Midea Group was honoured as a pioneer of Industry 4.0 technologies with two factories, Midea Heifei and Midea Jingzhou, included in the Global Lighthouse Network of the World Economic Forum, showing the Group's efforts in achieving both production efficiency and sustainability.
The Global Lighthouse Network is a community of production sites and value chains which are world leaders in the adoption and integration of the cutting-edge technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR). In total, Midea Group owns 4 WEF Lighthouse factories covering smart home appliances, which account for a relatively high proportion of the Group's revenue.
"Our factory used to produce high-end and middle-end products at the same time, and our production faced a very big challenge," commented Li Zhen, General Manager of Midea Jingzhou factory. "It was very inefficient in the traditional manufacturing way, and difficult to meet the needs of our consumers in time."
Through the implementation of the digital and intelligent transformation measures, Midea Jingzhou lighthouse factory adopted flexible automation. loT and artificial intelligence with more than 2,000 digital transformation initiatives have increased labor productivity by 52%, and reduced production lead time by 25%, the failure rate by 53%, and the utility consumption per unit by 20%.
Midea washing machine factory in Hefei has also witnessed a similar revolution. The number of product SKUs exceeds 1,100 and the annual production and sales volume of Midea Hefei is also at the forefront. "Digitalization has driven the transformation of our entire business process, model and increased efficiency," according to Zhang Zhimin, General Manager of the factory.
Targeting domestic high-end product segments and overseas market expansion, Midea Hefei Advanced 4IR Lighthouse factory widely deploys artificial intelligence and loT technologies across end-to-end value chains to form a faster response and more efficient supply chain, resulting in lead time reduction by 56%, customer report defect rate reduction by 36%, and labor productivity improvement by 45%. Also, it also helps to meet the goal of achieving carbon emissions peak in 2025 and net-zero in 2040.
"In the future, Midea Group will continue to increase investment in digitalization, IoT, global breakthroughs and technological leadership and invest in new cutting-edge technologies," said Simon Zhang, CIO of Midea Group.