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Cloud to aid aerospace manufacturing

By Zhao Lei in Chengdu | China Daily | Updated: 2017-06-17 07:15

China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp, one of the nation's major space contractors, is employing its industrial internet expertise to boost intelligent manufacturing in the country.

The State-owned defense giant has been striving to promote its CASICloud website over the past two years. Launched in June 2015, the website was designed to enable users to benefit from the industrial internet, according to a news release published by CASIC at the 2017 Industrial Internet Summit on Thursday.

The term "industrial internet" was introduced by the United States' industrial giant General Electric in 2012. It refers to a new type of manufacturing automation that combines advanced machines with internet-connected sensors and big-data analytics. It is designed to boost intelligent manufacturing, which is characterized by a high level of productivity, efficiency and reliability of industrial production, experts explained.

CASIC is the world's second operator of an industrial internet platform following General Electric, which opened its Predix platform in 2014. Germany's Siemens opened its MindSphere in 2016, becoming the third member of the elite club.

CASIC has abundant knowledge and experience in regard to industrial manufacturing and information technology, development and production of space equipment, and such knowledge and experience are essential to intelligent manufacturing, said Shu Jinlong, chairman of CASICloud Technology Co, a subsidiary of CASIC that is responsible for operating the Chinese platform.

"We thought of adopting the industrial internet several years ago as CASIC was seeking to better coordinate its research and production complexes in the manufacturing process of space products," Shu said. "With the introduction of our internal industrial internet, we have improved the efficiency and productivity of institutes and factories under CASIC. So we hope that the industrial internet could help more businesses."

So far, more than 800,000 enterprises, including 3,000 foreign companies, are users of CASICloud, with more than 90 percent being small, privately owned ones, according to CASIC. Through the website, users can publish ideas and invite tenders for production, monitor and control their factories' machines in real time, collect and analyze data gathered in the manufacturing process as well as optimize their operation software.

CASICloud also assists users in finding partners and commercial opportunities through cloud computing-based matching, Shu said.

Gao Hongwei, chairman of CASIC, said the company hopes CASICloud could enable its users to be better connected and to take advantage of the industrial internet.

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