Industrial Master Computer -- More Important than Chip
"The industrial machine is not strong, what about making a strong country?" Shen Liechu, the former vice minister of the Ministry of Machinery, once sighed. The industrial machine is the "equipment of production equipment", which provides intelligent production equipment and parts for the equipment manufacturing industry, such as industrial robots, engines, automobiles, engineering machinery, industrial basic parts, etc. It is one of the most important tools in industrial production and is the cornerstone of the entire industrial system. As the core link of the industrial manufacturing chain, the technical level of the industrial machine determines the industrial manufacturing capacity of a country or region, and even the comprehensive competitiveness between countries.
After the global financial crisis broke out in 2008, the output value of machine tools shrank to 385.1 billion yuan in 2009. With the global economic recovery, the output value of the machine tool industry has remained at 500 billion to 600 billion yuan, with no significant growth in the past decade. From 2019 to 2020, the global output value of machine tools will continue to decline. Under the combined influence of the COVID-19, the global machine tool output value was less than 500 billion yuan in 2020, with a decrease of 16.3%.
For many years, China has occupied the seat of the world's largest producer and consumer. Taking 2018 as an example, among the top three countries in global regional output value, China accounted for 28%, Japan 17% and Germany 16%, and the total gross machine tool production of China, Japan and Germany accounted for more than 60% of the world.
In terms of consumption, China's total machine tool consumption accounted for 35.3% of the world's total, exceeding the second to sixth place combined of the United States (9.4%), Germany (8.2%), Japan (7.4%), South Korea (4.9%) and Italy (4%). It can be seen that China has a pivotal position in the global machine tool consumer market
The Difficulties Faced by China's Machine Tool Industry
Since the late 1990s, the original R&D system of China's machine tool industry has collapsed, and a new market-oriented R&D system has not been established. Taking materials as an example, there is a big gap between China's basic material homogeneity, cutting performance and other indicators compared with foreign countries. Not only do high-end tools rely on imports, but also a large number of high-end materials for downstream applications rely heavily on imports. In this situation of "internal and external troubles", China's machine tool industry was quickly thrown away by countries and regions in Europe, the United States, Japan, etc., and was powerless to catch up. The main reason is that the product competitiveness of enterprises is insufficient, the mechanism and system are not flexible enough, and they lag behind international enterprises, which finally leads to the dilemma of Chinese machine tool enterprises. At present, the merger and reorganization of the domestic machine tool industry has begun, and the domestic competition pattern is expected to continue to optimize. China's machine tool industry will carry out a new round of industrial restructuring in the face of numerous difficulties and challenges.
Solutions for China's machine tool industry
Under the policy encouragement, domestic leading machine tool enterprises began to rise rapidly, and the number of small and medium-sized machine tool enterprises in the list of "little giants" with special expertise and innovation ability gradually increased, becoming the backbone of high-end machine tool products; China presided over the revision of the international standard ISO 10791-7: 2020 Test Conditions for Machining Centers - Part 7: Precision of Finished Test Pieces, which was approved by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and officially released, effectively enhancing the international influence of China's machine tool industry. At present, China's industrial machine tools have entered a new stage of development, and a number of major innovative achievements have been made, including the development of three categories of high-end CNC machine tools, the development of five categories of large-scale heavy-duty basic manufacturing equipment, and the breakthrough of 12 key core technologies, such as high-speed cutting and multi axis linkage processing. Among them, the gantry five axis machine tool, 80000 ton die forging press and other large heavy equipment have filled the domestic gap, formed China's high-end manufacturing capacity in rail transit, power generation equipment, shipbuilding and other fields, and also solved a large number of "choke" equipment manufacturing problems.
Breakthroughs in the industry will not be achieved overnight. The breakthrough of industrial machine tools requires the cooperation and support of R&D system, supply system, policy support and user support. With the deep integration of the new generation of information technology and manufacturing industry, and the continuous development of Internet, big data, cloud computing, and 5G technology, China's industrial machine tools are advancing rapidly in the direction of intelligence and high-end
Source | Part of it is excerpted from "The Great Power's Barriers: How to Solve the" Neck Jam "Problem, written by Jin Hainian, Gu Qiang, Gong Bing, etc., China Translation Publishing House, published in March 2022.