Manufacturing News

High-tech R&D gives Shanxi firm global edge

Taking advantage of China's massive market and policy support from local governments, Shanxi Dedicated Measurement Control Co Ltd, a Taiyuan-based high-tech enterprise, vows to further expand its presence in the global market with its steel cord conveyor belt safety solutions.

Since the company succeeded making the world's first X-ray fault detector for steel-cord conveyor belts in 2010, it has been dedicated in the application of conveyor belts under various extreme conditions, including extreme high temperatures and altitude.

It has been investing 8 percent of its sales volume in research and development every year, perfecting and optimizing the detector for conveyor belts, said Gou Yuesong, general manager of Shanxi Dedicated.

As China is undergoing an industrial upgrade from labor intensive to technology intensive, demand for atomization and industrial robots has been increasing, said Gou.

A technology leader in the intelligent patrol of belt conveyor, and one of the first batch of domestic companies devoted to belt conveyor intelligent inspection technology, Shanxi Dedicated bet big on the prospects of mine intelligence and automation in China.

"Two of the companies' belt conveyor intelligent inspection technologies have reached the international advanced level," said Yan Dong, marketing director of the company.

"After years of development, the company currently sees its products popular among around 2,000 clients at home and abroad, including Australia, Chile, Peru and Myanmar. Accumulated sales have exceeded 500 million yuan ($77.2 million) so far, making the company among the fastest growing and one of the biggest in the industry."

Thanks to local policy that supports domestic companies to export their products abroad, the company made its first step abroad in Chile in 2018. Its technology was well-received in the country, which sees massive demand for conveyor belts as it is rich in copper mines, Gou said.

Gou said the key to the company's success is the mastery of key technology, and efforts globally to have the best products from China known to the rest of the world. The company is also at the frontier of industrial robot R&D among its manufacturing peers in Shanxi province.

China currently plays a major role in industrial robot application globally, with industrial robots widely used in various production lines of manufacturers. Industrial robots have been applied in 37 categories of the national economy and 91 industries, said Kou Ziming, professor at Taiyuan University of Technology.

Most of China's coal mines have realized mechanized operations, with transportation and mining relying heavily on automation, Kou said.

"The government has been supporting the intelligent construction and renovation of coal mines in recent years. Shanxi province alone will come up with 10 intelligent pilot coal mines in three years and achieve mining automation throughout the province by 2030."

While the country used to rely on imported robots, its industrial automation development has achieved a new high since last year, as more than one-third of the robotics were self-made, and the percentage is expected to drastically increase in the future, he said.

All of the underground coal mine robots are now homemade. With China's coal production accounting for more than half of the global share, China's underground coal mine facilities also rank among top names globally after decades of development, he said.

To better serve the development goal during the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-25), Shanxi province has come up with various policies to support the development of emerging sectors, such as smart manufacturing and informatization, to ensure the healthy growth of the manufacturing enterprises.

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