[YesAuto Technology] In late April this year, while everyone was working hard to prepare for the 2016 Beijing Auto Show, I boarded the Lufthansa flight to Germany “untimely”. My purpose in doing this is not to abandon my teammates and go to Europe alone, but to go to Hannover, Germany, to go to another international event that is equally world-renowned and even more influential-Hannover MESSE.
As an automotive media practitioner, this is actually the first time I have been intimately exposed to this exhibition that brings together the world's top industrial technologies. What is the reason, or the magic of Hannover Messe, that made me give up the biennial domestic automobile event and travel a long distance to this northern German city, just to personally participate in an exhibition that does not seem to have much to do with automobiles? And what did I gain from it? I have been thinking about this issue for a long time, so I have this article today.
-What is the charm of Hannover Messe?
Hannover Industrial Exhibition was founded in August 1947. After more than half a century of continuous development and improvement, it has become the largest international industrial event today, and is regarded as an important international event connecting the technical and commercial fields of the world. More and more companies from Asia, America and Africa have travelled far and wide to attend and negotiate, making the Expo a truly global event, and it is regarded as an important international event in the technical and commercial fields of the world.
Undoubtedly, the cars that we have been deeply fond of and were determined to fight for all our lives are the most typical industrial products. Therefore, at the Hannover Messe, automobiles and related industrial technologies, especially those of local German auto brands and suppliers, are the most typical industrial products. Appearing naturally, this is also the simplest purpose and expectation in my heart before this trip to Hannover.
● Germany hugs American thighs?
Hannover, known for hosting large-scale exhibitions all year round, is a large-scale city with very developed industries. On the first day I arrived here, I saw a large number of police officers in the city-police cars can be seen at almost every intersection, and there are also blocked roads. This posture reminded me of Beijing when the two sessions were held. Chen Zhengyi, a special editor who has been living in Germany for a long time, told me that if it was only the Hannover Industrial Exhibition, the local police would not do such a move. In the past two days, there was a big man in Hannover. .
Using the local network, I searched about TTIP and found that European people are not cold about TTIP. But as far as the industrial power of Germany is concerned, the industrial products represented by automobiles are obviously not only satisfied with the European domestic market. In fact, data shows that TTIP can encourage EU companies to sell 18.7 billion euros worth of goods and services to the United States each year. This is why at this Hannover Industry Fair, the United States and President Obama can be seen everywhere. Of course There is also the “bright” smile of German Chancellor Merkel.
Merkel's efforts seem to have begun to bear fruit. Recently, it was reported that the Volkswagen Group is expected to reach a final settlement with the US government and car owners over its diesel vehicle emissions scandal next month. Of course, Volkswagen still needs to pay billions of dollars in fines for this, but it is close to the original valuation of nearly 20 billion. It's already a far cry. In this year's Hannover Messe, Volkswagen Group is the only automobile brand with a certain scale and independent exhibitors.
The significance of Volkswagen to the German economy is self-evident. It is believed that behind the settlement with the US government, Merkel and the German government under her leadership have made a lot of efforts. At this Hannover Industry Fair, the Volkswagen Group did not bring brand-new automotive products. This is due to the ongoing Beijing Auto Show at the same time. On the other hand, it can be seen that the current Volkswagen still needs a certain amount of time to recover. However, Volkswagen's booth this year is still full of highlights, and the industry 4.0-themed display has attracted many people in the industry to stop here.
● Industry 4.0, is it a flicker or a revolution?
Volkswagen did not release a brand-new model or concept car at this year's Hannover Industry Fair, but the content on display is closely tied to the theme of this industry exhibition-Industry 4.0. As an automotive editor, we are actually more concerned about the impact and changes that Industry 4.0 will bring to the automotive industry.
Take the automobile production that we are familiar with as an example. From industry 1.0 to 3.0, it has gone through the three stages of mechanization, electrification and automation. It can be seen that most of the main engine factories nowadays have used a large number of robots in the stamping, welding and coating processes. Instead of manpower to complete tasks, is the future Industry 4.0 replacing all workstations with robots? of course not.
