It’s not good to be arrogant Chinese machine tools will be on the broad stage

“The Chinese machine tool industry has a foundation and development momentum. In recent years, it has made rapid progress and cannot be arrogant. The future is promising.”

The machine tool industry has always been placed at an important strategic level in the development of new China’s industry, and has received the attention of previous leaders of the country. Starting from the “Sixth Five-Year Plan”, each five-year plan has implemented a national strategy and has strong support for the research and development of the CNC machine tool industry. In the past 70 years, New China has trained outstanding engineering and technical personnel and industrial workers for generations. In the higher education system, there are still a number of excellent discipline construction teams, which have been extended to the current vocational and technical education system. Fundamentally speaking, the development and progress of the machine tool industry is driven by China’s industrialization and modernization needs. Whether it is the planned economy era or the market economy era, this huge demand traction is the biggest driving force for development.

In the past 40 years, thanks to technological advances, the industry threshold for the CNC machine tool industry is decreasing. The main factor that caused change was CNC. In the early stage of numerical control, with the advancement of computer technology, the stability and ease of use of the numerical control system and the cost reduction, the CNC machine tools were gradually popularized. The popularization of numerical control simplifies the transmission system of the machine tool, greatly reducing the amount of traditional gear transmission pairs, splines, worm gears, and simplifying the design and manufacture of machine tools. On the other hand, the successful application and industrialization of rolling functional components (linear rolling guides, ball screws, bearings) further simplifies machine tool design and manufacturing. The machine tool industry itself is a self-equipment, generation-by-generation, self-circulating system, and the level of the parent machine is also improving. These technical conditions have led to the simplification of the conventional manufacturing technology in the machine tool industry. The traditional manufacturing techniques such as static hydrostatic guides and hydrostatic bearings are only left in the field of heavy-duty machine tools and ultra-precision machining. These traditional technologies are as precious as pandas and should be The state attaches importance to these technologies because they are the key technologies of some “heavy tools”; under the market demand of huge general-purpose machining centers and CNC lathes, a large number of private machine tool manufacturers have been born under the environment of market economy. In this case, the advantages of traditional large machine tool companies are being reduced. If you can’t objectively analyze your own fundamental advantages in this industry, the traditional machine tool companies will be overwhelmed and even defeated. In any era, there will be things that cannot be adapted to the changes in the environment of the times, and this kind of reincarnation was like this before the dinosaur era.

From a macro perspective, in the context of the rapid development of China’s industrial manufacturing industry, the total consumption of machine tools in the Chinese market is increasing year by year, and the total number of machine tools manufactured in China is increasing year by year. Who can say that the machine tool industry is a sunset industry? Therefore, it is impossible to sing the machine tool industry because of the temporary difficulties of some machine tool companies. From the comparison of the world and China, China should be very optimistic about the numerical control system. With the support of major special projects, the high-end CNC system has been developed, and the self-developed CNC system has been implemented in a variety of five-axis CNC machine tools. Taking Cod Control as an example, it has developed nearly 10 series, nearly 20 specifications, and more than 300 five-axis machine tools, which have been affirmed by users. On the rolling function components, the guide screws of several professional factories in China are supported by major special projects. The samples produced in batches are tested by the laboratory of Nanjing University of Science and Technology. The gap between them and Japanese products is very small, and the application on actual machine tools is also in this way. In particular, the recent demand for rolling parts in automated logistics equipment should make these companies grow a wave. In terms of electric spindles, China should also be optimistic. Many companies have completed the R&D, design and manufacture of electric spindles, and have given strong design support to this part of the professional imported bearing manufacturers. Along with the rapid development of 3C machining, we have also grown up with several excellent professional R&D and production spindles such as Guangzhou Zhizhi. It can be said that the high value-added components of CNC machine tools are being mastered by China, the technology is gradually maturing, and the economic cost is declining.

