The printing industry needs smart factories

2019-07-17 18:16

Seeing that the environmental protection policy will change the current situation of industries with oversupply, the printing business will also shift, so printing enterprises are anxious to establish a more efficient business management system to cope with the new situation, smart factories or a goal of printing enterprises.

The wishful thinking of printing enterprises

Nowadays, most of the pressure on printing enterprises is due to oversupply, while printing enterprises of different scales feel different pressures. Although the total output value of printing in China is very high, more than half of the shares are concentrated in the hands of enterprises above designated size, which only account for 3% of the number of enterprises and the turnover exceeds 50 million yuan. Therefore, small and medium-sized printing enterprises suffer from the embarrassment that big orders are not available, while small orders are competitors.

In fact, the pressure of oversupply has a long history, and many peers are complaining when they meet. It seems that the shrinking printing market has become a good excuse for enterprises to fail to improve their business. However, according to statistics, the gross domestic product of printing has not decreased, and some printing enterprises are still expanding their equipment. Ask printing press suppliers such as Heidelberg and Komori, whether the printing presses they sell recently are mostly fully automatic "intelligent" new machines? Ask full-process ERP suppliers such as Little Antelope, if all their customers install C2M intelligent process when they import ERP? The answer may be yes. This leads to a new problem. If the printing market shrinks, what kind of abacus are these printing enterprises investing in new technologies playing?

Oversupply is a long-standing problem, which can not be solved by individual enterprises in a short time. The peers who care about the trend know that the industrial earthquake caused by environmental protection policy will affect the whole industry next.

Recently, the government has raised environmental protection inspection to a certain level as a national policy. If printing enterprises want to pass environmental protection inspection, they must invest in environmental protection facilities that have nothing to do with business benefits. This pressure is far greater than the pressure brought by oversupply, and they will spend money without business, which is inevitably unbearable for many small and medium-sized printing enterprises. Therefore, the author judges that the enormous pressure from environmental protection will push a considerable proportion of enterprises off the printing stage. Then, the orders originally produced in these printing enterprises will be released. If the proportion is large enough, the environmental protection policy will become the epicenter of the earthquake in the printing industry, which is likely to shatter the long-standing problem of oversupply. Once the oversupply disappears, the business map must be rearranged. If a printing enterprise needs to hire more employees to complete the extra orders, can it cope with the future changes? This is the wishful thinking of those printing enterprises to invest in "intelligent" software and hardware.

Definition of Smart Factory

Talking about "artificial intelligence", Ma Yun said that he prefers the saying of "machine intelligence", not to change machines into human beings, but to let machines do it as long as they are more efficient than people. Indeed, Alpha Dog was not set up to defeat human masters, but Google's project to implement and improve machine learning technology. The results confirmed that as long as it is regular and regular, the machine can spend 24 hours to learn better than a Go genius for ten years. Rules are as complex as Go, and every move may cause countless changes, so machines can do better than people. Then, how is the complexity of printing technology or production process compared with Go, and how will "machine intelligence" show in the printing industry?

Let's imagine that the printing machine automatically prints or releases ink; The order management system converts the customer's demand for printed matter into the specifications of the printing process and then into the price; ERP management system converts the paper construction sheet into the imposition instruction of binding or riding a horse, and commands the computer to make plate according to the instruction ... are there any rules to follow for the work that was originally done by senior salesmen or workshop masters? Will it be better for people to let machines help? If the answer is yes, we can define a "smart factory"-one that can be handled by machines, one that can be handled by machines as much as possible, one that can be managed by computers, and one that can be managed by computers.

Since 2000, most of the digitalization of printing technology uses computers to solve repeated processes. However, it depends on people to decide which digitization process can meet the needs of customers. Once orders increase, people have to increase accordingly. Nowadays, printing has been digitized for 20 years, and the rules for judging "order demand" and "printing specification" are not too complicated for computers to handle. Is it "intelligent" if you can teach the computer to judge which process to use and let the computer give orders to direct the automatic process execution? Today, ERP can use the order information to direct the production, which makes the construction order "paperless", and each production process will not be confused, but only in this way can it handle tens of thousands of orders a day.

In addition to production, there are many departments in printing enterprises that handle various jobs. The daily work list may come from the digital changes in the databases of other departments, and the intelligent ERP is paperless even with the "summons". For example, for the work of the warehouse today, either the printed matter from the workshop yesterday or the new consumables purchased by the purchasing department yesterday, there is no need to subpoena the warehouse administrator, and the relevant personnel can see the work they should complete from the ERP work list. What is important is that subpoenas are paperless, which means that all departments have standard operation methods, and employees no longer need to accumulate long-term experience because of SOP standard operating procedures.

Smart factories are not unmanned factories, nor robots are driving printing machines, but printing enterprises can use "information" to drive the working procedures or production processes of various departments. Many people think that smart printing plants are the future, but today many printing enterprises are using such management systems to handle daily printing business. Is this a smart printing plant? The author thinks that the difference between smart factory and traditional printing factory is that no one knows that the order has come in, and no one knows that the express delivery has sent the printed matter away, so long as the computer knows.