German robots fit into China´s Digitalization 2025

German robots fit into China´s Digitalization 2025

Editor: lishouen 丨CCTV.com

06-06-2016 15:56 BJT

By Ralf Ostner, Chinese-German translator, based in Munich, Germany

Digitalization and industry 4.0 are key topics for China´s Strategy 2025. Beijing seeks access to industry 4.0 knowledge from Western companies, while China and Germany are global industrial powerhouses.

China’s industry has largely expanded due to low labor costs, and German industry has pushed ahead on advanced automation, on account of high labor costs.  China is facing demographic challenges and recruiting more young and skilled workers.  Its labor industry must adapt to less labor-intensive manufacturing, and integrate more automated machines and robots.

China Strategy 2025 is setting the stage for the country to transform into a global manufacturing innovation center that prioritizes development of intelligent manufacturing .

Chinese manufacturers are still operating in the age of Industry 2.0 – labor-intensive phase.  Industry 4.0 is about connecting machines to generate huge volumes of data to be analyzed to make machines run more efficiently, and to coordinate factories and value chains.

Skipping an entire stage of industrial development – from Industry 2.0 to Industry 4.0 – may sound attractive, but requires introducing more automated machines along with new forms of data-driven coordination, requiring new skills on factory floors for people who can operate complex machines and automated processes.

Many Chinese developers have focused more on automation of production, rather than with the integration of factories and value chains using Big Data analytics. This is where the German company Kuka — one of the world’s leading robot manufacturers — can play a pivotal role.  It’s products could replace human labor on production lines.

Chinese companies are far more vertically and horizontally integrated than typical European companies, including competitors such as Midea in the white goods industry, as well as Electrolux (Sweden), Bosch-Siemens (Germany) or Arcelik (owner of Beko, from Turkey).

Imagine that one of these global players wants to build a new plant based on the latest Industry 4.0 technology.  Would they contract a company owned by their competitor, which would share sensitive data with them?

Perhaps not, in European competition law, there is a criterion, known as vertical foreclosure; if a merger gives a company control over its competitors’critical inputs that could be considered an obstacle to competition.

Whether these conditions would apply to robots is not clear, and Kuka does not have a dominant position in the market. Intervention by competition authorities would seem unlikely.

There is a public debate in Germany over whether Berlin should allow Chinese companies to buy German companies with industry 4.0 knowledge, since China could obtain industry knowledge of carmakers, planemakers and other industries as their robots are linked to the network and software of its industrial processes.

Midea’s takeover bid for Kuka underscores Chinese interest in German Industry 4.0 technology. In Jan. 2016, ChemChina paid €925 million for Munich-based KraussMaffei machine tools to exploit its advances in Industry 4.0.

Recent smaller Chinese acquisitions in the German machine tool industry, which include partial acquisitions of H.Stoll by ShangGong Group and Manz by Shanghai Electric Group are motivated to partake in the latest Industry 4.0 developments.

While some experts see dangers, others think that there is no real danger, since the warnings are exaggerated. Midea only wants a 30% stake, leaving the majority to German and other investors as an indicator that this was not an unfriendly takeover, while others believe the company could raise its stakes and grab a majority share later on.

Integration across organizational boundaries represents challenges, because Industry 4.0 involves sharing large volumes of data between related enterprises. German companies are  creating appropriate platforms and security procedures for inter-firm data interfaces. If a central player within this ecosystem were to drop out, this could be a concern.

Kuka is a valuable partner in Industry 4.0 but not so central that others should feel worried.  The German Ministry of Economic Affairs said it can´t prevent a Chinese acquisition by law, since no real security concerns are involved. However, Berlin called for other German and European companies to issue their bids.

Bosch, Siemens and other companies have refused to do so, because they think Kuka is not important and too expensive. Swiss-Swedish ABB is thinking about an offer, though.

Some German experts say China´s subsidies and state-led industry have a systematic advantage over free competition. China´s economic system can plan strategically and globally, while Western companies have engaged in short-sighted profit-oriented goals for the benefit of their stakeholders.

