SHANGHAI-LISTED machinery manufacturer Sany Heavy Industry Co is using smart manufacturing to narrow its losses, the company said at Pujiang Innovation Forum 2016 on Saturday.
Despite profits taking a dive last year, Sany remained the most profitable machinery manufacturer in China over the first half with a net profit of 138 million yuan (US$20.7 million) and total revenue of 11.2 billion yuan. Its competitor XCMG posted a 120 million yuan profit, while Zoomlion suffered an 837 million yuan net loss.
Sany’s profit fell 48.6 percent from the first half of last year, and plummeted 75.6 percent two years ago. “That’s because we are weathering the industry fluctuations by diversifying on smart manufacturing,” said He Dongdong, Sany’s senior vice president.
Apart from selling machinery products such as concrete machine and crane parts, “we are profiting on on-time maintenance for our customers,” He said.
Sany could now predict and tackle potential breakdowns on its machinery parts sold to customers based on a digital connection network after a 1 billion yuan investment over eight years.
The company designated more than 5,000 engineers on research and development, of which according to He, a big part of that revolved round its informatics team working on 48 analyzing parameters for machine maintenance and upgrading.
In its “smart factory” in Changsha, Hunan province, 20 percent of operational cost could be cut thanks to digitization, China Business Network reported on Tuesday.
Over the first half Sany cut 15.5 percent on sales costs from a year ago, and 8.9 percent on management costs, according to its annual report.
Beena Ammanath, head of Data Science Products at US-based General Electric, backed the cost of going smart. She said breakdown predictions based on data analysis would help to extend machines’ lifetime by 20 to 30 years, contributing to a long-term cost cut for manufacturers.
The machinery industry worldwide is suffering a downturn because of diminishing demand.