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Danfoss factory named one of the smartest

SWITZERLAND: The Danfoss refrigeration and air conditioning compressor factory in Tianjin, China, has been named as one of the world’s most advanced smart factories.

The Danfoss factory is one seven factories chosen by the World Economic Forum for its network of Manufacturing Lighthouses – state-of-the-art facilities that serve as world leaders in how to successfully adopt and integrate the cutting-edge technologies of the so-called Fourth Industrial Revolution.

The Lighthouses join a group of nine others, which were unveiled in 2018. All were selected from an initial list of 1,000 manufacturers based on their successful implementation of Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies in ways that have driven financial and operational impact. The Forum identifies a smart factory as one which is not only good at adopting smart technologies, but also at turning the investment into operational and financial benefits.

The Danfoss factory in the Wuqing development area employs automatically-guided vehicles to drive up and down the aisles and supply workers with components. The same workers use intelligent Bluetooth connected tools that automatically tell if an assembly process is incorrectly performed. They also have access to step-by-step electronic work descriptions – no matter where in the factory they work on a given day.

Danfoss’ extensive investment in smart technologies has paid off. Compared to two years ago, employee productivity is said to have gone up by 30%, scrap costs down by 20%, and customer complaints by 57%. 

At Danfoss in Wuqing they benefit from extensive use of advanced 3D printers which they use for fast prototyping. “Thanks to our 3D printers, we no longer have to make moulds whenever we make small product changes at prototype stage. This typically speeds up development projects by several weeks and saves us money,” says chief engineer Jiangbo Lin

“Representatives from the World Economic Forum recently audited our site during a full day. We are very proud of the result – that we made it onto this final shortlist. It’s a clear testament to the fact that our digitalisation effort has also paid off in terms of productivity, quality improvements, and customer satisfaction. We will continue adding new technology, so we constantly improve in these areas,” said senior director of operations Ruixing Zhang, Danfoss in Wuqing.

”In Danfoss we work with digitalisation on all levels in the organisation. And we invest heavily in this area, to secure that we are ahead of the curve, and that we meet the expectations and demands from our customers,” commented Danfoss president and CEO, Kim Fausing.

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