Weihai, September 9 (Reporter Zuo Yuqing) In the intelligent production workshop of Weihai Baowei New Material Technology Co., Ltd., carbon fiber materials for the aerospace field are being produced in an orderly manner by intelligent machines. It is hard to imagine that such a high-tech enterprise, engaged in the development and production of high-performance carbon fiber composite materials, could only produce fishing rods ten years ago.

As a former traditional fishing gear manufacturer, Powerway switched to the production of carbon fiber composite materials in 2012. In the past ten years, Baowei has invested 5 million yuan to build a "2G + industrial Internet" system intelligent factory in accordance with the "Industry 4.0" design concept, selected as a provincial intelligent factory, and tripled its production capacity, realizing a great leap from "labor-intensive" to intelligent manufacturing.

Today's Powerway can provide carbon fiber composite materials with full modulus and a variety of resin content, and has developed a series of ultra-thin carbon fiber prepreg products including carbon cloth, ribbon, glass cloth, prepreg carbon filament and other "Tuoli" brand ultra-thin carbon fiber prepreg, and its product performance and quality are far better than similar domestic products, and are widely used in advanced electronic equipment, sporting goods, transportation rail, automobiles and other fields, and have been highly recognized by many customers and industry experts. The application of ultra-thin carbon fiber prepreg series products in the field of electroacoustics fills the gap in the world.

A workshop where the production of carbon fiber materials is underway. Photo by Zuo Yuqing

High precision and strong stability are important characteristics of Powerway carbon fiber materials. Jiang Bo, general manager of Weihai Baowei New Material Technology Co., Ltd., said that Baowei's control of product quality is mainly due to intelligent production.

"Our current factory can be called a 'black light factory', and we can still achieve 24-hour production without turning on the lights." Jiang Bo said.

He told reporters that the aerospace field has particularly high requirements for the quality stability of carbon fiber materials, and requires that the entire production process be traceable, so intelligent production has become the best solution to ensure product quality. "Only by realizing unmanned and digital closed-loop production can we truly solve the problem of quality control of carbon fiber materials."

Taking the production of special arrows for events as an example, the error of weight and straightness needs to be controlled between microns, which is difficult to complete by manual experience, but in smart factories, because of the robot that can learn, not only the efficiency is increased, but the product qualification rate is also constantly improving.

"The biggest difference between intelligent manufacturing and automated manufacturing is that there is a 'brain' that can learn and think independently, and the robot will not only analyze the reasons for failure, but also summarize the successful experience." When a near-perfect arrow shaft is made, the robot automatically records and accumulates the data, and in the subsequent production, it is constantly calculated, adjusted, and improved, so as to achieve the improvement of the overall quality control quality, and this learning is uninterrupted. Jiang Bo said.

Using advanced digital technology, based on automation equipment and enterprise resource management system, Powerway realizes two-way information interaction between digital models and physical equipment through the collection and analysis of data such as equipment body and working environment through artificial intelligence, so as to realize the digital display of the whole life cycle process of the production line and achieve real-time intelligent management.

Intelligent robots are handling the produced carbon fiber prepregs. Photo by Zuo Yuqing

To achieve intelligent production, technological innovation is the key. Jiang Bo told reporters that at present, all the production equipment in the factory is self-developed by the enterprise, and 40 patents have been authorized, including 11 invention patents. "Due to the realization of intelligent production, our company currently has only 42 people, of which there are very few front-line workers, most of whom are engaged in research and development, mainly including material science, automation, and software research and development."

In 2022, Baowei was rated as a national-level specialized and special new "little giant" enterprise, with a market share of 10% in high-end products in the industry, and its products are widely used in high-end or emerging industries such as aerospace and mobile phone folding screens.

For the future, Jiang Bo said that he hopes to build a super factory. "Now we are local machines learning, and in the future, we hope to break the sharing barriers between machines, let machines learn collectively and learn from each other, realize the integration of artificial intelligence, and truly achieve intelligent manufacturing and product digitalization." (End)