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The Asia-Pacific layout of a German "hidden champion"

   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.

  90% of the goods of Sik Asia Pacific Operations Center come from Sik factories in Germany, the United States, Singapore and other places. After the goods arrive in the Jiaxing Comprehensive Bonded Zone from overseas factories, they will be split, sorted and put on the shelves for one to two days, and then packaged and shipped according to the orders of the four overseas sales companies covered and domestic and foreign end customers. It can be delivered in 2 to 3 days overseas.
  From overseas factories to operation centers and then to customers, the limiting factors on the efficiency of cargo operations are mainly reflected in the following aspects:
  First, changes in the general environment have an impact on the logistics supply chain. During the closure and control of the epidemic in Shanghai in March this year, many goods were backlogged at Pudong Airport and could not be dispatched in time. For some in-transit air cargo, airlines were forced to divert to Hangzhou, Zhengzhou, Shenzhen, Chengdu and other airports instead of transferring to Pudong Airport. Sik Asia Pacific Operation Center implements the integrated declaration and declaration of customs clearance at different airports and ports. After the customs release, the goods will be transported to the Jiaxing warehouse by land.
  Secondly, the Asia-Pacific operation center of Sike is located in the Jiaxing Comprehensive Bonded Zone. Although it enjoys convenience in many aspects such as bonded, the goods are subject to customs supervision during the whole process of entering and leaving the bonded area and daily inventory management. The bonded management and declaration of entry and exit areas have increased procedures.
  Furthermore, the warehouse automation level of Sik Asia Pacific Operations Center needs to be further improved. At present, a lot of manual operations are still used in picking, packing and other links, but with the increase in shipments, it will also become a major factor affecting operational efficiency.
  Finally, the current warehouse utilization rate of the Asia-Pacific operation center has reached 95%. With the expansion of the market and the increase in sales, the operation center needs to consider warehouse expansion and automation improvement.
  In general, Sik Asia-Pacific operation center has formed a relatively stable and efficient operation rhythm. From the perspective of service area, the domestic market is already very mature. For markets in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, Sick Asia-Pacific Operations Center currently implements a parallel delivery model: some of the goods are sent to overseas branch warehouses, and some of the goods are directly sent to local end customers.
  The idea of ​​Sik Asia Pacific Operation Center is that in the future, as many goods as possible can be sent directly to end customers, and the warehouses of various sales companies only retain the basic functions of returning and exchanging goods and shipping popular fast-moving products. Serving end customers well will be the main development goal of Sik Asia Pacific Operations Center. From this point of view, the international express volume of Sik Asia-Pacific operation center will have a very large growth, and this will inevitably lead to another challenge: choose a good international logistics provider.
Ultimate customer service: choosing a good logistics provider is also important

  The global outbreak of the new crown epidemic in 2020 has caused many companies to face supply chain disruptions. In order to ensure that customers can receive products in a timely manner, the Asia-Pacific operation center of Sike does its best to ensure smooth logistics and transportation, and looks for reliable logistics suppliers through multiple parties, seeking a second solution to ensure receipt and delivery.


