Seeking Development from “Unbalance” and Breakthrough from “Insufficiency”: The Way of Transformation and Upgrading of Machine Tool Industry
          Published:2019-01-14 Views:1,945 Print

          Machine tool industry is the basic and strategic industry of national economy and national defense military industry. Accelerating the transformation and upgrading of machine tool industry is of great strategic significance for achieving a strong manufacturing country, enhancing the comprehensive strength of the country and national defense security.

          The Nineteenth National Congress of the CPC pointed out that the main contradictions of our society in the new era have been transformed into the contradictions between the people’s growing need for a better life and the unbalanced and inadequate development. This is a historic scientific conclusion concerning the overall situation, and also a theoretical basis for our thinking and planning for the development of the new era. Therefore, the central government has put forward the strategic plan of speeding up the structural reform on the supply side. To conform to the overall pattern of China’s economic development and clarify the inadequate development of the machine tool industry is conducive to finding out the crux, implementing precise policies and promoting the transformation and upgrading of the machine tool industry in the right direction. The analysis of “imbalance and inadequacy” in machine tool industry and the requirement of “from high-speed growth to high-quality development” are the important basis for the analysis of market and deployment. Focusing on imbalances and inadequacies can speed up the transition from high-speed growth to high-quality development.

          Main manifestations of “unbalanced” development of machine tool industry

          The unbalanced development of machine tool industry is mainly embodied in the overall structural contradictions. The emphasis is to sort out and analyze the coordination and balance of the development of machine tool industry.

          1. The imbalance between “big and strong” in the overall development of the industry

          China is the world’s largest machine tool producer. In 2016, China’s machine tool output value was 23.3 billion US dollars, accounting for about 30% of the world’s total machine tool output value; machine tool consumption was 27.9 billion US dollars, accounting for about 30% of the world’s total machine tool consumption. Among them, the import of metal processing machine tools is 7.5 billion US dollars, and the import of machine tools accounts for about 27% of China’s total consumption. Our country is a big country of machine tool production, consumption and import, but it is not a powerful country of machine tool. Mainly manifested in the lack of powerful machine tool groups and superior brands in international competition, and the lack of technological innovation capacity of the industry as a whole. According to expert analysis, there is still a considerable gap between China and machine tool powers such as Germany, Japan, Switzerland and the United States in terms of the overall competitiveness of the industry. Specific performance: Since the beginning of 2009, China has become the world’s largest producer and consumer of metal processing machine tools for eight consecutive years, but also the world’s largest importer of machine tools, industry is large but not strong, variety is not perfect, rapid development but not excellent problems are still prominent.

          2. The unbalance of machine tool capacity scale and technical structure

          In 2016, China produced 805,000 metal processing machine tools, of which 238,000 were CNC machine tools. The output of machine tools in China has been the first in the world for many years, and the productivity potential of machine tools is more considerable. But in addition to a small number of products, machine tool products are in the middle and low end of the industrial chain and value chain as a whole.

          At present, the contradiction between supply and demand of domestic machine tools is prominent in that high-end CNC machine tools mainly rely on imports, and the production capacity of domestic low-end machine tools is seriously excessive. For example, in 2016, China imported 21026 processing centers with an import value of 2.75 billion US dollars, of which 2,284 were horizontal processing centers, compared with only 1,000 domestic horizontal processing centers. In 2016, 117 milling machine compound processing centers were imported, with an import value of 66.59 million US dollars; 1286 CNC tool grinders were imported, with an import value of 163 million US dollars; and the imports of the above two high-end CNC machine tools far exceeded the domestic quantity. China’s CNC gantry processing center production capacity has been seriously excessive, imported 488 high-end CNC gantry processing centers in 2016, the import volume reached 230 million US dollars. According to relevant data, the utilization rate of production capacity of heavy machine tools, economical CNC lathes and general low-grade processing centers in China is less than one-half.

          3. Unbalanced development of machine tool mainframe and key supporting parts

          The unbalanced development of machine tool mainframe and key supporting parts and the lagging development of basic technology and technology and parts have seriously restricted the development of CNC machine tool mainframe.

          In 2016, China’s output value of metal processing machine tool mainframe reached 23.3 billion US dollars. Experts made macro estimates according to the key supporting parts accounting for 30% of the value of the mainframe. The total output value of main supporting parts such as functional components and CNC systems was about 7 billion US dollars. According to customs data, in 2016, imported machine tool functional components, CNC system, cutting tools, measuring instruments, abrasive tools totaled 4.3 billion US dollars. It is an indisputable fact that high-grade functional components, high-grade CNC systems, high-power motorized spindles, linear motors and moment motors are imported from Germany, Switzerland and Japan, and large numbers of medium-grade functional components are imported from Taiwan, China. In addition, in the domestic CNC system, Siemens and Fanaco in the domestic holding company products also account for a large proportion. Among the imported functional parts, the import proportion of high-grade tool library, precision CNC turntable, CNC power tool holder, CNC double pendulum angle milling head, high-precision lead screw and guide rail is particularly considerable.

