Automation Accelerates Transformation
5 Questions for Kingway boss, Tim Yuan.
Automation is the foundation of industrial upgrading and the covid-19 crisis is accelerating the trend.
During RemaxWorld 2020, which was held during Nov.20-21, RT Media interviewed Kingway Image General Manager Tim Yuan (pictured).
Yuan discusses the necessity and importance of an automated production line.
RT: How has COVID-19 impacted Kingway? What actions has Kingway taken in response?
Covid-19 broke during the Chinese New Year. Because of the regular impact of the national holiday as well as the fear-driven ordering to ensure plenty of supplies in stock, the demand in February and March was doubled. As Covid-19 was efficiently brought under control in China and factories resumed work in early March, foreign stock orders gradually returned to rational procurement levels.
However, lockdown measures in many countries have suppressed office consumption demands. As a result, the overall market trended from high to low.
During that time, we continued to educate our customers to transform from the traditional sales model to online sales, and to encourage our customers to get closer to end-users and better understand their pain points. In this way, we helped our dealer partners deepen their understanding of their customers. As a result, they started to receive more orders despite the pandemic.
RT: Why did Kingway choose to invest in automation under such circumstances?
During the epidemic, the economic indicators of the world’s major economies were declining. China issued the policy of “focusing on the domestic large-scale cycle and building a new development pattern of domestic and international dual cycles.” Companies facing such difficult times have had to change their previous production models, enhance production efficiency as well as quality consistency so as to maintain growth. At the same time, automation is also a state requirement for industrial upgrading. So, we made the investment. We believe automated production lines will help us expand overseas markets, and promote our brand.
RT: Please explain a little bit about the newly invested automation production line.
We have started the preparation work for the first automation production line, which is expected to put into use early next year. Our first automation production line will be used to produce color cartridges for several series such as the CF400 series. The automation production line comes with a designed capacity that can produce a cartridge in every 4 seconds.
Industrial automation is an important foundation for realizing industry modernization. It is also a core symbol of industrial modernization. Our newly invested automated production line is a second-generation product, with more precise robotic arms. All production processes can be monitored by digital devices, which ensures product quality. By the end of the first half-year in 2021, we will gradually bring two other production lines online.
RT: How do you expect automated production lines will impact Kingway’s production and operation?
The automation production line will help our company in three main areas:
- Enhance production efficiency and expand production capacity:
- Automation means robots take on the roles that people were responsible for in the past. This shift will enhance production and manufacturing efficiency directly and immediately, as well as increase production capacity.
- Reduce cost:
- The main reason to invest in automated production lines is to keep up with China’s call for industrial upgrading. With automation, labour costs are reduced, and companies can invest the money into other areas, enhancing the overall capacity of the factories with a better, more efficient and safer production.
- Improve quality control:
- Automation is programmed and controlled by the computer using a complex set of algorithms and executed by robots. This means the probability of error is much lower than what is performed by humans.
RT: How will Kingway adjust its future development strategies with the investment of automated production lines?
As we all know, labour costs in China have been increasing. Many factories have moved to South-East Asia where labour costs are lower. China manufacturers have to transform, step by step, from labour-intensive to technology-intensive. Automation has a great potential in future development with benefits that include higher efficiencies, energy savings, consumption reductions, lower labour costs and industrial upgrades.
Kingway has to accelerate its pace to introduce automation if we want to continuously expand our existing advantages. So, we will actively respond to the state’s call for industry upgrading, shifting from labour-intensive to technology-intensive strategies and technologies. We hope to achieve the goal of doubling our sales within three years to catch up with the top domestic manufacturing enterprises.
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