Smart Manufacturing Push in China

Smart Manufacturing Push in China

The age of cheap labor in China is almost over. Thus, Chinese companies have recently been introducing smart and automated manufacturing systems, that help to save cost, shorten lead times and increase flexibility. In this article EAC presents three cutting-edge examples: Xiaomi, Alibaba and JOMOO.


Xiaomi Smart Factory

Founded in 2010, Xiaomi has become one of the world's largest smartphone manufacturers and most well-known "smart home" brands within only ten years. The company's new Smart Mobile Phone Factory is powered by 5G and Artificial Intelligence and has a size of 18,600 square meters, featuring...

  • Equipped with a fully automated (“black light”) production line spanning processes from production management to machine processing, packaging and storage
  • Capable of producing >1 million smartphones a year (focus on Xiaomi’s high-end premium smartphones)
    • Factory will be also used for testing cutting edge materials, technologies, & manufacturing process, as well as, for pre-research projects, and automation equipment R&D
    • Next expansion phase expected in around three years

Alibaba Rhino Smart Manufacturing

As owner of several large e-commerce platforms, Alibaba now set up a factory to facilitate business also for smaller fashion merchants:

  • Fully digitized facility leveraging intelligent manufacturing and automation that gives micro garment merchants fast-fashion speed:
    • Raw materials are all coded and assigned with a unique ID, along with a QR code
    • Cutting, sewing, and printing machines are connected to digital systems, utilized to plan, manage and track the entire production process
    • Automated guided vehicles, pick-and-place robotic arms, and conveyor belts are used to transport materials to workers around the plant
  • Allows merchants to order as few as 100 pieces, with a lead time of 10 days
  • Tangible achievements:
    • Reduced need to hold inventory by 30%
    • Shortened the delivery time by 75%
    • Cut water consumption by 50%

JOMOO 5G Smart Factory

Within 30 years of its establishment, the Chinese company JOMOO has risen to be the market leader in the bath and kitchen ware industry in China, generating a sales of around 13 billion CNY in 2020. Now, the firm is increasingly investing into an intelligent and automated production footprint, constructing several so-called 5G factories:

  • Yongchun 5G factory as first 5G factory in the sanitary industry put in operation in 2020, after having been developed together with large companies such as Siemens
  • Features: 
    • Automatic glazing workshops
    • 5G cloud manufacturing and digitalization from sales to production
    • Increase in production efficiency and decrease of operation cost
  • Opportunities for rapid and flexible Customer-to-Factory (C2F) customization, creating scenario-oriented smart kitchens and bathrooms