  By cooperating with the world's leading logistics provider UPS, several major problems in the efficiency of cargo delivery have been significantly improved in the Asia Pacific Operations Center of Sick.
  When the epidemic was severe at the end of 2021, the entire East China region became very tight, and some popular routes were even more so. In order to ensure the smooth flow of the entire logistics supply chain, the Asia-Pacific operation center of Sik has connected with UPS, which provides the largest storage space guarantee for the Asia-Pacific operation center, which can basically guarantee all the goods of Sik out of the warehouse. At the same time, Shanghai Pudong International Airport has adopted weight-limiting measures for outbound goods, so that many goods need to be shipped in batches, and UPS lists Sik as a Must Go customer, which not only speeds up the customs clearance and operation of Sik's goods, but also effectively To avoid the short shipment of goods, no matter how many pieces of goods are in one shipment, UPS strives to make all the goods on the same plane and ship them all at the first time.
  At the same time, UPS also gave Sick a lot of flexibility in credit authorization. In terms of credit authorization, UPS has always had high requirements on the qualifications of customers in all aspects. The credit authorization they give to ordinary customers is 20,000 yuan. If the customer's unsettled expenses exceed 20,000 yuan, UPS will suspend its services. However, in order to meet the business needs of the Asia Pacific Operations Center of Sick, UPS has specially approved an upgrade of Sick's credit line to 200,000 yuan to avoid delays in the delivery of goods due to cost issues.
  During the cooperation process, UPS provided a variety of logistics service solutions according to Sick's business needs, such as UPS's World Ease? Serve. For example, the Asia-Pacific operation center of Sike wants to deliver goods to 30 overseas terminal customers in the same destination country. Under normal circumstances, 30 waybills will be generated, and 30 sets of customs declaration documents will be prepared accordingly, which is very cumbersome and time-consuming. Using UPS's World Ease service, the Asia-Pacific operation center only needs to prepare a set of aggregated materials and declare a shipment of goods to the customs. After the goods arrive in the destination country, it is also a customs clearance, and the process efficiency is greatly improved. Another example is UPS's WorldShip? Services, which help Sicker digitize and automate a range of shipping tasks, including shipment tracking and uploading customs declaration forms.
  In addition, in order to ensure that the Asia Pacific Operations Center of Sik can know the status of the goods in a timely manner, the service specialist of UPS will issue a daily cargo tracking report for Sik to report the status of the out-of-warehouse or in-transit shipments. If the shipment encounters an abnormal situation, UPS will also synchronize the reason, measures to be taken, estimated delivery time and other information to Sik in time to ensure the smooth information of the goods in the process of circulation.
  Through UPS's global network and digital solutions, the operational efficiency of Sik Asia Pacific Operations Center is fully guaranteed. Even during the epidemic, Sick can achieve port-to-port "invention today" in some areas.
  Sick was impressed by UPS's meticulous service. During the first cooperation, the two parties organized several rounds of meetings to communicate and discuss the implementation details of the plan and related software usage methods. When helping Sick to ship the first World Ease shipment, UPS also specially sent people to the site to provide guidance and train Sick staff to use the software system. When encountering some emergencies, UPS will even coordinate teams from various departments around the world, such as port customs clearance, finance, office and other colleagues, to fully cooperate with cargo clearance, data declaration, loading and other work to ensure the efficient delivery of goods.
  UPS's dedication to Sicker not only stems from UPS's "customer-oriented" strategic concept, but also stems from the close cooperative relationship between Sicker and UPS. On a global scale, UPS and Sick are suppliers to each other. UPS helps Sick to deliver high-precision sensors to the world, and Sick's products also play an important role in UPS's logistics automation.
  The Asia-Pacific market has an important strategic position for Sick. At present, Sik Asia Pacific Operations Center is going all out to meet the huge challenge of the differentiated requirements of different regions of the Asia Pacific market.
  There are more than 70 employees and service personnel in the Asia-Pacific operation center of Sigg, and the import and export volume will be about 290 million US dollars in 2021. Since its establishment, Sik Asia Pacific Operations Center has always adhered to the corporate culture of Sik headquarters:


  1. Independent. Think and act independently, maintain legal, fiscal and tax independence. The product is open to all systems and is also a form of independence.
  2. Innovation. Sick positions itself as an inventor, so Sick manufactures standards and predicts the future, and is committed to leading the market with innovative products and solutions.
  3. Leadership. Strive to lead the world, be based on the long-term, take active actions, and create excellent value for customers.
  In the realization process of global industry 4.0, intelligence is the only way, and the use of intelligent sensor technology is one of the prerequisites for realizing industrial intelligence.
  As a global leader in smart sensors, Sik is developing and exploring in the field of smart sensors, promoting the process of global Industry 4.0. As an important part of the global market circulation of smart sensors, the Asia-Pacific operation center of Sike undertakes the mission of delivering important components that support industrial intelligence to China and other Asia-Pacific markets, and will play an increasingly important role.


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