This past July, the CEO of Arch Systems, Andrew Scheuermann was invited to an exclusive 10 day tour in China along with four other leading industry 4.0 companies by Comet Labs to visit leading Chinese manufacturers to understand their biggest challenges and biggest opportunities. The technologies represented ranged from IIoT to self driving AGV, robotics and predictive maintenance of rotating equipment.

Andrew and the other CEOs visited more than ten manufacturers in Shenzhen, Shanghai, and Beijing. Some of the factories visited included Lenovo, the largest personal computer manufacturer in the world, BYD, a top Chinese auto manufacturer, and BGI, a genome sequencing group and leading manufacturer of sequencing machines.  Arch was met with open arms and an eagerness to collaborate to advance Industry 4.0.

Andrew was also featured on a panel about AI in manufacturing in Beijing where he participated in a live discussion in Chinese with a local leader from Siemens to an all Chinese audience.

In preparation for Arch’s plans to begin collaboration with first factories in China within the next year, Andrew built relationships with leading vendors in discrete manufacturing.  The goal of the trip was both to build relationships and explore how Arch’s capabilities would best map and be adopted in Chinese factories. The bottom line, the problem that Arch is solving, retrofitting new and legacy machines to build uniform metrics and predictive analytics, is an international problem. 

After the trip, Andrew recalled seeing both the most advanced factories he’s ever seen as well as typical legacy factories full of old equipment and all manual processes.  China was once a haven of manual manufacturing, with markedly different ways of building things than the rest of the world. But those days are gone. Instead Chinese manufacturers are hungry for technology, and like the rest of Asia, Europe, and the Americas, individual factory managers find they are stuck in between their investments in new machines and their old legacy equipment.  They still need all their assets to work together to build complete products and thus the need for retrofitting data systems, standardization, and then effective predictive analytics is clear.

Special thanks to Comet Labs for the invitation and our local hosts for the insightful tour.

Arch looks forward to expanding our coverage to China and joining with new friends to advance the state of Industry 4.0 in global manufacturing.