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伯恩光學與聯業集團如何利用自動化生產引領行業發展 (只有英文版本)
2017年08月18日
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At Biel Crystal Manufactory’s Huizhou plant in Guangdong province, two robotic arms work round the clock, uploading and offloading the smartphones modules. They are part of the automation process that the world’s largest producer of cover glass has adopted to deliver 4 million pieces of products a day. Less than 100 kilometres away in the adjacent city of Dongguan, TAL Group, one of the world’s largest dress shirt makers, has also automated its production process and capitalised on technology for product innovation. The two are among numerous Hong Kong manufacturing pioneers that have embraced the digitalisation of manufacturing and brought the “smart factory” created under the so-called Industry 4.0 into their businesses to better compete globally. More importantly, their successful transformation gives the manufacturing sector, once a crucial growth driver of the city’s economy and production base to many overseas brands, a new lease of life. In so doing, the transformation mitigates the pressures of labour shortage and rising wages.

 

 “Forty per cent of our manufacturing activities are automated,” said Biel’s chairman Yeung Kin-man, whose company produces glass cover used in two of every three of Apple’s iPhones sold in the world. Biel is also the supplier of glass screens for Samsung’s smartphones, and for devices made by Huawei Technologies, Oppo and Vivo. It is the screen maker for Yota Phone, a Russian smartphone that boasts the world’s first dual-screen model. The phone was presented as a gift by Russian President Vladimir Putin to Chinese President Xi Jinping during their 2014 meeting at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in Beijing. “We have been investing in research and development over the past decade,” said Yeung.

 

TAL manufactures 60 million pieces of garments in a year for well-known brands, including Brooks Brothers, J.Crew and Thomas Pink. “How do we make ourselves competitive ? We differentiate ourselves by not being low-cost manufacturers,” said Lee. “We did two things: one is production innovation and the other is supply chain management.” The 70-year-old company boasts of the technology to produce 100 per cent cotton non-iron shirts and garments that don’t leave sweat marks. It also holds a patent for pucker free garment and has developed the water repellent technology for fabrics. On its supply chain management, TAL has implemented an efficient vendor managed inventory (VMI) system whereby it takes full responsibility in maintaining the inventory of its customers, responsible for generating purchase orders and delivering freely to the customers. “We have an internal R&D team that makes sure we run as efficiently as possible.” said Lee. “We can get data from each store of our customers to know what they have sold everyday, that’s all technology-related.” But Lee said technology was not what they were proudest of, it was sustainability that came with their operations. 

 

Above content is from the published article in the "South China Morning Post - Hong Kong innovators" on 13 August 2017. To read the full article, please visit here.