovation

in the workshop of the science and Technology Park of the National University of science and technology, I saw the "men of science and technology" of Shenyang Machine Tool Shanghai Research Institute. Some of them were disassembling devices, and some were buried in wire stacks. Beside them, there are five axis linkage machine tools, drilling and tapping centers, vertical machining centers and other connected i5 CNC machine tools

how did the Shanghai team develop a "model machine tool" that embodies this concept before Germany proposed "industry 4.0"? "Many people looked at German industrial software and were scared away because it was too professional. We just thought, can we make the user interface close to the software and make people interested in clicking?" Huang Yunying said. Then they thought, can we design a transmission protocol so that all the data of the CNC system can be transmitted to the Internet? Under the guidance of this innovative thinking, they have developed the i5 intelligent system for customers to do a good job in designing drawings. One of the "I" represents the Internet

now, relying on the i5 numerical control system, Shenyang Machinery Group is cooperating with digital China and Everbright financial holdings to build a "smart cloud" cloud manufacturing platform. More than 2000 i5 CNC machine tools have been connected to the cloud platform, and it is expected to reach 10000 by the end of this year. Using the data uploaded by them, intelligent Yunke is exploring a variety of innovative business models, such as the "pay per piece" machine tool rental business, providing idle machine tools for customers including makers; Another example is personalized jewelry customization, which creates jewelry with specific requirements for consumers

wangyingchun, an associate researcher of Shanghai Institute of science, believes that the burst of innovative thinking in Shanghai teams is related to the advanced R & D organization model. The system and atmosphere of Shenyang Machine Tool Shanghai Research Institute is a bit like Google. For example, the flexible working system is implemented. Considering that young people like to sleep late, employees are not required to work at the unit time every day; After the child is born, the employee can work at home one day a week and write code while taking care of the child. "Our work is mainly software development. Many times, like studying Goldbach's conjecture, we need inspiration, so we need to create a loose working environment." Zhu Zhihao said. Like Google Labs, there is no authority here. Young people can imagine boldly and discuss freely. In Zhu Zhihao's view, graduate students are often more innovative than professors, because they are not bound by inherent ideas

the organizational model of SMMC Shanghai Research Institute is also characterized by its relatively independent system, which is almost free of intervention and assessment, and has been supported by funds for many consecutive years. Wang Yingchun said that the enterprise R & D organization is undergoing a change on a global scale, from the traditional model such as the Central Research Institute to the maker space model, that is, to separate the innovation team from the original system of the enterprise and put it into a more open and flat environment. Shenyang Machinery Group has made a good exploration in this regard. Shanghai state-owned enterprises should also speed up the reform process of R & D organization mode to better stimulate the innovative vitality of employees

(source: global hardware)

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