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Digital Realization of Haier Interconnected Factory

2019-04-09

Data Brief

Meeting the personalized and customized needs of global users

Visualized manufacturing process

Product development cycle reduced by more than 20%

Delivery circle shortened from 21 days to 7-15 days

Undoubtedly, the manufacturing industry is one of those which have been influenced by digital transformation the most. Industry 4.0, Smart Manufacturing, Industrial Internet and other concepts are all realized relying on the digital transformation of enterprises. Haier Group has always been at the forefront of the industry, dealing with the challenges brought by disruptive changes in the development of the industry by establishing a complete set of smart manufacturing system.

As the ecosystem partner of Haier interconnected factories, New H3C Group (New H3C) has developed future-oriented smart factory network solutions to help Haier Group establish and operate Haier Jiaozhou Air Conditioner Interconnected Factory, integrating the latest industrial design, manufacturing and selling ideas into the factory, thus laying a solid foundation for the digital transformation of Haier Group.

Reform of manufacturing process in the digital era

For the manufacturing industry, the greatest change brought by digital transformation is the change of business models, and for Haier, such change is realized by the creation of a smart manufacturing system. Haier has taken "interconnected factories" as the core of smart manufacturing. It hopes to join hands with users to establish a network-based production model that is different from the traditional order-based model, so that users who lack basic technological knowledge, and designers and suppliers who do not know the needs of users can collaborate on the shared design platform provided by Haier, thus truly realizing personalized order production for customers.

Haier Jiaozhou Air Conditioner Interconnected Factory is precisely built under this model. The color, appearance, performance and structure of the factory's products are all decided by the users. By virtue of the Internet technology, users can directly interact with the production lines of the factory, and their personalized requirements will then be identified at the first time. Covering demands, interaction, design, pre-sale, manufacturing, distribution, and service, the whole process features cycled iterative upgrade and full customization from customized user solutions online to flexible production offline. For example, after a user places an order, the interconnected factory accepts the order and begins to customize the required modules. It caters to the user's requirements for different functions through modular assembly, and minimizes the time consumed in product manufacturing. Throughout the whole manufacturing process, the user is informed with the order progress by all sorts of terminal devices, and can know the progress and location of the customized product on the production line.

Such business model that centers on user demands is an inevitable result when industrial manufacturing is enhanced to a certain level. Given that the capacity is sufficient, enterprises can win more users in the competition by enhancing user experience through digital transformation of business models.

Two visualizations in the digitalization of manufacturing process

In order to realize the digital transformation of manufacturing process, it is crucial for Haier's interconnected factories to "digitalize" the information in the process. "To digitalize" can be understood as "transparent and visible process supported by digitalization ", which includes the visualization of the whole production process of the enterprise and the visualization of user information.

The "visualization of the whole process of enterprises" requires "IT and OT convergence" on infrastructure, which means the convergence of the workshop IoT, information communication network and after-sales service network, as well as the integration of the enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, product lifecycle management (PLM) system, industrial control system, and logistics system, with iMES as the core.

The "visualization of user information" requires "wider interconnection", which includes internal and external communication that realizes interconnection and efficient collaboration between users and design & production departments through the Internet, as well as information exchange that enables machine equipment to access product data and user data. That is to say, in interconnected factories, the product information in the market can be reflected in real time to the processing equipment, logistics materials and processing suppliers, and the performance of employees can be driven by users' comments on the products.

In the future, Haier will advance towards "smart" digitalization. First, it is necessary to break barriers between R&D and manufacturing to realize end-to-end connection. Second, it is required to realize virtual-real integration, that is, to combine virtuality and reality and verify reality in the virtual world. In this way, users can further gain the sense of participation in "self-manufacturing", at the same time, manufacturers can improve the success rate of one-time processing.

New H3C facilitates "digitalization"

As a model factory of Haier Group, Jiaozhou Air Conditioner Interconnected Factory carries the group's latest industrial design, manufacturing and selling ideas and adopts the digital manufacturing process. By providing smart factory network solutions, New H3C creates network channels for this digital process and facilitates the convergence of the workshop IoT, information communication network and after-sales service network, providing solutions to personalized customization by users.

With a variety of proven products and solutions in IT/OT convergence of smart factories, New H3C supports the construction of ecosystem of Haier's interconnected factories, its products and solutions have been successfully applied in the implementation of network solutions in such interconnected factory. In addition, New H3C secures Jiaozhou Air Conditioner Interconnected Factory by providing localized service and perfect training mechanism for Haier.

New H3C serves the construction of ecosystem of Haier's interconnected factories with smart factory network solutions, facilitating Haier to exert the value of data as soon as possible from demand acquisition to production and sales. The cooperation between New H3C and Haier gives full play to their respective advantages and provides a useful reference for the digital transformation of other manufacturing enterprises, accelerating the digital transformation of the manufacturing industry.