          4. Unbalanced enterprise structure

          According to statistics, in 2016, there were 1305 metal processing machine tool manufacturing enterprises in China, with the main business income of 260.2 billion yuan, averaging 199 million yuan each; among them, the top four were Shenyang Machine Tool Group 15.5 billion yuan, Dalian Machine Tool Group 12.9 billion yuan, Qinchuan Machine Tool Group 5 billion yuan and Jinan Second Machine Tool Group 4.3 billion yuan.

          The unbalanced structure of enterprises in machine tool industry in China is mainly manifested in the following aspects: more large and medium-sized enterprises, especially the “large and complete, small and complete” ones, while the “specialized, special and refined” ones are underdeveloped, and the high-tech enterprises (such as software technology, automation technology, network technology, sensor technology and intelligent technology) are especially scarce.

          The main characteristics of modern machine tool industry production and operation mode are multiple varieties.

          The main characteristics of modern machine tool industry production and operation mode are multi-varieties, small batches, “tailor-made clothes” and complete supply. Effective organization scale and form of enterprise is a highly specialized and sophisticated enterprise combination. Throughout the world machine tool power, its machine tool industry is generally led by several powerful machine tool groups, while others support a large number of “specialized, special and refined” enterprises. According to relevant data, the average number of machine tool enterprises in Germany, Japan and the United States is about 214, 285 and 60. The Swiss machine tool industry is dominated by small and medium-sized enterprises. In 2016, there were 10 605 employees in the Swiss machine tool industry, 77 members of the Swiss Machine Tool Association and 138 employees in the machine tool industry on average. In 2016, the total output of Swiss machine tool industry was 3.99 billion Swiss francs, with an average output of 51.22 million Swiss francs per enterprise (equivalent to 347 million RMB).

          The main manifestation of “inadequate” development of machine tool industry

          The problem of “inadequate” industry development is highlighted in the use of development forms and means. The problem of “inadequate” industry development is analyzed to study how to improve the quality and efficiency of development.

          1. The inadequate role of scientific and technological innovation in industry progress

          At present, the “inadequate” technological innovation of machine tool industry is basically similar to that of China’s large machinery industry, which is mainly manifested in inadequate development and investment in science and technology, inadequate investment in scientific research, weak ability of independent innovation, lack of supply of key core technologies, inadequate ability of design and complete integration, and low-end value chain; inadequate integration, intelligent and green development, inadequate digital workshop and Intelligent chemical plants and other progress is not fast, advanced testing and processing and other special equipment is scarce. In short, the role of science and technology as the first productive force in the overall progress of the machine tool industry is not enough. For example, although the key technologies of high-grade CNC machine tools characterized by high speed, high precision, compound and intelligence have made remarkable progress, a number of commonalities, basic technologies and new product development have also made new progress, there is still a big gap compared with the international advanced level. Some key technologies, such as high-speed and high-precision motion control technology, dynamic comprehensive compensation technology, multi-axis linkage and composite processing technology, intelligent technology, high-precision direct drive technology and reliability technology, still need further breakthroughs. Some major technologies are still a long way from industrialization. The R&D system with enterprises as the main body, market-oriented and combination of production, education and research has not yet been established, and the development of independent innovation in the industry lacks high-tech support.

          2. The inadequate use of human resources

          From the overall point of view of the machine tool industry, the total source of talent resources is relatively scarce, especially the lack of management personnel, engineering and technical personnel and senior skilled personnel, inadequate training, inadequate play of talent resources, and the contribution rate of talent to the development of the industry needs to be improved. Especially, the talent structure is not reasonable, the proportion of high-end talents such as high-level management personnel, leading engineering and technical experts and high-level skilled personnel is low, and there is a shortage of talents in new technologies such as software technology, network technology, manufacturing financial services and other high-tech fields. At present, the sharp problem of machine tool manufacturing enterprises is the lack of skilled workers, senior technicians, especially those who master contemporary scientific knowledge and skills and adapt to the new era, which seriously affects product upgrading and technological progress. The construction of enterprise culture and the cultivation of craftsman spirit are inadequate, the dissemination and cultivation of craftsman spirit and the creation of industry atmosphere are inadequate, and the overall promotion of enterprise culture construction needs to be deepened. “Big country craftsmen” is one of the important symbols of a powerful manufacturing country. Fully tapping the talent resources of the industry is an important measure to realize the transformation and upgrading of the machine tool industry.

          3. Insufficient quality assurance

          The overall level of product quality in China’s machine tool industry has been improved to a certain extent, which has played an important role in improving the overall quality and core competitiveness of the industry, and has also been recognized by the majority of users. There are many kinds of products, but the quality and reliability are not high, the well-known brands are few, and the product quality assurance is insufficient.

