China's CNC machine tools to break the deadlock, high-end equipment to master the core "brain", a comprehensive breakthrough is really difficult


From No. 1 in global output to debt restructuring, what has the Chinese machine tool giant experienced?

According to the National Bureau of Statistics released the relevant data of China's machine tool market in 2019, the national production of metal cutting machine tools reached 416000 units, down 18.8 from the same period last year (2018), while the production of metal cutting machine tools in China was as high as 882300 units seven years ago. In the first two months of this year, the output of cutting machine tools fell by 44.6, while the export volume of all kinds of machine tools also decreased by 27.1.

In the output value ranking of various machine tool companies in the world, China's machine tool industry, which occupied the top ten and two seats more than ten years ago, is now all taken into the arms of Germany, the United States and Japan. Among the former four machine tool companies, Dalian machine tool went bankrupt, Shenyang machine tool lost its losses and Kunming machine tool was also delisted, leaving only Qinchuan machine tool to do its best to support. What's wrong with China's machine tool industry?

Review of the 2012 global machine tool industry rankings, Shenyang machine tool to 18 billion yuan sales scale won the world's first position. But no one would have thought that in the following seven years, the operation of Shenyang machine tool fell precipitously, and the speed of decline far exceeded the speed of rise. With the increasing market competitiveness of domestic and foreign machine tool enterprises and the increasing saturation of the domestic machine tool market, the problems of overcapacity and homogenization are particularly prominent. At the same time, the company's machine tool sales are gradually accompanied by brain drain, core technology, management and other issues and decline.

In fact, Shenyang Machine Tool is only one of the typical cases in the development process. The output is huge, but it lacks core competitiveness. The gap between high-end performance and foreign countries will make it at a disadvantage in the development process. Similar to other high-end manufacturing equipment, my country's high-end CNC machine tools rely heavily on imports. According to the data of the Prospective Industry Research Institute, the localization rate of my country's high-end CNC machine tools in 2018 was only 6%.

"Made in China 2025" clearly, by 2025, the domestic market share of high-end CNC machine tools and basic manufacturing equipment will exceed 80%. According to relevant customs statistics, China's total import of machine tools in 2018 is 3.379 billion US dollars. Even if the import substitution rate is only about 30%, China's CNC machine tool industry will add at least 1 billion US dollars of market space every year in the future.

The huge market potential and demand have inspired more Chinese companies to work hard in the high-performance CNC industry.

From following to leading, breaking the deadlock, high-end equipment needs to master the core

In September this year, Dong Mingzhu delivered a keynote speech on the theme of "Discovering the Turning Point of China's Scientific and Technological Innovation" at the China (Mianyang) Science and Technology City Innovation and Development Forum.

"Manufacturing industry can not have speculative psychology, must have the spirit of suffering. Don't do it when you see how much money you earn, and don't want to do it when you don't make money. We often talk about whether diversification is better or specialization is better. In fact, the key is whether you can focus on it and support it with technology and innovation. "

In 2016, Dong Mingzhu once released such heroic words: Two years later, he will make top-level CNC machine tools to serve all Chinese enterprises. In fact, in less than two years, Gree built a five-axis linkage machine tool GA-F500 representing the high-end technology of the industry in the second year. In 2018, Gree introduced flexible manufacturing machine tools.

Gree Electric established its own equipment R & D team in 2012. While developing the category of household electrical appliances, it also developed high-end equipment. Through 8 years, it has realized more than 100 different machining center CNC machine tools, which not only meets its own needs, It also provides protection and services for peers and other industries.

At present, Gree already has some of the core device self-control capabilities, but from the "top" level, the industry said there is still a certain gap. It can be said that Gree Electric is no longer a single household manufacturing enterprise, but a professional high-end equipment manufacturing enterprise.

CNC machine tool system integrates mechanical, electrical, hydraulic, optical, computer, automation control and other technologies. It involves intensive knowledge, numerous disciplines, and high hardware and software requirements.

In addition to the continuous breakthrough in hardware, as the core brain of CNC machine tools-CNC system also ushered in a continuous breakthrough. In September 2020, Huazhong CNC's new generation of intelligent CNC system was mass-produced in Wuhan and will soon be introduced to the market, announcing that China's machine tool CNC system has entered the era of intelligence.

In 1986, Professor Huang Shuhuai, a mechanical manufacturing expert who was then president of Huazhong Institute of Technology, led a team to Japan for an inspection. See the display of the Japanese machine tool CNC system is painted in different colors.

Someone quietly told: Different colors indicate different sales areas. The products sold to Europe and the United States are advanced models, and those sold to China and other countries are medium and low-grade or nearly eliminated products.

To learn the truth, Chinese scholars are deeply stimulated. Because they know what advanced CNC means.

Seeing these colors representing discrimination, Huang Shuhuai was resentful: China must come up with its own high-performance CNC system. Huazhong University then set up a numerical control research institute to tackle the problem with the strength of the whole school. A "Chinese brain" equipped with Chinese machine tools was quietly bred in Wuhan.

But where to start and where to break through became the biggest problem. At that time, western countries took the road of "special computer + software. In 1992, Professor Zhou Ji, then dean of the School of Machinery of Huazhong University, took over the CNC Research Institute. After repeated deduction, he found a new way: general industrial microcomputer + software. Conventional industrial computers and electronic devices are selected to make up for the lack of hardware through higher-level algorithms and higher-performance software.

CNC system, software is the soul, more difficult. Unexpectedly, the first goal set by the team was the most advanced numerical control system that supported more than five axes. On October 23, 2008, a notice from M countries included Huazhong numerical control in the list. At that time, Huazhong numerical control had just emerged in the field of independent high-performance numerical control.

Among the hardships, it goes without saying that along the way, we have achieved remarkable results.

Wuhan Heavy Machine Tool Factory cooperated with Huazhong CNC to set up a "heavy seven-axis five-linkage turning and milling compound machining center", gradually breaking the short board of high-precision machining of submarine propellers, and the dream of "making propellers work quietly" is becoming a reality.

The CNC system with its own brain plays a pivotal role in various industries. One stone has stirred up waves. The domestic CNC machine tool industry has continued to innovate. Beijing Jingdiao, Beijing Aerospace, Guangzhou CNC, Nanjing Huaxing, Shanghai Weihong, Sichuan A series of companies such as Guangtai have reached the international advanced level at different levels.

In 2019, Huazhong CNC took the lead in implanting artificial intelligence chips into CNC systems in the world. China's new generation of intelligent CNC system Huazhong 9 has built a prototype in Han, starting a new journey of "changing lanes and overtaking" in China's CNC system.

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