The printing industry needs smart factories

2020-01-08 15:06

Seeing that the environmental protection policy will change the current situation of oversupply of the industry, and the layout of the printing business will also shift with it, so printing companies are anxious to establish more efficient business management systems to cope with the new situation, smart factories or one of the printing companies aims.


  The wishful thinking of printing companies


   Nowadays, most printing companies are under pressure because of oversupply, and printing companies of different sizes experience different pressures. Although the national total printing output value is very high, more than half of the share is concentrated in the hands of enterprises above designated size that account for only 3% of the number of enterprises and have a turnover of more than 50 million yuan. Therefore, small and medium-sized printing companies suffer from the lack of large orders, but small orders are embarrassed by competitors.


   In fact, the pressure of oversupply has been around for a long time, and many colleagues are complaining when they meet. It seems that the shrinking printing market has become a better excuse for business failure. However, according to statistics, the total output value of domestic printing has not shrunk, and some printing companies 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 "smart" new models? Ask a full-process ERP supplier such as Xiaolanx, when their customers import ERP , Are C2M smart processes installed at the same time? The answer may be yes. This raises a new question. If the printing market shrinks, what kind of calculations are these printing companies investing in new technologies making?


  Oversupply is a long-standing problem, and it cannot be solved by individual companies in a short time. And colleagues who care about trends know that the next thing that will affect the entire industry will be the industrial earthquake caused by environmental protection policies.


   Recently, the government has raised environmental inspections to a certain level as a national policy implementation. If a printing company wants to pass the environmental protection inspection, it is bound to invest in environmental protection facilities that have nothing to do with business benefits. This pressure is far greater than the pressure caused by oversupply. Without business, it will cost money. This is bound to be unbearable for many small and medium-sized printing companies. heavy. Therefore, the author judges that the huge pressure from environmental protection will push a considerable proportion of enterprises off the stage of printing. Then, the original orders produced by these printing companies will be released. If the proportion is large enough, the environmental protection policy will become the epicenter of the earthquake in the printing industry, and it is likely to shatter the problem of long-term oversupply. Once the oversupply disappears, the business layout will inevitably be rearranged. If a printing company has to hire more employees to complete the extra orders, is it possible to cope with future changes? This is the current printing companies investing in "smart" software and hardware Wishful thinking.


  The definition of smart factory


   Speaking of "artificial intelligence", Jack Ma said that he prefers the term "machine intelligence". It is not about turning machines into humans, but as long as they are more efficient than humans, they should be allowed to do it. Indeed, Alpha Gou was not set up to defeat human masters, but Google's project to implement and improve machine learning technology. The results proved that as long as there are rules and regulations, a machine can be better than a Go genius in 24 hours of learning. Ten years of cold window. The rules are as complex as Go, and the changes that may be caused by each next move are countless. Machines can do better than humans. Then, how complicated is the printing technology or production process than Go, and what will "machine intelligence" have in the printing industry? Performance?


Let’s imagine that the printing machine automatically loads or releases ink; the order management system converts the customer’s demand for printed matter into the specifications of the printing process, and then the price; the ERP management system converts the paper construction order into glue or Saddle-stitching the layout instructions, instructing the computer to make the plates according to the instructions... Is there a rule to follow the work that was originally done by a senior salesman or a workshop master? Would it be better to let a machine help than a human? If the answer is yes, we can define a "smart factory"-what can be handled by machines, let machines handle as much as possible, let computers manage, and let computers manage more.


   The digitalization of printing technology since 2000 has mostly used computers to solve repetitive processes, but as to which digital process can meet the needs of customers, it has to be decided by people. Once orders increase, people have to increase with it. Nowadays, printing has been digitized for 20 years. The rules for judging "order requirements" and "printing specifications" are not too complicated to be processed by computers. If you can teach the computer to determine which process to use, and let the computer give orders to direct the execution of the automated process, is it "smart"? Today, ERP can use order information to direct production, making the construction order "paperless" "And the various production processes will not be confused, but only in this way can it be possible to process tens of thousands of orders a day.


   In addition to production, printing companies also have many departments to handle various tasks. Daily work lists may come from digital changes in other departmental databases. Smart ERP even "subpoenas" are all paperless. For example: the work of the warehouse today, or the printed materials from the workshop yesterday, or the new consumables purchased by the purchasing department yesterday, there is no need to subpoena the warehouse manager, the relevant personnel can also see what they should complete from the ERP work list jobs. The important thing is that the subpoenas are paperless, which means that all departments have standard operating methods, and employees no longer need long-term experience accumulation because of the SOP standard operating procedures.


   Smart factories are not unmanned factories, nor are robots running printing presses, but printing companies can use "information" to drive the work procedures or production processes of various departments. Many people think that smart printing plants are the future, but today many printing companies are using such management systems to handle their daily printing business. Does this count as smart printing plants? In my opinion, smart factories are different from traditional printing plants. The reason is that no one knows when the order comes in, and no one knows if the courier sends the printed matter away, as long as the computer knows it.