New rules boost ro­bot pro­duc­tion

Govern­ment reg­u­la­tions ex­pected to el­e­vate com­pet­i­tive strength of key Chi­nese in­dus­try

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FRONT PAGE - By ZHU LIXIN in Wuhu, An­hui and MA SI in Beijing

China will pub­lish stan­dards to reg­u­late its bur­geon­ing ro­bot in­dus­try while push­ing for wider ro­botic ap­pli­ca­tions in key in­dus­tries, ac­cord­ing to of­fi­cials and ex­perts.

The Min­istry of In­dus­try and In­for­ma­tion Tech­nol­ogy will work out stan­dards for the in­dus­try that will cover such as­pects as prod­uct qual­ity, research and de­vel­op­ment ca­pa­bil­i­ties, staff qual­i­fi­ca­tions, sales prac­tices and so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity, said Sun Feng, deputy di­rec­tor of the min­istry’s Equip­ment In­dus­try Depart­ment, at the 2016 China Ro­bot In­dus­try Con­fer­ence on Wed­nes­day.

The move is in­tended to raise the core com­pet­i­tive strength of China’s in­dus­trial ro­bot man­u­fac­tur­ing, he said.

Sun said that the min­istry will also launch pi­lot pro­jects for ser­vice ro­bots and ac­cel­er­ate the set­ting of ad­di­tional stan­dards for the healthy and sus­tain­able growth of the Chi­nese ro­bot in­dus­try.

Xu Quan­ping, an expert from the State Stan­dard­iza­tion Ad­min­is­tra­tion, said about 30 na­tional stan­dards will be worked out by 2018, and twice that num­ber will be avail­able by 2020.

On Wed­nes­day, the non­govern­men­tal China Ro­bot In­dus­try Al­liance re­leased three gen­eral tech­ni­cal stan­dards on weld­ing ro­bots, ro­bots made to fill con­tain­ers, and ca­bles used on ro­bots.

Al­liance ex­ec­u­tives said 14 ad­di­tional stan­dards will also be re­leased soon. The group has some 300 mem­bers.

More than 64,000 in­dus­trial ro­bots, in­clud­ing both Chi­nese and for­eign brands, were pro­duced in China in the first 11 months of 2016, com­pared with 32,996 for the en­tire year in 2015. The full year’s pro­duc­tion for 2016 is ex­pected to sur­pass 70,000 units, ex­perts said.

How­ever, Sun said China’s ro­bot in­dus­try has been ham­strung by de­pen­dence on high-end im­ports, in­no­va­tion that has yet to catch up, un­or­ga­nized and in­ad­e­quate tech­ni­cal de­vel­op­ment, and lack of pro­duc­tion cer­ti­fi­ca­tions.

Guo Xuan, deputy di­rec­tor of Beijing-based Yizhuang Smart Robotics In­dus­try Research In­sti­tute, said au­to­ma­tion thrives amid ris­ing la­bor costs that are largely due to an ag­ing so­ci­ety.

“But do­mes­tic robotics firms need to be wary of blind ex­pan­sion. We have al­ready no­ticed over­ca­pac­ity in low-end ro­bots,” he said.

Ac­cord­ing to Guo, proper reg­u­la­tion and in­dus­try­wide stan­dards are the keys to en­sur­ing the healthy de­vel­op­ment of robotics. “They will help ex­cel­lent firms stand out from the com­pe­ti­tion and fo­cus more on R&D in core tech­nolo­gies,” Guo added.

Qu Daokui, pres­i­dent of the ro­bot in­dus­try al­liance and CEO of Shenyang-based Si­a­sun Ro­bot and Au­to­ma­tion Co, said that de­spite the rapid growth of the sec­tor, sales are still dom­i­nated by for­eign brands.

Ac­cord­ing to the al­liance, 68,000 in­dus­trial ro­bots were sold in China in 2015, while Chi­nese brands saw to­tal sales of only 22,257 units dur­ing that year.

In just the first six months of 2016, Chi­nese brands recorded sales of 19,257 in­dus­trial ro­bots, the al­liance said on Wed­nes­day.

Just over 60 per­cent of home­made in­dus­trial ro­bots are used for trans­fer­ring, load­ing and un­load­ing ma­te­ri­als. Sales of such ro­bots in 2016 surged by 94.3 per­cent over the same pe­riod last year.

Some 43 per­cent of in­dus­trial ro­bots made by Chi­nese com­pa­nies were sold in East China, one of the coun­try’s most de­vel­oped ar­eas, ac­cord­ing to the al­liance.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from China

© PressReader. All rights reserved.