At the CIMT2019 exhibition, there are more than 20 five-axis CNC machine tools exhibited in the W4 Pavilion of many private machine tool manufacturers in China. It can also explain the technological progress of the Chinese machine tool industry from the side. From the exhibition to see foreign products, although DMG, PUMA, FIDIA and other manufacturers have taken out the latest and even concept machines, the design concept has not made the industry people unable to understand or bring a surprise. It is not the singer of Europe and Japan. China is faced with rising labor costs. They are faced with tightening their belts and tightening their lives. China has an advantage in overall human resources. At present, there are still many crisis bed enterprises in Europe, which can be used by Chinese manufacturers to choose mergers and acquisitions. It is foreseeable that the European and Japanese machine tool factories that are not set up in China in the next decade are expected to have a hard time. Some people believe that the loss of personnel in the Chinese machine tool industry is serious. In fact, in the marketization, the flow of social resources such as human resources in the machine tool industry to the fast-growing enterprises is normal. Most of them are in the industry, not lost, and there are also beneficial effects such as promotion, dissemination and radiation.


Focus on specific areas, do the user’s craftsman

“The definition of machine tool products should be based on the user’s process, and achieving high-performance machining processes for users is the only goal of successful products.”

“Competitors are the ‘hearts and devils’ in their hearts. They will not forget to interfere with their own thinking and lose the opportunity to radically surpass their opponents.”

The former vice minister of the Ministry of Machinery Industry, Shen Lie-chu, repeatedly stressed that the machine tool factory should be a user’s craftsman. This view is now more and more profound in China’s machine tool practitioners.

When the former Soviet Union assisted the Chinese industrial system, it brought the mature machine tool technology system to China. Based on this technical system, China built a unique 18-year-old Luohan factory with individual technical expertise. Since then, nearly 40 years, the machine tool industry has been solidified in the definition of product types, until recently the industry encountered crisis and the decline of standard shelf products.

The shortcomings that China’s machine tool industry is currently highlighting are product definition capabilities based on user processes. When the North cannot be found, blind imitation is started, imitating foreign products and imitating products from other factories in the same industry. The products are homogenized and fall into the Red Sea. In recent years, the industry has begun to realize this problem, and many companies that have become conscious have begun to be close to the user process. In the field of 3C processing, many machine tool companies have been involved in the 3C product development process, and process research and development and equipment research and development have been carried out simultaneously, such as Beijing Jingdiao and Shenzhen Genesis. Gree first involved in the machine tool industry, from the product point of view, there are process ideas, cut into the accuracy, the starting style is correct. At present, companies with good market performance have their own achievements in focusing on deep-rooted specific fields, including: Qinchuan focuses on gear grinding, Ningjiang focuses on providing high-precision horizontal plus group connections, and Dongfeng equipment focuses on automotive cylinder cylinders. The manufacturing of cover parts is in line. Guangzhou Minjia Machine Tools specializes in the grinding of special equipment. Shanghai Tuoyu specializes in aerospace special processing and assembly equipment. Jiangsu Speed ​​Lida focuses on automotive aluminum wheel processing lines. Cod Control focuses on five-axis machining, especially five-axis machining in the aerospace industry. In the past year, it has completed more than 100 kinds of five-axis parts from the complete processing process to processing samples, and established processes with users in the process. Cooperation between technology and machine tool technology.

