Novel coronavirus pneumonia outbreak was declared a global pandemic (Pandemic) yesterday morning by the WHO (WHO).
Novel coronavirus pneumonia was diagnosed in the world, and more than 110 countries were affected by the World Health Organization’s notification, as of the conference, which resulted in nearly 4300 deaths of 118 thousand people.
This situation not only means the escalation of the severity of the epidemic, but also means the escalation of the difficulty of fighting the epidemic.
Looking back at the epidemic period in China, the shortage of masks makes the mask production line hot, the shortage of medical personnel makes the distribution robots popular, patrol monitoring makes the automatic temperature measurement robot a net red, and there are logistics robots in the material warehouse and the streets of Wuhan
Under the epidemic, the manufacturing industry is facing an unprecedented “big test”. At the same time, the emergence of “labor shortage” has also opened a new imagination of the robot and intelligent manufacturing industry.
For more than a month, senior engineering robot has made continuous research on the resumption of work and the impact of the epidemic situation of upstream and downstream enterprises in the robot industry chain, involving 92 enterprises such as parts suppliers, robot ontology manufacturers, AGV enterprises, system integrators and intelligent manufacturing integrated service providers.
Among the sample enterprises, parts suppliers accounted for 36%, robot body manufacturers accounted for 31%, AGV enterprises accounted for 15%, system integrators and intelligent manufacturing integrated service providers accounted for 12%, and others accounted for 6%.
The chairman, general manager, founder, marketing director and sales director of the company communicated with us. They shared the progress of the current resumption of work and childbirth, as well as a series of topics such as helplessness, resistance and hope under the shadow of the epidemic.
Robot enterprises have experienced all the difficulties generally faced by enterprises when they resume work and production: from impassability of vehicles, closure of distribution warehouses, lack of epidemic prevention support materials, to closure of office space and inability of drivers to work.
Even if we return to work, the challenge has just begun.
Supply chain jam
Supply chain disruption is one of the biggest difficulties faced by many companies since the outbreak. As for the supply of upstream parts, the core parts of robots such as reducer, controller and servo system are mainly produced by large enterprises, so the supply is in good condition.
Non core parts and components such as non-standard products outsourced by each party are mainly produced by small enterprises, and the problem of shortage of workers is prominent, so it is difficult to support them. In addition, these enterprises are located in different regions of different cities, with different policies and procedures, different recovery time and difficult to match each other.
With the shortage of supply, the prices of some raw materials rise, resulting in the decline of overall production capacity and the rise of procurement cost, which further affects the delivery time of products.
The survey found that at present, the production capacity of parts and components has been restored by about 30%, the production capacity of robot body has been restored by about 60%, and the business recovery of system integrator is only 20% ~ 30%. The capacity recovery of the domestic robot industry presents the situation of “low at both ends and high in the middle”.
Logistics transportation pause
In addition to the materials necessary for the epidemic, various checkpoints have been set up all over the country. The suppliers’ raw materials and parts can not come in, and the products can not be transported out after resumption of production; At the same time, the restriction of personnel mobility leads to difficulties in market development, especially in overseas business.
“I can’t sleep without approval; I can’t sleep without employees; now I can’t sleep even more.”
This sentence has become a true portrayal of the bosses of robot Enterprises: at first, they were worried that the employees would not come back, and after returning to work, they were worried that the employees would have no work to do.
In fact, the epidemic will directly lead to the zero demand of some terminal enterprises. Some robot enterprises mainly complete the orders signed last year, and some robot enterprises have no list and have to return to work. When the inventory is consumed and there is no time to replenish, the test is coming.
For integrators, they are worried that the factories serving customers will be closed and the receivables will not be collected at the end of last year. At the same time, most end customer orders are delayed.
Therefore, the production expansion plans of many robot enterprises have been suspended, and the upstream parts enterprises prefer to make standard products.
Delivery pressure escalation
Due to the delayed commencement of some factories, the orders of robot enterprises cannot be delivered on time. Some end customers will understand it in the special period of the epidemic, but the enterprises still face the risk of liquidated damages, even the loss of customers and the decline of reputation, facing the double difficulties of tight capital chain and production delivery.
More than 30% of the robot enterprises surveyed believe that the industry will fluctuate in the short term affected by the epidemic. During this period, how can enterprises turn the pressure of the epidemic into the driving force of their own transformation and upgrading? How to succeed through differentiation?
Switch to mask machine and production line
Under the epidemic, many robot manufacturers and integrators have switched to mask machines and production lines, realizing revenue and profits to a certain extent. However, there are few successful shipments and debugging at present. In the process of changing production, some parts are difficult to match in place, and the process of machine commissioning to reach the design capacity also needs to be completed. It is estimated that the shipment of mask machine and production line will be relatively smooth in April.
Due to the change of production, the original business of some robot enterprises will stagnate. Industry insiders said: “recently, I received some orders, which made me cry and laugh. Customers want to cash in. When they inquire, it turned out that the order was made years ago and has been sent to friends. Because friends go to make mask machines, they can’t deliver the goods.”
Seize the R & D window
For R & D enterprises, the epidemic is a buffer period for them to focus on improving product performance.