          In terms of product quality stability and reliability, for example, the early failure rate of machine tools is higher, the precision stability period is shorter, the engineering capability coefficient (CPK value), the average trouble-free working time (MTBF) and other indicators still lag behind the international advanced level. Strengthening product quality work and solving deep-seated quality problems can not be ignored.

          4. Inadequate Innovation of Service-oriented Manufacturing and Business Model

          The development level of service industry is an important symbol to measure the degree of modern social and economic development. Machine tool industry enterprises generally attach great importance to providing general single-machine products, ignoring the understanding and research of the production process characteristics and personalized needs of users. Service-oriented manufacturing and business model innovation is inadequate, service-oriented manufacturing income is generally not high, production and sales model innovation is inadequate, investment efficiency and profitability is low; integration development is inadequate, and industrial Internet, big data, artificial intelligence integration development is inadequate, and cross-border integration with upstream and downstream industries, financial industries and other industries is inadequate; service level of modern manufacturing industry is competition. Service is also productivity, which is an important manifestation of power. It is necessary to accelerate the coordinated development of industry manufacturing and service, promote business model innovation and business form innovation, and promote the transformation of production-oriented manufacturing to service-oriented manufacturing.

          Extend the business chain of machine tool enterprises, change from mainly providing products to providing products and services. Develop personalized customization services, life cycle management, network precision marketing and online support services. Conditional enterprises have changed from providing equipment to general contracting services for system integration, from providing products to providing overall solutions, including turnkey solutions for machine tools, tools, dies, fixtures, detectors, logistics support, process and programming. Developing the application software and technology of NC machining, including processing strategy, parametric and efficient programming, simulation program and model, adaptive processing technology, real-time monitoring and compensation technology, fault diagnosis and recognition software, so as to improve the processing efficiency, stability and intelligence level of NC machine tools. It advocates product life cycle service, that is, process plan design, equipment and installation debugging, technical training, preventive maintenance, fault diagnosis and remote service, spare parts supply, machine tool maintenance, machine tool modification and remanufacturing, etc. Manufacturing service industry has the characteristics of high technology content and high value-added output. Machine tool industry needs to change from production-oriented manufacturing to production-oriented manufacturing to realize the transformation and upgrading of traditional services.

          The Focus of Accelerating Industry Transformation and Upgrading

          In summary, the “imbalance” and “inadequacy” mentioned above reflect the weakness of the development of the machine tool industry, because of the “imbalance”, it is necessary to “adjust the structure”; when the “inadequacy” is found, it is clear where to “mend the shortcomings”. Transforming from a “big machine tool country” to a “powerful machine tool country” is the overall goal of industry transformation and upgrading; restraining excessive production of low-end products and vigorously developing high-end CNC machine tools to replace imports are the general requirements of the market for machine tool product restructuring; accelerating the development of high-end functional components and CNC systems is the main direction of industry productivity layout adjustment; and developing comprehensive competitive strength. At the same time, large-scale enterprise groups vigorously promote the development of “specialized, special and refined” small giant enterprises, which is the focus of enterprise restructuring. Developing from “unbalance” to “basic balance” is related to the adjustment of industry development strategy, which requires the efforts of the whole country and industry.

          From “inadequate” development to “relative adequacy”, give full play to the role of “technological innovation”, “human resources”, “product quality assurance” and “service-oriented manufacturing and business model innovation” in transformation and upgrading, which involves the adjustment of industry development tactics and is also an important measure for enterprise transformation and upgrading. Accelerating the adjustment of tactics will promote the process of industry strategic adjustment. 。

          We are pursuing balanced development, coordinated development, green development and high-quality scientific development. Solving the “imbalance and inadequacy” at the present stage will definitely bring about new “imbalance and inadequacy” in new areas, and the whole industry will need to continue to carry out new structural adjustment and make up for shortcomings. It is in this process of repeated and continuous advancement that the machine tool industry will gradually approach and ultimately realize the Chinese dream of “from big to strong”.

          Bringing into play the main role of enterprise transformation and upgrading

          At present, the prominent contradiction of structural reform of supply side in machine tool industry is the contradiction between excessive production capacity of low-grade machine tools and insufficient supply capacity of high-grade CNC machine tools. Transformation and upgrading are the only way to development. Where is the way of transformation and upgrading of machine tool industry? The road lies at the foot – seeking development from “imbalance” and breakthroughs from “inadequacy”. Because of the different “imbalance” and “inadequacy” of each enterprise, the transformation and upgrading should be different from enterprise to enterprise. We should prescribe the right remedy, one enterprise, one policy, precise policy, precise power, specialized, precise, big, practical. Enterprises are the main body of transformation and upgrading, enterprises are strong in the industry, machine tools are strong in the country. With the support of the national macro-policy, enterprises should clarify their development strategies and strategies according to their own characteristics, and play the main role of transformation and upgrading. Through structural adjustment, scientific and technological innovation, optimizing the structure and improving the quality and efficiency, and enhancing the market share and industrial competitiveness of domestic machine tools, the overall goal of industry development is to move towards a powerful machine tool country.