On April 26, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology organized a press conference to introduce the main content and next steps of the “Robot Industry Development Plan (2016-2020)” (hereinafter referred to as the plan).
The plan clearly puts forward the overall five-year development goal of the robot industry: by 2020, my country’s annual output of industrial robots will reach 100,000 units, of which six-axis and above robots will reach more than 50,000 units.
In addition to the above goals, the overall five-year development goal of the robotics industry also includes the annual sales revenue of service robots exceeding 30 billion yuan; the realization of small batch production and application in the fields of helping the elderly and the disabled, medical rehabilitation, etc.; to cultivate more than 3 leading enterprises, Build more than 5 robot supporting industrial clusters; the average time between failures of industrial robots reaches 80,000 hours; intelligent robots realize innovative applications and other aspects.
At the same time, the plan proposes that industrial robots and service robots will be developed equally, and encourage the robot industry to develop towards high-end in many aspects, to prevent low-level repeated construction of the robot industry and repeat the mistakes of the photovoltaic industry.
Actively make up for shortcomings
According to the National Bureau of Statistics, my country’s industrial robot output in 2015 was 32,996 units (including foreign brands), a year-on-year increase of 21.7%.
According to the statistics of the China Robot Industry Alliance, in 2015, the production and sales of self-owned brand industrial robots totaled 22,257 units, a year-on-year increase of 31.3%. Self-owned brands have maintained a faster growth rate than foreign brands. In the first quarter of this year, my country’s industrial robot output was 11,497 units, an increase of 19.9% year-on-year.
Zuo Shiquan, director of the Equipment Industry Research Institute of the CCID Research Institute of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, told the 21st Century Business Herald that from the perspective of market development, the “13th Five-Year Plan” will be a period of accelerated development of the robotics industry. “The market demand is very large. According to our According to the research, the number of industrial robots in China will increase to 500,000 to 600,000 units by 2020; the market application of service robots is still being explored, and the space is even greater.”
In the face of huge market demand, the plan proposes that my country’s robotics industry will achieve “two breakthroughs” and “three upgrades” during the “13th Five-Year Plan” period, that is, to achieve major breakthroughs in key robot parts and high-end products, and achieve robot quality and reliability. , The market share and the competitiveness of leading enterprises have been greatly improved, and a relatively complete robot industry system has been formed.
It is undeniable that there are obvious shortcomings in my country’s robot production technology. Zuo Shiquan said that at present, China has insufficient actual mastery of the five key components. Among them, the precision requirements of accelerators and reducers are not particularly high, and there are still big problems in the stability of motors, controllers, and chips.
“Some technical experts estimate that in terms of core components, the gap between China and Japan, the United States and other countries is about 15-20 years.” Zuo Shiquan said.
Xin Guobin, the deputy minister of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, said that it is necessary to have a clear understanding of the new problems facing the robotics industry: First, although there have been breakthroughs in key robot parts, high-end products are still lacking. Second, some products are close to the world’s advanced level, but innovation capabilities need to be strengthened urgently. Third, the robot industry in various regions is developing rapidly, but the hidden dangers of low-level redundant construction are gradually emerging. Fourth, leading companies are rising, but the problems of small, scattered, and weak still have not been fundamentally changed. Fifth, although third-party testing agencies have been established, the standards and testing and certification systems for robots need to be further improved.
Avoid low-end industrial development
While making up for shortcomings, it is also very important to guide the healthy development of the robotics industry.
The plan clearly states that the industrial robot industry standard conditions will be formulated to promote the concentration of various resources to advantageous enterprises, encourage the robot industry to develop towards high-end, and prevent low-level redundant construction.
It is understood that as a high-end industry, robots are showing signs of low-end development in China. This worries Li Dong, deputy director of the Equipment Industry Department of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.
The first trend of low-end development is the explosive growth of robot companies. According to Li Dong’s preliminary statistics, there are currently more than 800 companies involved in robots in China, and more than 200 are robot body manufacturers. Most of these companies are assembly and contract processing, with low industrial concentration and a small overall scale.
In addition, there are more than forty industrial parks in the region that focus on the development of robots, and some of them have obvious problems of “importing investment, neglecting innovation, and neglecting talent training”.
The second trend is that local robotics companies are relatively weak in manufacturing high-end products. Foreign brands with more than six axes have a market share of 85%; according to statistics, 70% of robot parts depend on foreign companies.
Yao Zhiju, deputy secretary general of the Robot Industry Alliance, told the 21st Century Business Herald that the development of the robot industry must avoid repeating the mistakes of the photovoltaic industry. “Due to the existence of subsidies, many companies have entered this field, but they do not master the core technology. They often piece together some parts and get subsidies.”
Zuo Shiquan believes that in the actual implementation of the subsidy, attention should be paid to the problem of information asymmetry, precise support should be achieved, and project review, expert evaluation, and subsequent follow-up should be checked.
In order to solve this problem, Li Dong introduced the plan to curb the low-end trend of high-end products from six aspects.
The first is to actively guide enterprises in various regions to develop the robot industry in a rational and differentiated manner according to their own conditions and advantages, and to guide policy funds and resource elements to concentrate on advantageous regions and enterprises to avoid rushing and low-level duplication; secondly, China wants to develop High-end robot brands support the cultivation of leading robot companies. Recently, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology will speed up the implementation of the “Special Action Plan for Cultivating and Upgrading Single Champion Enterprises in Manufacturing”; the third is to strengthen the technological research and development of a new generation of robots featuring artificial intelligence and virtual reality.
The fourth aspect is to establish a robot inspection and evaluation center, accelerate the improvement of robot quality and reliability, strengthen the construction of robot inspection and certification system; at the same time support the training of craftsmen with the spirit of craftsman; finally, the industry self-discipline is to promote the robot strategy Enterprise alliances, establish robot industry associations, and strengthen industry self-discipline.
“Some people say that robots have overcapacity, I don’t agree.” Li Dong said, “The robot industry has both structural problems and total volume problems. Among them, the structural problems are more prominent, the manufacturing capacity of high-end products is insufficient, and the low-end products have low-end products. We have to solve the hidden worries of level repeated construction and blind development,” Li Dong said.
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