Shanghai will add 20,000 units of industrial robots and raise the density of industrial robots by 100 units per 10,000 people in three years, the city’s authorities announced recently.
Tang Wenkan, deputy director of Shanghai Economic and Information Technology Commission, said at a press briefing that Shanghai plans to build 20 city-level trademark smart factories and another 200 city-level smart factories.
These projects will elevate the city’s density of industrial robots, a key barometer of a city’s intelligent manufacturing capabilities, he claimed.
Shanghai already ranks at the top among Chinese cities as an industrial robot powerhouse. The city’s industrial and service robot sectors have pressed ahead together over the past few years.
In 2022, for which the official numbers were not released yet, Tang said the production capacity of industrial robots was expected to reach 75,000 units, up 6% year on year and ahead of all domestic cities.
Service robots also grew by leaps and bounds, with a rich variety of first-of-its-kind applications in healthcare, construction, agriculture, commerce, home use and emergency.
Tang’s remarks followed the release on January 17 of a key blueprint outlining Shanghai’s strategy to propel its burgeoning robotic industry and related user cases.
The blueprint comprises a list of the first batch of 41 robotic brands and 52 user cases.
“The robotic industry is in a golden period of development,” said Wu Chunping, an official in charge of smart manufacturing at the commission.
Shanghai’s robot density for key industries now stands at 383 units per 10,000 individuals, and the ratio is 260 to 10,000 for businesses with annual revenue of 20 million yuan (US$2.94 million) and more, more than twice the world average, Wu noted.
He added by 2025, the city’s density of industrial robots will rise further by 100 units per 10,000 residents, representing a gigantic step forward for the digitization of the manufacturing space.
As Shanghai steps up its digitization drive, it has already built three national-level signature smart factories, 10 city-level signature smart factories and 100 city-level smart factories.
Somehow, the commission didn’t reveal how these establishments were graded and according to what standards.
Shanghai, as China’s economic and financial hub, is already home to the Greater China headquarters of world-class manufacturing and robotic heavyweights such as ABB, Fanuc, Yaskawa and Kuka, aka the “Big Four” industrial robot producers.