The fear is that China could strategically buy out hard-core elements of German industry 4.0 knowledge. Yet, there is no large scale buyouts of German industry by China as of now, which means that alarmists in Germany are a minority.

Ralf Ostner, Chinese-German translator, based in Munich, Germany


( The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Panview or CCTV.com. )

http://english.cctv.com/2016/06/06/ARTIBUTEafm3ea1M8HPFlymP160606.shtml

熊猫频道 >>熊猫观察

外眼看中国:当德国机器人遇上中国制造2025

2016年06月06日 17:24  来源:熊猫频道

【熊猫观察原创】“数字化”、“工业4.0”等是《中国制造2025》战略的重中之重。为此,中国这个与德国一样已跻身于全球工业强国之列的国家,正在向西方高科技公司学习工业4.0相关的行业知识,并寻求合作。

由于劳动力成本低廉,中国的产业规模巨大,而德国产业由于高昂的劳动力成本,在高级自动化方面取得了一定突破。然而,中国也开始面临着人口红利挑战,中国公司已很难招聘到薪酬低,且吃苦耐劳的年轻劳动力。中国的制造业必须向低劳动密集型方向调整,在制造过程中需要引进更多的自动化机器和机器人。

《中国制造2025》战略计划的出台,为中国向全球制造创新中心转型搭建了平台,并将侧重放在了智能制造的相关研发。

在现阶段,中国制造业的主体部分仍处于工业2.0时代,即劳动密集型时代。工业4.0是通过机器之间的连接来生成大量的数据,并进行分析,以便机器更高效地运行并使之与工厂和价值链相协调。

跨越工业发展的某个阶段,直接从工业2.0进入工业4.0,听起来极具诱惑力,但这意味着,需要引进更多自动化机器设备,还需要以大数据为驱动的新型协调模式,另外,还要求车间工人掌握新技能,具备操作复杂机器和掌握自动化工艺的能力。

许多中国的开发者更专注于生产自动化,而非使用大数据分析来整合工厂和价值链。在此领域,作为世界领先机器人制造商之一的德国库卡公司发挥着举足轻重的作用。库卡的机器人可替代生产线的人工操作。

与欧洲公司相比,中国企业更注重横向和纵向整合,比如,从中国的美的与瑞典的伊莱克斯、德国的博世-西门子或土耳其的阿奇立克(德国贝科的投资方)等白色家电行业的竞争对手身上就能发现这种差异。

试想一下,如果这些全球性的公司中某一家打算基于最新的工业4.0技术建立新工厂,他们会与竞争对手公司签订合同,并与他们分享敏感数据吗?答案或许是:不!

欧洲的竞争法中有一个关于“纵向排斥”的标准。基于这一标准,如果企业并购之后,导致购入企业完全掌控了竞争对手的关键性投入,这将被认定为妨碍了正常竞争。

尚不明确,这一限制是否适用于机器人行业,另外,库卡公司在市场上也尚未处于主导地位,因此,当局似乎还不太可能以妨碍竞争的名义对该行业进行干预。

在德国,人们对是否应该允许中国公司购买处于4.0前沿并掌握着先进技术的德国公司展开了讨论。部分业内人士担心,一旦中国购买了这些公司,并且将中国公司与德国公司的机器人与工业生产过程的网络和软件连接之后,中国很有可能获取诸如汽车制造、飞机制造和其他类似的行业技术。

美的对库卡的收购,凸显了中国对德国工业4.0技术的兴趣。2016年1月,中国化工集团斥资9.25亿欧元购买了总部位于慕尼黑的克劳斯玛菲机床,以开发其在工业4.0发展中的潜力。近来,其他规模稍小的中国收购德国机床企业的案例还包括:上工集团和上海电气集团对德国斯托尔公司的部分收购,其目的就在于借此收购跻身工业4.0的最新发展前沿。