In addition, a number of mobile robot enterprises have urgently developed war “epidemic” products. On the one hand, they provide intelligent equipment for the automation upgrading of the manufacturing industry. On the other hand, they also vigorously enter the commercial and even civil market, providing possibilities for logistics distribution, public environment killing, cleaning and patrol inspection in a larger field.
Service quality improvement
For production-oriented enterprises, they can seize important customers and provide special services. System integrators can serve existing customers well, complete and collect money as soon as possible, ensure safe operation, and strengthen cooperation with local robot manufacturers.
In order to fully support the resumption of work and production of enterprises, some ontology manufacturers put forward a number of upgrade services: users who place orders for Robots before March 31 do not need to wait and deliver them on the same day; Interest free installment payment or discount for 3 months; Free after-sales extension for half a year; All regular customers will be given a free return visit service, and all spare parts will be 30% off, which is valid for 365 days from now on; Provide all customers with a new process test and evaluation service free of charge, which is valid for 365 days from now
Accelerate M & A Integration
To a certain extent, the epidemic has accelerated the integration speed of the industry, reduced the consumption of protracted war, made the industry pattern clearer, and finally “the rest is the king”.
Therefore, some leading enterprises will choose to expand against the trend and accelerate complementary mergers to achieve their own rapid development. At the same time, it can also promote industry integration and benign competition, resulting in the situation that the strong is always strong.
The rise of enterprise online marketing
Affected by the epidemic, many offline large-scale exhibitions have been postponed, and online publicity has become the “favorite” of enterprises during the epidemic. According to the survey, many enterprises adopt the marketing mode of online video publicity, including cloud exhibition, live broadcast, evaluation, classroom, etc.
In the wave of online, large enterprises will increase investment and broaden marketing channels; Small and medium-sized enterprises are at a disadvantage due to their backward online process and insufficient investment.
11.5% of the enterprises are optimistic about the future prediction of the industry. In the first half of the year, the market shrank due to order delivery and shortage of customers’ funds. However, it is believed that the government will issue corresponding policies, and the market will increase greatly in the second half of the year; 34.4% of enterprises believe that the impact in the industry is short-term and has little impact in the whole year; 6.6% of enterprises are pessimistic, saying that they are currently losing money every month and their annual performance is not optimistic. In addition, 47.5% of enterprises hold a wait-and-see attitude and believe that the impact of the epidemic is difficult to assess for a long time.
Most industry insiders said that the first half of the year was difficult. In the second half of the year, with the epidemic under control, the demand for domestic automation transformation is expected to increase. However, even if the order comes, the collection may be delayed until next year.
Specifically, the orders of distribution robots, restaurant and hotel service robots will show explosive growth, and the demand related to epidemic prevention and control such as cooperative robots and automatic temperature measuring robots will also increase rapidly. However, the output value of such products accounts for a low proportion. Therefore, it is expected that the output value of the domestic robot industry will decline by about 15% ~ 20% year-on-year in 2020.
In the past, most high-quality system integrators cooperated with foreign robot brands. This year, foreign-funded enterprises focus on ensuring profits, while local robot manufacturers focus on restoring production capacity, making profits and supporting each other with system integrators. Gaogong robot predicts that the localization rate of China’s robot market in 2020 will increase faster than in previous years due to the epidemic. The localization rate reached 30% last year and will increase by 10% ~ 15% this year.
Generally speaking, the epidemic situation will bring impact in the short term and good in the long term for the robot industry. 3C digital, automobile, new energy, medicine and food industries will bring new opportunities for the application of robots.
As a result of this “epidemic”, it has become an industry consensus that “fewer people, unmanned and intelligent”. We can’t predict when the next black swan event will happen and what consequences it will bring. Therefore, the traditional production mode should be reformed so that it can not only dynamically adapt to the tide of production, but also apply to multiple categories. Automated and flexible production has become an examination question that must be answered for the development of enterprises, rather than a comparative act of simply calculating costs.
In addition, the sudden epidemic will accelerate the promotion of some cloud applications in the short term. The next step includes capacity collaboration, professional production and processing services, remote equipment operation and maintenance services, door-to-door repair service platform, professional online training and other new industrial Internet models are expected to be further implemented.
Stimulating domestic demand and consumption is an important way to solve social difficulties. Based on this, the wave of “new infrastructure” is rolling in.
On February 25, the Ministry of industry and information technology issued the guiding opinions on orderly promoting the resumption of work and production of industrial communication enterprises. Among them, special mention was made to support strategic emerging industries such as new energy vehicles, 5g, industrial Internet, integrated circuits, industrial robots, additive manufacturing, intelligent manufacturing, new display, energy conservation and environmental protection.
On March 4, the meeting held by the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee pointed out that it is necessary to increase investment in public health services and emergency material support, and speed up the construction of new infrastructure such as 5g network and data center.
On March 5, Guangdong Development and Reform Commission issued the notice of Guangdong 2020 key construction project plan. It is understood that among the 1230 key projects with a total investment of 5.9 trillion yuan, there are not only new infrastructure projects such as 5g, data center, rail transit and UHV, but also major industrial investment plans such as intelligent manufacturing and biomedicine.
In 2020, more entrepreneurs and practitioners in the robot and intelligent manufacturing industry are expected to take this “express train” and “face the challenges and join the game”.