Be wary of the “empty shelling” of the equipment manufacturing industry

Abstract: At the first "three-base" technology innovation forum for rail transit equipment manufacturing held recently, Academician Gan Yong, deputy director of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, screamed, "Although the total output value of China's equipment manufacturing industry has surpassed that of the United States in 2008, it ranks first in the world. However, the dependence of manufacturing industry on the outside is more than...

At the first "three-base" technology innovation forum for rail transit equipment manufacturing held recently, Academician Gan Yong, deputy director of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, screamed, "Although the total output value of China's equipment manufacturing industry in 2008 exceeded the United States, it ranked first in the world. However, the dependence on manufacturing industry has exceeded 50%, and it is imperative to accelerate the development of common basic research!"

What is the footsteps of the transformation and upgrading of the equipment manufacturing industry? How to get out of the cycle of "the first value of production but the profit is outside"? The challenges facing China's equipment manufacturing industry are fundamental and difficult.

The biggest country in the manufacturing industry

80% of high-end chips and power generation equipment, high-quality large castings and forgings, 90% high-speed CNC machine tools and robots, and nearly 100% of high-speed rail bearings, rely on foreign imports

"The dragons are all diving into the sea, and they all go to the moon. But such a powerful Chinese equipment manufacturing industry can't make a piece of equipment for producing stockings. How ironic!" Marketing Director of Changzhou Runyuan Warp Knitting Machinery Co., Ltd. Liang, who worked for Karl Mayer, the world's largest warp knitting machine manufacturer, for more than 10 years. The realization of high-end equipment localization made him and the current boss hit it off.

In Xu Liang's view, the humble stocking machine is the epitome of China's equipment manufacturing industry. The stocking machine is a kind of warp knitting machine. Although as of last year, China's warp knitting machinery has accounted for 85% of the global total, and the average export price has increased by 50.7%, but the average import price is 3.93 times the average export price. And many high-speed, intelligent warp knitting machines are still not manufactured in China.

"The speed of the stocking machine is as high as 4,000 rpm. Such high speed requires extremely high steel strength and manufacturing precision. If the difference is small, the machine will be scrapped. The basic materials and basic manufacturing process are precisely the weakness of China's equipment manufacturing industry. Our steel, heat treatment process, etc. are all in a few grades." Xu Liang said.

Basic components, basic processes and basic materials (referred to as "three basics") are the basis for the survival and development of manufacturing industries, and their level directly determines the performance, quality and reliability of major equipment.

"China's large-scale complete sets of manufacturing equipment basically meet the needs of national economic construction, but there are deep-seated contradictions in which core technologies are subject to people; especially the contradiction between the rapid development of high-end equipment and the shortage of supporting 'three-based' products has become a constraint to the industry. The bottleneck of development is the biggest shortcoming of the manufacturing industry from big to strong," said Wang Jun, dean of the Central Research Institute of China South Locomotive Co., Ltd.

The development of "three basics" lags behind, directly showing that the self-sufficiency rate of high-end materials and parts is not high, and the growth of manufacturing industry is over-reliant on the growth of processing and manufacturing and single-machine manufacturing, and a large amount of profits are outflowing. The data shows that China's manufacturing technology dependence on foreign technology exceeds 50%, 80% of high-end chips, 80% of high-quality large-scale castings and forgings, 90% of high-speed CNC machine tools and robots, nearly 100% of high-speed rail bearings, rely on Imported from abroad.

"The high-end components and high-end materials required for major equipment and mainframe products depend on imports, resulting in the mainframe and complete sets of equipment falling into the 'empty shell' dilemma. Like the high-pressure pumps, valves and motors of 30 MPa or more for construction machinery, almost all imported, 70% of the profits of the industry have been swallowed up by imported parts. "The former vice president of the Institute of Mechanical Science and the representative of the overall group of the China Academy of Engineering Manufacturing Powers Strategy Institute Qu Xianming said.

The lagging development of "three basics" also leads to low utilization of industrial resources, resulting in problems of poor quality, reliability and longevity of domestic equipment. Taking high-end structural materials as an example, China still has 25% of materials and parts dependent on imports; 45% of materials are “capable of exhibits, but cannot make products”, and mass production cannot be achieved. "The single-machine energy consumption of China's manufacturing industry is eight times the average level of developed countries. The economic loss caused by product quality problems in the year is more than 200 billion yuan." Gan Yong said.

What is more worthy of caution is that the dependence of a large number of basic products on imports not only increases the cost of the whole machine, but also suffers from the embarrassing situation of people. The price of key "three-based" products is getting higher and higher, and the delivery time is not guaranteed.

Where are you dragging your hind legs?

We are accustomed to "reverse engineering", and the original transformation institutes that have undertaken common technology research and development are also busy with industrialization.

The development of "three basics" products lags behind, in the end, where is the drag?

This is related to the traditional development model of "reverse engineering" in China. "For a long time, we have been reverse innovation, that is, to develop the whole machine first, to meet the needs of use, to develop basic materials, and to solve the problem of localization. Such a research and development model has led us to get out of the shortage economy at a faster rate, but the basic theory Insufficient research, insufficient accumulation of core common technologies, insufficient core process reserves, and hidden dangers for industrial transformation and upgrading." Qu Xianming said.

China's equipment manufacturing industry is on the track of "reverse engineering" and is affected by the objective historical environment. The industrialization of developed countries started from zero, and the "three basics" had to do it all by themselves. China's industrialization is advancing in a globalized open environment. It has a wide division of expertise and does not need to do anything on its own. "But now we have to move from the low end of the industrial chain to high-end equipment. People either don't sell your core parts and materials, or they ask for the price, they get stuck in our neck." Qu Xianming said.

