Rocket maker aims high with lofty out­put tar­gets

China Daily (USA) - - BUSINESS - By MASI and ZHAO LEI Con­tact the writ­ers at masi@chi­nadaily.com.cn and zhaolei@ chi­nadaily.com.cn

China Aerospace Sci­ence and Tech­nol­ogy Corp aims to “dou­ble or even triple” its an­nual pro­duc­tion ca­pac­ity by 2025 while with­out adding newem­ploy­ees— as the Sta­te­owned satel­lite and rocket maker ratch­ets up ef­forts to achieve smart and flexible man­u­fac­tur­ing — its chief en­gi­neer said.

CASC Chief En­gi­neer Yang Haicheng told China Daily that in the next five to 10 years the aerospace in­dus­try would see huge de­mand for rock­ets and satel­lites.

“If the an­nual or­ders triple from 100 bil­lion yuan ($15 bil­lion) to 300 bil­lion yuan, it is im­pos­si­ble for us to triple the amount of em­ploy­ees,” he said on the side­lines of a man­u­fac­tur­ing fo­rum in Bei­jing on Fri­day.

“In­stead, we must rely on smart man­u­fac­tur­ing to ac­com­plish these tasks.”

The Bei­jing-based com­pany cur­rently has about 180,000 em­ploy­ees, nearly 100,000 of which are re­searchers and en­gi­neers, which has laid down a solid foun­da­tion for high-tech man­u­fac­tur­ing, Yang added.

CASC is re­spon­si­ble for mak­ing China’s satel­lites, mis­siles, car­rier rock­ets, space sta­tion and other aerospace equip­ment.

In 2015, it recorded an an­nual rev­enue of $30.5 bil­lion, the 12.5 per­cent year-onyear rise cat­a­pult­ing its rank­ing on the For­tune 500 list to 344th from 437th the pre­vi­ous year.

The pro­duc­tion ca­pac­ity tar­get is part of a broader plan that the Bei­jing-based group is work­ing on to co­or­di­nate its oper­a­tions with the coun­try’s Made in China 2025 ini­tia­tive, which aims to pro­mote high­end man­u­fac­tur­ing in fac­to­ries na­tion­wide, Yang said

“We also want to shorten the pro­duc­tion cy­cle. In the past, it took three to four years to de­velop a satel­lite. Now we are work­ing hard to shorten the process to one year, or even to sev­eral months or sev­eral days in times of war,” he added.

The chief en­gi­neer said the aerospace in­dus­try in­volved the most so­phis­ti­cated and com­pli­cated de­sign and pro­duc­tion process, which the com­pany wanted to sim­plify by putting all of it on­line.

“We are eye­ing a tran­si­tion from to­tal self-re­liance to build­ing an open plat­form where we will seek re­sources and part­ner­ship from other in­ter­na­tional play­ers,” Yang added.

“We will fo­cus not only on de­sign and pro­duc­tion but also on oper­a­tions and

Wang Ya’nan, edi­tor-in-chief of Aerospace Knowl­edge mag­a­zine, said China’s aerospace in­dus­try had en­tered a rapid growth stage that re­quired space en­ter­prises to un­der­take more in­no­va­tion in terms of re­search, de­vel­op­ment and pro­duc­tion tech­niques.

“The govern­ment has placed high im­por­tance on the space-based in­for­ma­tion sys­tem, deep-space and lu­nar ex­plo­ration pro­gram and manned space ac­tiv­i­ties. It is also boost­ing the com­mer­cial space sec­tor to com­pete with other space pow­ers such as the United States,” he said. ser­vices.” Jing Shuiyu con­trib­uted to this story.

CHEN XIAOGEN / FOR CHINA DAILY

Peo­ple line up to ex­am­ine a replica of the Tian­gong-2 space lab­o­ra­tory at the China Sci­ence and Tech­nol­ogy Mu­seum in Bei­jing on Sun­day.

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