What is the meaning of the trendy concept Industrial Cloud?
On Nov. 22- 23, 2016, the XCMG-based first-ever Industrial Cloud platform debuted at the Bauma China, and made public the "effects"it has achieved.
As a joint venture of XCMG, Huawei, Ali and China Telecoms, XCMG Industrial Cloud is aimed to shape up a new type of industrial economic development model integrating internet, cloud technology and manufacturing, with a view to responding to opportunities amid the rising Made-in-China 2025 waves and the advent of the Industry 4.0 Era.
Yet, what does it really mean when you utter out the phrase Industrial Cloud?
In a recent interview with reporters from the 21st Century Business Herald, Mr. Wang Min, XCMG Chairman, gave his own unique definition: you might as well say it is a system solution. Indeed, it is a process of interactions and mutual services.
Industrial Cloud is a platform interfacing with external communities via Internet. On the one hand, through it, XCMG seeks, with tangible rewards, any valuable recommendations on its business development, and on the other hand, XCMG makes its enterprise resources available to the public to serve all the demanders from all over the world.
For the purpose of promoting industry transformation and upgrading, XCMG breaks down its products or parts into different pieces, which are deemed as "dynamic designs". "You are welcome to offer your own designs for any imperfect pieces, or your own ideas for any unpleasing outlines of a product, and will be generously rewarded for your proposals once they are proved to be able to fix the problems", said Mr. Yang Yong, Deputy General Manager of XCMG.
This "absorption" is a product-centered effort. Mr. Wang Min explained, it is about "pooling resources all over the world via network" in a bid to make continuous improvements on your products and raise the grades of your products in terms of function, intelligence, portability and specialization. By now, our platform has collected nearly 300 ideas from over 20 countries.
Industrial Cloud also plays another role: service provider. "In the case of a project, using XCMG’s software, you can input specific indicator data for the project, such as earthwork volumes, geological conditions and location data, to determine types and amounts of devices to be used and the optimal mix and schedules of different devices, as a result, coming up with the most cost-efficient construction scheme. For example, in some cases, an allocation of 20 machines doesn’t necessarily do better than that of 10 ones. In addition, you can also work out the optimal time window for construction according to weather conditions", said Mr. Zhang Qiliang, General Manager of XCMG IT (Nanjing) Company.
With the universal application of internet of things technologies, machines in use can real-timely be connected and interact with the Industrial Cloud platform for solving problems on the construction site. For example, when some parts go wrong on the site, our field operators can work under instructions directly from the Headquarters and shoot the troubles quickly, letting the machine be back to normal operation within the shortest period. According to Mr. Fu Simin, Vice Director of XCMG’IT Management Department, that is a kind of remote fault diagnoses, a kind of sales-after market services.
Industrial Cloud can also provide some decision-making references for enterprises wishing to diversify into new industries. In the opinions of Mr. Wang Min, for a typical manufacturer like XCMG, successful transformation entails the power of the market. According to the information gleaned by the Industrial Cloud platform, the environment protection sector is a promising market: despite, perhaps, a small one in size, it can be a venue where XCMG can make full use of its manufacturing advantages and increase the added values of its products, for example, turning out more cleaning devices widely used in industries and utilities.
It is learnt by reporters from the 21st Century Business Herald that, at the XCMG’s Green Innovation Competition in April 2016, the topic Internet + Cloud Tech + Manufacturing was affirmed for the first time, and the efficient low-noise minifan has been put into mass production at XCMG.
Mr. Wang Min added that, once the resources gathered by the Industrial Cloud platform are put into commercial applications, in line with new industry dynamics and new businesses, XCMG will innovate more modes rewarding resource developers, for example, buying out patent rights from these resource developers or setting up joint ventures with them.
At this year’s Bauma Shanghai, a couple of uninvited doctors from a university laboratory came to Mr. Wang Min for support to their product under development. In order to promote Industrial Cloud, Mr. Wang Min at once promised that XCMG’s scientific resources will be made available to them free of charge.
From the perspective of the internal management of an enterprise, integration of different systems and departments into the Industrial Cloud can drive down the overall costs for production-learning-research activities, and in particular, can shorten the process from the laboratory to the production line and the process of pilot trials. When asked by reporters from the 21st Century Business Herald, Mr. Wang Min admitted that this is a practice of enhancing efficiencies of SOEs. Otherwise, the efficiencies of processes would be badly constrained. You must do your things based on the processes of Industrial Cloud.
Industrial Cloud has forged an all-inclusive information system, covering all the links of the whole value chain from research, production, supply, sales to services, to realize the industry transformation from the traditional mode of production-oriented manufacturing, which simply consists of manufacturing and selling, to the advanced pattern of service-oriented manufacturing, which integrates technology, management and services.