Industrial Internet, key factories pick up pace in China

China is escalating its efforts to develop industrial Internet platforms and establish more lighthouse factories as part of a broader strategy to spur new industrialization, heighten global manufacturing competitiveness, and stimulate industrial upgrades. According to industry experts, the industrial Internet, a new form of manufacturing automation that integrates advanced machinery, internet-connected sensors, and big-data analysis, is a significant driver of high-quality development in the digital economy. It plays a crucial role in deepening digital transformation in manufacturing, operational management, and marketing services.

Zhou Yunjie, the chairman and CEO of Haier Group, a prominent Chinese home appliance company, emphasized the importance of leveraging the industrial Internet to unlock the potential of vast data resources, which is pivotal to advancing new industrialization. Haier has put considerable resources into developing its industrial-Internet platform, COSMOPlat, which enables rapid product customization by collecting and analyzing data from consumers, suppliers, and factories with internet-connected sensors. As a result, eight Haier factories have been recognized as lighthouse factories, a designation given to the most innovative leaders in manufacturing by the World Economic Forum and McKinsey & Co.

So far, 153 lighthouse factories have been selected worldwide, and China leads with 62, constituting more than 40% of the global total. These factories symbolize the pinnacle of global intelligent manufacturing due to their high efficiency, intelligence, and sustainability. One of the new additions to the lighthouse factories list is Haier’s air conditioner factory in Hefei, Anhui province, which has achieved a 33% increase in energy efficiency, a 49% boost in labor productivity, and a 22% reduction in unit manufacturing costs following the application of advanced algorithms, digital twins, and other cutting-edge technologies.

In addition to Haier, BOE Technology Group, a leading Chinese display panel supplier, is increasing its focus on the intelligent manufacturing sector and using cutting-edge digital technologies to enable the digital transformation of traditional enterprises across the nation. Leveraging its experience in intelligent manufacturing capacities, BOE has established an industrial-Internet platform that offers digital transformation services for manufacturing companies, helping them enhance productivity.

In summary, China is intensifying its push to develop industrial Internet platforms and create more lighthouse factories in a bid to advance new industrialization and bolster industrial upgrades. Companies like Haier and BOE are leading the way by integrating advanced technologies into their operations to increase efficiency, productivity, and sustainability in their manufacturing processes.

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