To forget the opponent, the heart is the user. Competitors are the “hearts and devils” in their hearts. They will not forget to interfere with their own thinking and lose the opportunity to fundamentally surpass their opponents. The only consideration is how to provide users with higher processing efficiency, and to return to the processing technology, in order to surpass the inherent structural form of the “car, milling, drilling, boring” machine tools, according to the actual needs of users, processing needs, logistics needs And create excellent machine tools beyond history. In the process of researching the process, particular attention should be paid to the application of new materials and new tools and new processes that may lead to the subversion of equipment requirements. For example, in the 3C field, the replacement of ceramics and glass-to-aluminum alloys has caused traditional drilling and tapping machines to shrink to the processing of stainless steel middle frames. A large number of graphite processing machines required for curved glass manufacturing have begun a new wave of market demand; high-speed cutting theory is traditional. The impact of the heavy-duty machine design concept industry, higher spindle speed, faster feed rate, lightweight high-speed structure also replaces the original heavy-duty structure in many fields; advances in grinding materials and molding technology in the field of grinding Support higher grinding line speed, combined with grinding wheel cooling, greatly improve the processing efficiency of grinding machine; in the field of difficult materials for aerospace, the combination of electric machining and machining, and the combination of ultrasonic vibration and traditional processing methods are Process hotspots that may bring new equipment requirements; advances in process technology in thermal processing may also affect gold cutting machine equipment, such as 3D printing technology combined with cold processing equipment, friction stir welding and cutting technology, and heat treatment technology and surface treatment Advances in technology are likely to occur in the amount of deformation control, the elimination of certain fines Equipment. Machine tool equipment is the carrier to realize the process technology. It is the fundamental goal of machine tool development to realize high-performance machining process for users.

Improve reliability, have a system engineering concept

“The improvement of reliability and quality is a continuous process, which is guaranteed by the system.” “Excellent entrepreneurs and excellent machine tool designers must have a system engineering concept.”

The most common problem with domestic machine tools is reliability. This problem, the author believes that mainly rely on the market to solve, the quality of the poor companies only rely on market rules education, lessons and punishment. Reliability and quality are essential elements for any product. If the company does not value reliability and quality, it does not cherish the goodwill of the company. This problem cannot be helped by external forces. On the other hand, machine tools are an important industrial product for various manufacturing industries. There are strict quality control technical specifications in manufacturing technology. These technologies should be promoted, shared and supervised through industry standards.

The difference between the machine tool and many industrial products is that a large number of skilled workers are manually involved in the assembly process. Although many skills are implemented by operators, these skills should be defined and constrained by process documents, work instructions, and testing standards, so that quality-controlled industrial products are produced. The machine tool industry cannot unilaterally respect and deify the “artisan spirit”. There is no deep understanding of the “industrial spirit” of seeking truth and rigor.

Many times, people pay too much attention to a single technology and technical indicators, and do not carefully analyze the indicator system in which these technical indicators are located. These indicators are not shortcomings of products. I often use chefs to compare designers. In today’s specialized production of functional components, the core competence of machine tool design is the comprehensive ability of technology from the user’s process, just like different levels of chefs, the same raw materials, to see who organizes more In line with the taste of the user. Sometimes, avoiding their own shortcomings, they can’t complain about other accessories, but they can’t see their own shortcomings. In the end, users say that Chinese machine tools can’t. What’s more interesting is that users can ask the OEM to configure what kind of guide rails, lead screws, bearings, and CNC systems. This is not called “customization”, which is called lack of ability. The technical index system of CNC machine tools should also start from the cutting capacity. The layout is the result of combining the geometric accuracy of the logistics (workpiece and tool) (including five axes). The stroke is adapted to the size of the machined parts, comprehensive serialization and component versatility at cost. The technical indicator system completed under the constraints. Such a technical indicator system must be supported by a complete technical chain of CNC machine tools. As a machine tool enterprise, it is necessary to form its own technology chain and production process chain and supply chain. The elements on the chain are not necessarily available to the enterprise itself, but it is necessary to be able to organize and maintain its own advantages, and to find the position of the enterprise in the value chain. . Companies that are not willing to be at the low end of the value chain will seek to expand into high-value segments.

Pragmatic cooperation between industry, university and research professors and engineers to return home

“On the premise of clarifying and respecting intellectual property rights, under the support of target products and market-based benefit distribution mechanism, the automatic integration of enterprises and universities will be formed.”

