At the 2013 Hannover Messe in Germany, the concept of "Industry 4.0" was officially put forward. It refers to the use of the IoT information system to digitize and intelligentize the supply, manufacturing, and sales information in production, and finally achieve fast, effective, and personalized product supply. This concept was quickly recognized by all countries in the world.
From the three major themes of Industry 4.0—smart factories, intelligent production, and intelligent logistics—it can be seen that the core of Industry 4.0 lies in “intelligence”, and the complete digitization and intelligence of production and logistics processes is also the key to the future global industrial development. trend.
How to make production and logistics processes smarter? This has to mention smart sensors.
With the development of Industry 4.0 in recent years, the application fields of sensors are being continuously expanded. Sensors are like the eyes and ears of Industry 4.0, playing an important role at various levels such as auxiliary systems, quality control, safety, flexible automation, predictive maintenance, and traceability.
As an industry-renowned provider of smart sensors and solutions, SICK is steadily advancing its global business. The Asia-Pacific market is undoubtedly an important part of its global business, which is of great strategic significance to Sick.
Smart Sensors: Putting Industry 4.0 at Your Fingertips
Dr. Erwin Sick founded Sick in 1946 and named the company after him. After more than 70 years of development, Sigg currently has more than 50 branches, branches and representative offices around the world, with nearly 11,000 employees, and the group revenue in 2021 is about 2 billion euros.
Since its establishment, Sik has always focused on the development, production and marketization of sensors, systems and services used in industrial automation technology. Its business activities focus on bringing value to customers in various target industries through smart sensor solutions, which are mainly divided into three major businesses. Fields:
1) Factory automation: mainly used in automobile, consumer goods, machinery manufacturing, electronics, solar energy and other industries, through non-contact sensors and camera systems, encoders and travel measurement systems, to control manufacturing, packaging and assembly processes, undertake Warranty work and ensure machine safety. For example, robots and robotic arms used in automated production lines in the automotive industry all require sensors, which are equivalent to the eyes of these devices. The robotic arm transfers the part from point A to point B, requiring sensors for distance recognition. The more automated a factory is, the more reliant it is on sensors.
2) Logistics automation: mainly used in airports, industrial vehicles, building management and building safety, ports, retail and distribution centers, express services, transportation and other fields. Sik sensors improve the efficiency, speed and reliability of goods sorting, picking and warehousing processes through logistics automation, and comprehensively design and optimize the entire logistics chain. For example, in many logistics places such as airports, warehousing and transportation, express delivery, and postal services, barcodes are attached to logistics parcels. When the parcel enters the sorting channel, the sensor can identify where the parcel should be sent. The more automated the distribution center, the more sensors are used.
3) Process automation: mainly provide sensors and customized systems and services for analysis and process measurement technology, and provide exhaust emission monitoring and flow monitoring for waste incineration power plants, power plants, steel plants, cement plants, petrochemical plants, and oil refineries. Smart Solutions. For example, in China's West-East Gas Pipeline Project, a large number of sensors are used to detect and calculate the flow data of natural gas pipelines.
In 2004, Sick proposed the concept of "Smart Sensor Expert" (Sensor Intelligence) and established it as the company's development philosophy. As an important participant and promoter of Industry 4.0, Sick explores Industry 4.0 from two different perspectives: on the one hand, it is deeply involved in various sensing and testing equipment on which Industry 4.0 relies; on the other hand, as a manufacturer, Practical practice of the value of Industry 4.0.
The impact of Industry 4.0 is reflected in the following aspects: rapid response, personalization, data interconnection, efficiency and price sensitivity. Products such as smart sensors, smart cameras, automatic identification and industrial security are widely distributed in different application fields in Industry 4.0 Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS). For data application and value digging, Sik has established a special R&D team to provide services for intelligent data value mining in the future intelligent digital world. Sick's Industry 4.0 factory in Freiburg, Germany, is creating a practical model for the factory of the future.
As a global company, Sik sells its products to Europe, North America, Asia Pacific and other markets through more than 50 branches and sales offices around the world, and has established production plants in Germany, the United States, China and Malaysia. At present, Sick has more than 40,000 kinds of products, covering high-end to low-end products, serving more than 40 industries such as packaging, food and beverage, machine tools, automobiles, logistics, transportation, steel, airports, electronics, and textiles.
In order to ensure the leading product technology, Sick invests about 10% of its revenue in research and development every year to lead the development of sensor intelligent technology. Benefiting from the advantages of good product quality, variety, leading technology, diversified applications, customization, and strong R&D capabilities, plus more than 70 years of brand awareness, industry reputation and customer trust accumulation, Sik has established a very high industry barriers to competition.
Asia Pacific Operations Center: A strategic hub for Asia Pacific logistics distribution
With the rapid development of China's economy in recent years, the Asia-Pacific market has played an increasingly important role in the global business layout of SIC.
In fact, Sik has laid out the Chinese market a long time ago. At that time, Sick set up two companies in China, one is Guangzhou Sike Sensor Co., Ltd. and the other is Sick Maihak (Beijing) Instrument Co., Ltd. The former is mainly aimed at the two application fields of factory automation and logistics automation, and most of the products sold are standard parts. The latter is mainly aimed at process automation, providing customized production and sales solutions for large cooperative projects.
In recent years, due to the impact of the epidemic, global economic growth has been sluggish, but even in such a big environment, Sik has maintained an annual growth rate of about 20% in the Chinese market. In the face of the rapid growth of business in China, Guangzhou Sike's original warehousing capacity and delivery capacity have gradually been unable to meet the service demand. To this end, Sick made targeted adjustments and layouts.
In 2018, Sik established an Asia-Pacific operation center in China. The headquarters of Sik conducted a lot of comparative analysis on the location selection when planning the Asia-Pacific operation center, and finally chose Zhejiang Jiaxing Comprehensive Bonded Zone. On the one hand, the local government provides a lot of supporting policies and services. On the other hand, Jiaxing is located in the center of the Yangtze River Delta economic belt of Shanghai, Hangzhou and Suzhou, and its geographical location is superior.
By cooperating with express companies, the Asia-Pacific operation center has undertaken the domestic delivery tasks of Guangzhou Sike before, and also sent the goods directly to overseas customers. At present, the average daily shipment volume of Sik Asia Pacific Operations Center is 600 to 800 parcels and 10 to 20 pallets. The goods are mainly small parcels, and most of them are standard parts. The transportation methods are mainly air, express and sea. From the perspective of the flow of goods, the domestic areas are mainly concentrated in East China, South China, North China and other regions, and overseas are mainly South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong and Taiwan.