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Thursday, July 9, 2015

CEIBS EMBAs visit Highly

July 09, 2015. Shanghai – CEIBS EMBA students were challenged to try to predict the future of China’s manufacturing industry during a company visit to to Highly, a leading manufacturer of air conditioning compressors.

“There is a large demand for robots in Highly,” explained CEO Mr. Shen Jianfang (EMBA 1997). “There is no doubt that half of workers will be replaced by robots in the future. Automation is an inevitable trend.” Shen said Highly began using robots in 2007, after visiting Toyota, which at that time had 100 robots in operation. The rising costs of human labour have made robots an increasing attractive option for manufacturers, particularly because young workers today seem to have less interest in high-intensity, low-skill factory jobs.

CEIBS Vice President and Co-Dean, Professor Zhang Weijiong participated in the company visit and shared his views on Industry 4.0, which he said has been misunderstood as the Fourth Industrial Revolution. He explained that it originated in Germany when manufacturing began developing quickly in China and India and German industry was looking for ways to differentiate and retain its local manufacturing. Industry 4.0 features customization of products through highly flexible mass-production conditions.