There is a view that China’s machine tool enterprises have poor research and development capabilities, which is an objective fact in many enterprises. On the other hand, it should be noted that many actively motivated companies attach great importance to research and development, and are actively trying to get out of the Red Sea. The author deeply felt this when he communicated with his counterparts in Shenzhen. In this part of the machine tool industry in Shenzhen, many private enterprises spontaneously and actively research new technologies and new machine tool structures with industry customers, and do everything possible to intervene in customer product design and development, predict the market as early as possible, adapt to market changes, and many face-oriented parts. Adaptive machine tool improvements are simple but effective. At present, there are several private research directions in the Shenzhen area: five-axis machine tools, ultrasonic machining, multi-axis multi-station machining, linear motor applications, and composite materials processing. These research collaborations are spontaneously formed according to market needs, without government technology. project support.

The author also saw the development of various tools in Changzhou Xixiashu, from high-temperature alloy processing tools to composite processing tools, to anti-seismic arbor development, in these R & D activities also have spontaneous cooperation between enterprises and universities. The biggest advantage of the company is that it is close to the market, and engineering R&D capacity building is the main advantage of enterprise R&D. The advantages of colleges and universities are basic research, including cutting theory, physical experiment modeling, structural simulation and optimization, control theory, control modeling simulation and optimization. At present, the difficulty in combining the two is to quantify the demand analysis and the abstract summary of the scientific problems. This requires engineers and professors to work together. This link is completed, and the cooperation between enterprises and universities is half successful. Enterprises and colleges have inherent advantages and complement each other. Enterprises can’t do the work of professors. It is also very difficult to teach dry engineers and entrepreneurs. The machine tools designed by universities have achieved industrialization with little success. The abrasive belt grinding machine developed by Professor Huang Yun of Chongqing University is one of the few successful cases.

The author advocates the automatic integration of enterprises and universities under the premise of clarifying and respecting intellectual property rights, driven by target products and market-based benefit distribution mechanism, rather than driven by government science and technology projects. The outstanding and successful corporate logo should be able to draw R&D funds from the pockets of their own income. Similarly, excellent universities should have a large number of enterprises to follow, and entrust the completion of research and development of enterprise topics. For the national project project of the industry’s basic common technology, it is necessary to realize the successful transformation of technology to the transformation and application of many enterprises as the main criteria for project acceptance.


Cultivate basic parts manufacturing capabilities, advanced manufacturing technology to fill short boards

Deterioration of manufacturing capabilities of “tooth” basic components will affect the development of the industry. The “smart manufacturing” boom will fade and start a new cycle.

Due to the application of the numerical control system to simplify the transmission system, most enterprises in the machine tool industry have canceled the gear workshop. Most of the high-precision gears, gears, splines, worm gears and other basic components have to be purchased, which will affect the function. The components are specially developed for high-end mechanical functional components such as mechanical swing heads and power-driven tool holders for turning and milling. The machine tool industry is different from the automotive industry. The demand for the machine tool industry is small, high precision and various types. Therefore, on the one hand, it is necessary to cultivate a machine tool enterprise with high-precision gear mother machine development. On the other hand, it is necessary to cultivate specialized manufacturers like the screw guide rail industry to meet the needs of the special industry of machine tools, and it is also possible to combine the two, similar to the United States. Gleason, which sells machine tools, also undertakes gear processing. Otherwise, there will be this short board in the development of China’s machine tool industry.

At present, the basic research of “artificial intelligence” has no theoretical breakthrough, and its application encounters bottlenecks. The corresponding “smart manufacturing” is also facing the problem of returning to the source of manufacturing. In the “digital” networked “intelligent” syllogism, the shortcomings of “digitalization” are quickly exposed. “Digitalization” is not just a narrow CAD/CAM/CAPP, but many models around the cutting process of machine tools. Very rough, lack of system organization. “Networking” itself is not a manufacturing problem, “intelligent” has encountered bottlenecks, advanced manufacturing technology has to return to the process of filling the short board. Many “smart manufacturing” projects on the fast-drying Soon I will return to the prototype and fill in the automation and digitization course. The high investment will become tuition. I hope that the industry will be able to sum up the lessons on that day, so that this round will not become another CIMS.

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Post time: Jun-09-2019
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