The Chinese Run-Up

Andy Liu, Assistant General Manager at Delta Industrial Automation Business, explains the role Delta will play in the framework of “Made in China 2025”, the new manifesto of the Chinese manufacturing

  • The Chinese Run-Up
    The Chinese Run-Up

IEN Europe: "Made in China 2025" was recently unveiled by Chinese authorities. As Delta is a major provider on the Chinese market, how will this program affect your business?

Mr. Liu: The plan "Made in China 2025" is the country's first action plan that focuses on promoting manufacturing. Actually, it is a ten-year national plan designed to transform China from a manufacturing giant into a world manufacturing power. As a major provider for automation technology, Delta looks with great interest at the growth of the Chinese manufacturing industry. During the last few years, China has increasingly upgraded its overall production capacity. Recently, Chinese manufacturers have massively adopted robots and automation systems within their production sites, also due to government subsidies. Indeed, "Made in China 2025", which is promoted by the government, aims at providing Chinese manufacturers with the necessary equipment so that they will be able to compete with USA and Europe at the same technological level. Delta is and will be largely involved in this process; in fact, we are providing our robots and automation systems to support our Chinese customers in the development of their manufacturing industry.

IEN Europe: Which are the main differences between the Chinese and the European manufacturing industry?

Mr. Liu: If we talk about technology, the main difference between China and Europe is the technology level. As a result of its four-hundred-year industrialization, Europe can rely on a strong manufacturing tradition, based on a solid technological background, which has been gradually developed during four centuries. In China the situation is different. The country has a long rural tradition, and industrialization as such only started with Mao Zedong in the second half of the past century. This "delay" turns concretely into a gap between European and Chinese technological development, at least on average. However, China made giant steps forward in the last decades, and the aforementioned plan will accelerate the Chinese run-up. While Europe is now developing towards Industry 4.0 and sustainability, due to the technological gap China is still "one step back": let's say that the country has just entered the phase of "Industry 3.0". But this might not be as disadvantageous as it seems. In fact, as the new digital technologies will be increasingly available, Chinese manufacturers could jump right to Industry 4.0 without going through the 3.0 phase, thus adopting state-of-the-art technology directly and avoiding costs of upgrading machineries and plants, as it is currently happening in Europe. This is not bad, but of course it is just an option. Anyway, Chinese authorities have also included new energy sources and digitalization among the milestones of the "Made in China 2025" plan.

IEN Europe: Are you planning to further develop your business in Europe? If so, on which country are you mostly focusing?

Mr. Liu: Delta aims at reaching advanced control products, motion systems, and field devices markets in Europe. As our business booms in Italy and many other European countries, we are learning more about their industrial trends and customers needs. For sure, Italy is a very interesting market for us. The country's economy experienced troubled years, that now seem to be a thing of the past. Our goal is to expand and at the same time to strengthen the sales network we already have there, finding a point of contact with our other European partners. So far, our partners have been already involved in service activities. What we are now expecting from them is that they will turn into a group of professionals able to also operate as technicians, supporting the existing network.

Mr. Liu, many thanks for the interview. We wish you every success! Alessandro Bellasio, Editor IEN Network

Graduated in political sciences and international relations in Paris, Anis joined the team in early 2019. Editor for IEN Europe and the new digital magazine AI IEN, he is a new tech enthusiast. Also passionate about sports, music, cultures and languages. 

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