The influence of the distorted political achievements of "heavy mainframe, light foundation" should not be underestimated. " Engage in the mainframe, the performance is obvious, and a basic political performance does not seem conspicuous, and at least four or five years to see results, the performance of corporate leaders during this period is not conspicuous, under the current performance evaluation system, there is no performance how to promote? Business leaders think that it is better to spend a lot of human and financial resources to expand production capacity, so where is the motivation for 'three basics'?" Qu Xianming said.

The "three-base" research and development also lacks the support of common technology and basic research. A sound innovation chain should be based on basic research, with common technology research as the link and theoretical development and application as the export. At present, basic research and common technology research in China are the most vulnerable shortcomings. A large number of research institutes that originally undertaken basic research and common technology research and development have paid more attention to effective application research and industrialization after being transformed into enterprises.

"From the current situation, the national macro-industry common technology policy and development strategy are still unclear. The original transformation institutes that undertake common technology research and development are busy with the industrialization process. The relevant research bases and research platforms are in a state of dispersion or idleness. Fight." Gan Yong said.

The improvement of the basic technology of the equipment manufacturing industry is also inseparable from the high-quality industrial workers. According to Sun Xiaoyin, deputy director of the Personnel Department of the China National Textile and Apparel Council, a textile company imported a batch of German high-end machinery in one year, and wrote in the assembly manual, "Please turn the last screw button forward three times and then turn back. Half a lap, you can use the ". Chinese workers" smartly to install and debug two and a half times, and found that the machine can not be used, until the instructions are done, the problem is solved.

"Why are German and Japanese products reliable and favored? Because the quality of industrial workers is high, it not only ensures the manufacturing precision of the products, but also promotes the continuous improvement of the process. Therefore, it is imperative to improve the quality of front-line employees in the manufacturing industry." Sun Xiaoyin said.

Completing the short board from "big to strong"

The "three basics" industry has low investment intensity and is suitable for SMEs to intervene, but it also depends on national policy support.

To consolidate the foundation of equipment manufacturing, we must first change our thinking. The "three-base" industry is called the "midfield industry" and is the core and driving industry of the manufacturing industry in the future, just like a team is driven by midfield players. Its volume is smaller than the terminal equipment, but the profit is higher. Like a car, the whole piece of profit margin is 5%, while the parts and components profit is as high as 5.9%.

"Basic components, basic materials, basic processes and mainframes should be spiral-up R&D processes, just like building airplanes, no engines, no titanium alloy profiles, and nothing can be done." Wang Wenhu, general manager of CSR Shushuyan Locomotive Vehicle Technology Research Institute It is said that in the field of full competition in China, the more key components and basic high-end materials, the higher the profits, but the mainframe manufacturing is often to make hard money. "This is the technical advantage of 'people without me,' 'people have my fineness.'"

The "three basics" industry has low investment intensity and is suitable for SMEs to intervene, and it is better to use traditional grafting and high-tech research and development models.

Since last year, the economic situation of the textile industry, especially the cotton spinning industry, has been sluggish, but Tonghe Textile Machinery Manufacturing Co., Ltd., which has just entered the spinning machine market this year, has won more than 75% of the market in Henan and Shandong, and its sales have doubled. .

"A company that makes money at the terminal must have the quality and service of its core components, so I can take the half-wall market with one shot." The key component of the textile machine started as a roller, and the textile machine is now the largest in the world. The Rolla production company began to enter the middle and high-end compact spinning equipment, roving frame, spinning frame and other complete machines. Chairman Cui Guisheng is the beneficiary of the "three basics" research and development. "With the core components and the whole machine, I have the foundation to meet the needs of the enterprise, and the competitive advantage is obvious."

In order to make up for the shortcomings of the current innovation system, some large enterprises in China, especially large central enterprises, have begun to establish various forms of "central research institutes" to integrate existing research and development resources. In Qu Xianming's view, there are some successful examples of foreign Academia Sinica research, but the current positioning of these research institutes in China is not clear.

"The positioning of these Academia Sinica and existing research institutes should be clearly differentiated. Research should not be conducted on current market demand, but should focus on the needs of five years or even longer, and do a good job of technical reserves. Otherwise, it will only increase the institutions. "There is no practical significance." Qu Xianming said, "Now China's economic growth is slowing down and it is in a period of medium-speed growth. It is a good period for adjustment. Let everyone understand the importance of 'three basics' and develop a unique product than to expand. Capacity is more important!"

Complementing the shortcomings of the "three basics" depends on national policy support. At the end of 2011, the state has issued the “Twelfth Five-Year Development Plan for Mechanical Basic Parts, Basic Manufacturing Process and Basic Materials Industry”, and proposed to formulate policies to encourage users to adopt “three basics” new products and new processes. However, there have been no relevant rules to come. In 2013, the “National Transformation and Upgrade Base Project” focused on 15 key directions including high-standard bearing steel materials for bearings, and subsidized the investment in demonstration projects. The maximum amount of subsidies for a single project is no more than 30 million yuan. However, this subsidy is still a drop in the bucket for companies to develop.

What is exciting is that the "Decision" of the Third Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee has clearly stated that "integrate scientific and technological planning and resources, and improve the government's support mechanism for basic, strategic, cutting-edge scientific research and common technology research." Many entrepreneurs have called for, in addition to direct financial subsidies, relevant departments should provide preferential policies such as tax-free and interest-free loans for the "three-basic" project, and implement the spirit of the "Decision" as soon as possible, and clarify the relevant supporting rules.

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