虽然部分专家认为这些收购存在危险,但另一部分却认为这些所谓的危险是夸大其词。比如,美的收购后,仅持有库卡30%股份,德国和其他投资者持有的股份更多,显然,这并非恶意收购。但即便如此,仍有人认为,美的以后可能会增持股份,并最终会成为最大股东。

跨公司间的整合的确面临一定挑战,因为工业4.0涉及到与关联企业之间的大数据共享。德国公司正在尝试通过建立平台和开发安全程序来打通企业间的数据接口。而如果这一生态系统中的核心成员一旦退出,可能确实会带来问题。

库卡虽然是工业4.0中一个有价值的合作伙伴,但并非是核心合作伙伴。德国经济事务部表示,因为中国对库卡的收购并未真正涉及安全问题,因而不能通过法律手段加以阻止。有关部门甚至呼吁其他德国和欧洲的公司参与库卡的收购竞标。

不过,博世、西门子等公司都不领情,因为这些公司没觉得库卡有多么重要,况且,要价也过高。仅有瑞士-瑞典合资的艾波比股份有限公司考虑报价参与竞标。

德国一些专家认为,与靠自由竞争的欧洲企业相比,中国政府补贴和国家主导的国企更具有系统性的优势。中国的经济制度更具战略性和全球性,而西方公司为了股东的利益,较为急功近利。

正因为看到中国企业的这一优势,德方有人担心中国会战略性地购买德国工业4.0行业知识的核心要素。然而,到目前为止中国没有大规模的收购德国工业,这意味着德国制造危言耸听言论的只是少数。

【作者:拉尔夫•奥斯特纳 德国开源资源分析师,中-英-德语翻译】

【作者:拉尔夫•奥斯特纳 德国开源资源分析师,中-英-德语翻译】

http://panview.ipanda.com/2016/06/06/ARTI2CtcqJ0xqJODHOLPqWTe160606.shtml

 

Über Ralf Ostner

Ralf Ostner geboren 1964 in Frankfurt am Main, 1984 Abitur in Bayern--Leitungskurse: Physik und Kunst/ Schülerzeitung. Studium der Physik (Nebenfächer: Mathematik, Chemie), Wirtschaftsgeographie (Nebenfächer: BWL, VWL) und Studium der Sinologie. 1991 Abschluss als staatlich geprüfter Übersetzer in der englischen und chinesischen Sprache am Sprachen- und Dolmetscher-Institut/München (Leiter der Chinesisch-Abteilung: Herr Zhang, ehemaliger Dolmetscher von Deng Xiaoping und Franz-Josef Strauß).Danach 5 Jahre Asienaufenthalt: China, Indien, Südostasien (u.a. in Kambodscha während des ersten Auslandseinsatzes der Bundeswehr, Interviews mit Auslandschinesen, Recherche im Karen-Guerillagebiet in Burma, Unterstützung einer UNO-Mitarbeiterin während den Aufständen in Nepal und bei UNO-Arbeit in Indien), Australien. Danach 5 Jahre als Dolmetscher, Delegationsbegleiter und Übersetzer in München. Abendstudium an der Hochschule für Politik /München (Schwerpunkt: Internationale Beziehungen). Abschluss als Diplom-Politologe (Diplomarbeit: Die deutsch-chinesischen Beziehungen 1989-2000 unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der SPD-Grünen-Regierung). Delegationsbegleitung von Hu Ping, Chefredakteur der chinesischen Dissidentenzeitung "Pekinger Frühling" (New York)und prominentester Vertreter eines chinesischen Liberalismus bei seiner Deutschlandtour (Uni München, Uni Mainz, Berlin/FU-Humboldt) bei gleichzeitigem Kontakt mit Liu Liqun (Autor des Buches "Westliches Denken transzendieren"/ heute: Deutschlandberater der chinesischen Regierung).Chefredakteur der Studentenzeitschrift UNIPOL . Projekte am Goethe-Institut und bei FOCUS TV. Seit 2000 Übersetzer (chinesisch-deutsch), Graphiker, freier Schriftsteller und Blogger.
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