This should come as no surprise—since it has been publicized many times—the Chinese government has launched a very aggressive campaign to be a world leader in high-tech manufacturing by 2025. Taking its cue from the German government, and its success with Industry 4.0, China wants to create a new industrial revolution, based on cloud, edge computing, big data, and other emerging technologies, all in the global manufacturing supply chain.
While at first blush some might want to be upset with the Chinese government for implementing the “Made in China 2025” mission, the real fact is the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology understands the true value of the IoT (Internet of Things), and other emerging technologies for its country.
When it comes to China, the government has been clear about its 10-year objective to move from being a low-end engineer to being a leader in robotics, information technology, clean energy, and so much more.
If China succeeds it will have a dominant position in the global market. So far, China reports success in the AI (artificial intelligence) space and is moving boldly forward in the EV (electric vehicle) battery market as well as working closely with other 5G partners. China is on a quest for high-speed railways and other emerging solutions.
The issue of whether China is violating international trade law is a discussion for another time, however, this is the perfect time as a manufacturer to pay close attention to investing in and protecting intellectual property, developing a technology roadmap, cybersecurity, supply chain, and more.
In fact, several hundred smart industrial manufacturing parks have already popped up in the China region. Thus, if it continues at this pace, China just might be moving its manufacturing infrastructure to deliver specialized output as a result of technological innovation.
If the COVID-19 coronavirus has taught us anything, it is that we need to constantly invest in our systems and supply chain. Thus, U.S. manufacturers must constantly look to partners along the IoT and AI journey to provide more transparency into manufacturing. If not, as today’s manufacturers you just might find yourselves quickly sitting on the sidelines wondering how this all happened right before your eyes. (Remember Kodak and Blockbuster)
Now is the perfect time to use big data to reduce operational and working capital costs across the end-to-end supply chain. As discussed in this column before, imagine having the ability to monitor and measure success instantly. As part of your goals you should be able to create and source an intelligent supply chain led by the IoT.
With the advent of 5G technologies and next generation solutions, you might even say China is looking to AI to give it the edge it needs to become a manufacturing superpower.
Perhaps it’s time for U.S. manufacturers to cast a wider net with 5G and get fired up and to think about ways to leverage the IoT for the next revolution of innovation to ensure sustainable growth and competitiveness regardless of whatever happens to the supply chain or anything else. We can all do this together, that’s the future of work and smart manufacturing.
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