-Smart Factory of Industry 4.0
In Hannover this year, more than one hundred industry 4.0 solutions were displayed by local Germans, and exhibited products and production methods embodying the technical characteristics of Industry 4.0 are everywhere. Industry 4.0 concepts and applications are being used by more and more companies. accept. In the computer virtual environment, the entire production process is simulated, evaluated and optimized, and finally automated, intelligent, and interconnected manufacturing will be realized. In the German concept, a factory that can realize this manufacturing method is called a smart factory. One of the development directions of the Industry 4.0 strategy is the smart factory.
-Cyber-Physical System of Industry 4.0
Someone once briefly summarized Industry 4.0 as intelligent industrial production in which MES system (manufacturing execution system) and ERP system (management information system) communicate with each other. The communication and interconnection among them requires the use of a cyber physical system (Cyber Physical System, or CPS), which is also the core of Industry 4.0. With this system, it is possible to realize customized production of multiple varieties and small batches, while ensuring efficiency and cost.
Even under the industry 4.0 standards, the human factor in industrial production will still exist. At the Hannover Messe, the German industrial giant and global auto parts supplier leader Bosch, which participated in the formulation of Industry 4.0 standards, told us that Industry 4.0 is not a revolution, but is constantly evolving on the basis of Germany’s existing strong industrial base. to make.
-Smart devices for Industry 4.0
In this year's Hannover Industry Fair, Bosch did not exhibit technologies specifically aimed at the automotive field, but closely followed the theme of Industry 4.0 to show everyone what the manufacturing industry looks like after the Internet of Everything. The most conspicuous part of Dr.'s booth was an intelligent processing production line interconnected by a network. Every intelligent robot on the line has been connected to the CPS system, which can achieve coordinated operation of multiple stations, which greatly improves production efficiency and can also meet the flexible processing of a variety of products.
In addition to Volkswagen and Bosch, we also saw “old friends” such as KUKA, Güdel and other equipment suppliers that we often met during factory visits. For the theme of Industry 4.0, these brands have also come up with their most advanced technologies.
● Industry 4.0/Made in China 2025: a strategic battle
According to the Germans’ vision of Industry 4.0, when you need to buy a car in the future, it should be like this: turn on any mobile device, select the brand, model and the desired personalized configuration in the car purchase App, and submit From the moment the order is placed, all the information about this car is sent through the cloud network to raw material suppliers, component suppliers, and system manufacturers all over the world. These components and systems are quickly distributed through an efficient logistics network. Assemble in any factory with available capacity, and finally be produced into a complete vehicle and delivered to your designated delivery location.
This kind of vision is based on the advanced industrial foundation that the Germans already have. The advancement from Industry 3.0 to 4.0 seems to be completed with only one Internet technology. So where are the opportunities for Chinese manufacturing in the future?
First, China has a very complete supply chain. For a long time, due to low labor costs, domestic auto manufacturers have often led a large number of suppliers to set up factories in the surrounding area, and even many companies have developed a complete vertical supply chain on their own, even in the future confrontation with Industry 4.0 , It also has obvious advantages in terms of production efficiency and cost;
Second, China's Internet technology is stronger than that of Europe. This makes both “Made in China 2025” or “Internet +” more advantageous in terms of network technology.
Finally, the Chinese government's strong organizational capabilities are second to none. In order to successfully realize “Made in China 2025”, the government has successively issued a series of related plans and programs. The guidance of national policies has a strong role in promoting the implementation of the strategy.
I missed the large-scale Beijing Auto Show and came to Hannover, where the rain was heavy. Is this trip to Germany worth it for me? According to the expectations I had once held, perhaps the content related to automobile products may not be worth the price of this time. However, from another perspective, this experience has given me a new perspective to observe the automobile industry. The little-known side behind it. The world has always been changed by these surging undercurrents, and I am fortunate to have witnessed all of this.