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Flextronics makes great efforts to build "Industry 4.0" factories

2022-06-13 14:24

Industry 4.0 is a new revolution aimed at improving the intelligence level of the manufacturing industry and establishing smart factories with adaptability, resource efficiency and genetic engineering. Whoever takes the initiative to take this step in this change may win the future of the manufacturing industry, but how much impact will this change have, and what is its reality? With such doubts, the reporter recently walked into the Flextronics factory located in Suzhou Industrial Park.

In the Suhong factory in Suzhou Industrial Park, the reporter saw that various aspects of automation, production automation, information automation... Industry 4.0 can be seen everywhere in this smart factory. Walking into the production workshop, the four robotic arms rotate back and forth, realizing the full automation of the label sticking production line. Board feeding, laser printing, cutting board... The process work is completed in an instant. "Different from the previous processes such as manual board feeding and board splitting, this production line improves efficiency while avoiding unnecessary losses that may have occurred in the past, including cutting crooked or other manual labor," said Rita Jiang. In the factory, the transfer of goods between the assembly lines is mostly realized by automatic guided vehicles, and even the warehousing action is realized automatically when the automatic guided vehicle enters the warehouse by scanning the laser code. "The next step, we want to realize the work of packaging is also done by robots," said Tony, the head of the factory.

What is the ultimate goal of automation? Reduce the number of labor and improve efficiency, and ultimately give customers and products the consistency of payment. But there is no doubt that without the control of real-time data, Industry 4.0 is just a fantasy. Automation is by no means a simple human replacement, but a combination of performance, speed, and data feedback. When talking with reporters, he said that automation is actually the key to achieving high quality. At the same time, in terms of improving production progress, the consumer electronics industry requires products to be brought to the market in a short period of time, which also highlights the leadership of speed. On the other hand, it also improves the competitiveness of customers and the industry. If there is a data feedback problem, it can be the first to speak. "Real realization of Industry 4.0 requires timely feedback of data, and automation is the only way." The reporter saw at the scene that a unique QR code will be engraved on the product during the production process of each chip, and the product will be delivered to customers. If the problem is solved, all production details can be traced back to the source. The exact time of production, which worker is on duty, and which batch of raw materials are available can be found.

The reporter saw that each factory has many production lines, but the number of workers is very small. According to the person in charge of the factory, if calculated by all labor, each production line used to require several to dozens of people. Using automated information processes, now only 2 people are needed. The efficiency is increased by 5 times, and the stability of quality is also guaranteed because a large amount of work is produced by automation. In the future, Flextronics will achieve the goal of one production line with one person.

In addition to the automation of production lines, information automation is also an important symbol of Industry 4.0.

For the company's management and customers, is it possible to know the real-time status of the production line in the factory anytime, anywhere? In Flextronics, a small smartphone can easily do it. "Just by downloading the app, you can receive real-time global information from end customers. The configuration of the machine and the level of the production line, etc., customers can understand in real time by connecting to the electronic system."

Production line work orders, automated production progress... Through an electronic screen carrier, you can see at a glance. This back-pull production method realizes the automatic information age of customer orders, assembly and production; all of which are developed by Flextronics.

In the booth, a small cabinet-like device caught the reporter's attention. It is reported that this is part of the avionics module of the Chinese-made C919 large aircraft that has been rolled off the assembly line recently. In this integrated modular avionics system, the circuit boards have different functions to form a customized avionics system. The integrated avionics system component is a key component in the aircraft's avionics core system, connecting the aircraft control system and other branch systems. It is reported that the integrated avionics system components manufactured by Flextronics for AVIAGE SYSTEMS are used in commercial aircraft projects in China. AVIAGE SYSTEMS is also a Tier 1 supplier of China's first commercial aircraft, COMAC C919.

Flextronics not only provides OEM for large-scale engineering and high-end products, but also does a lot of exploration in self-innovation. The reporter saw a product that integrates blood pressure measurement, blood sample test, and blood sugar test at the scene. Tony, the head of the factory, introduced that this is a product jointly developed by Flextronics and customers, and has been promoted in more than ten provinces in China. , Since the product is only the size of an ordinary notebook computer, it has played a great role in the national project of sending doctors to the countryside. "Our transformation is not only reflected in intelligent transformation to reduce manufacturing costs and improve product quality, we must transform from a foundry model to a production solution participant, and merely reducing production costs will not be the mainstream in the future. Because of the competition we face The opponents are not only other domestic OEMs, but also foreign OEMs," Tony said.

During the factory tour, Valerie, head of Flextronics Asia marketing, introduced to us that Flextronics has its own understanding of Industry 4.0. Flextronics defines a smart factory as a four-step process. The first step is to connect factory cells, mix workers and automated tasks, the second step is to detect and remote control through HMI, introduce robots and various assistants, and the third step is to connect equipment for operation. , reduce the manual touch on the product, and realize the whole process of remote monitoring of the production process. The fourth step is to link the ecosystem and use advanced IT systems, cloud, and big data to collaborate in real time. But these are not to say that the goal is to eliminate the need for labor, but to make labor do smarter things. Correspondingly, Flextronics provides various opportunities for employees to learn and improve. There are more than 2,000 courses in Flextronics' teaching platform. Excellent employee representatives can go to other Flextronics factories for further study. For the best employees, Flextronics provides the opportunity to study at Harvard University in the United States.

"The way of future revenue growth will be positioned through four steps," said the relevant person in charge of Flextronics, starting from non-traditional businesses to expand market leadership, cooperating with leading companies in different industries, seeking strategic partnerships, and realizing innovation as a promoter of product innovation Pace, partner with future "disruptors" to create future demand through differentiation.






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