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Promoting Industrial Transformation and Upgrading–YOFC: Leader of “Made in China 2025” Strategy

In 2015, China released the “Made in China 2025” strategy with intelligent manufacturing as the main orientation in order to promote the transformation from “made in China” to “created in China”.


On November 17, CCTV News introduced a series report on “Investigation and Survey of Made in China 2025 Strategy” by arriving in the Optical Valley and interpreting the innovative genes of “from ‘Made in Hanyang’ to ‘Optical Valley Dream’”. The first story is about YOFC.

“Fiber drawing tower is the central equipment for the production of optical fibers. It is YOFC, born in the Optical Valley of Wuhan, that has achieved independent research and development of the equipment. At present, YOFC has become the world's largest supplier for optical fiber preforms and optical fibers as well as world’s second largest supplier for optical cables. However, like other new high-tech enterprises in China, YOFC has also gone through the growing pains of exchanging market for technology.” As far as the shot can see, the fiber drawing tower of several storeys high is now drawing optical fibers at full speed. 

In order to fulfill the program of action of “Made in China 2025” strategy, to promote enterprise efficiency and to create a company of international competitiveness, YOFC has played an active role in the investment in intelligent manufacturing and become one of the first 46 intelligent manufacturing pilot demonstration enterprises confirmed by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology last year as well as the only representative enterprise of China’s optical fiber and cable industry and of Hubei Province.


After the project was launched, YOFC’s per capita output of optical fiber preforms has been increased by 15.3%, optical fibers by 47.4% and the speed of fiber drawing by 38.9%.

New model of intelligent manufacturing of optical fibers and cables

As the leading enterprise of global optical fiber and cable industry, YOFC has, over the years been exploring the construction of smart factory and the establishment of a complete set of smart factory solutions of the optical fiber and cable industry.


In January, YOFC, together with Siasun, China’s leading enterprise in robots and automation equipment and Wisedu, the information-based system integrator, built an entirely new smart factory in Qianjiang, Hubei Province in order to create industrial standards for the intelligent manufacturing of optical fibers and preforms.


With a total investment of 780 million and on the basis of the construction of big data, cloud manufacturing, techniques as well as production analog simulation, this project has achieved constant upgrading of technologies and products. Full-automatic logistics of the technical process has been realized by the application of robots and automatic logistics line, thus enhancing the technical capacity of core equipment.


Responsible persons of YOFC say that in the past, manual packing was applied in finished optical fibers and there were three major problems. The first one is lower efficiency, especially in recent years, with the dramatic improvement of production efficiency of optical fibers, packing efficiency has become the bottleneck of the whole manufacturing process. The second problem is the high labor intensity of operators, which has exerted certain influences on their health with the soaring packing orders. The third one is the increase of manufacturing costs with the use of plastic casing as packing materials, which has also failed to meet the requirements of environmental protection. If stretch film is applied in packing, the manual packing efficiency will be further reduced.


Immersed in research and development, YOFC has designed and manufactured a new “stretch film type automatic packing flow line for optical fibers”. As a result, the packing time for single-deck optical fibers has reduced from 3 minutes of previously manual packing to less than 40 seconds, and 6 to 8 operators can be replaced for a single packing machine. In the meantime, the packing quality has also been greatly improved with a reduction of about 20% in packing costs.


After the project is completed, the production efficiency will be increased 20%, the development cycle of products will also be shortened by more than 30% with over 5 enterprise, industrial and national draft standards formed.


Promoting the application of intelligent manufacturing technology


YOFC’s intelligent manufacturing technology will be widely used in all of its newly-built factories such as Wuhan Optical Valley Science and Technology Park as well as its optical fiber projects in Lin’an and Indonesia. Meanwhile, the successful experience will be exported to such enterprises as Tianjin Xinmao, Jiangsu Etern, Hubei Kaile and Shandong Pacific Fiber and Cable Optics in YOFC’s technological system. The intelligent equipment produced by YOFC has been promoted and popularized to other key enterprises including FiberHome Technologies, Shenzhen SDG Information, Jiangsu Etern and TGG.


In the future, based on the platform provided by national intelligent manufacturing pilot demonstration enterprises, YOFC will strengthen the cooperation with advanced intelligent manufacturing enterprises to jointly push forward the upgrading of China’s intelligent manufacturing level.


Adhering to technological innovation and achieving kinetic energy conversion


After the efforts of more than 20 years, YOFC has embarked on a path of technology import, digestion, absorption, innovation and export.


It is reported by CCTV News that in 2001, YOFC established specialized research and development center with an annual R&D investment of no less than 5% of the sales revenue, thus gathering a group of excellent R&D talents of the optical fiber and cable industry, accounting for a quarter of its overall number of people.


Especially since 2013, YOFC has made further exploration in the standard mode of intelligent manufacturing of the optical fiber and cable industry, and it has not only mastered the most advanced optical fiber production technology of large effective area and ultra low loss that only three enterprises throughout the world have, but it has also achieved technology export to the Optical Valley and even other similar enterprises both at home and abroad, thus guiding and driving the development of the whole industry. Optical fibers are called nerves of the information society as well as one of the high-end industries among the international manufacturing industry. Now, the information nerves of the Chinese people are firmly in the hands of themselves.


Up to now, YOFC has taken on a total of over 20 national major science and technology special projects including Program 973, Program 863, Torch Program as well as the National Sci-Tech Support Plan.


Last year, YOFC achieved an accumulated sales revenue of 70 billion yuan as well as an export for earning foreign exchange of one billion dollars. Based on its independently-developed optical fiber and cable manufacturing technology platform, YOFC has also achieved technology export to more than 10 enterprises both at home and abroad, thus pushing forward the industrial progress and development.


Made in YOFC, Quality First


Transformation and upgrading of an enterprise shall be conducted on the basis of the improvement of quality level for the reason that quality is the foundation.


Since its establishment, YOFC has always adhered to the development concept of “Made in YOFC, Quality First”, and provided high-quality products in accordance with strict quality management procedures.


It has taken the lead in the establishment of comprehensive management system within the industry with eight major management systems as the core including ISO9001 Quality Management System, TL9000 Quality Management System of the Communications Industry, ISO14001 Environmental Management System, OHSAS18001 Occupation Health and Safety Assessment System, SA8000 Social Accountability System, ISO17025 Laboratory Management System, ISO27001 Information Security Management System as well as the integration of information technology and industrialization.


In recent years, YOFC has won numerous quality awards both at home and abroad including the “National Quality Shortlisted Award”, “China Quality Award Nomination”, “National Quality Yardstick”, “Yangtze River Quality Award of Hubei Province”, “Wuhan Municipal Mayor Quality Award”, “International Quality Management Gold Award”, “International Arch of Europe Quality Award in the Platinum Category”, “International Star for Leadership in Quality” and “International Quality Control Circles Gold Award”. With “spirits of the craftsman” of continuous improvement, YOFC is shaping its world-leading brand image and making “YOFC” the number one brand of high-quality optical fiber and cable products on a global scale.


Global Market Distribution


Aiming at the strategic target of “the world number one and the industry leader” and relying on the national strategy of “One Belt and One Road”, YOFC has in recent years constantly accelerated the industrial distribution on a global scale and actively promoted the capacity expansion of preforms, optical fibers and cables as well as the upstream and downstream industrial construction.


At home, YOFC Science and Technology Park, the optical cable factory of the world’s largest monomer capacity has been put into operation. YOFC Qianjiang Science and Technology Park, the most advanced preform manufacturing base in the world is now under construction. The optical cable production base in Lanzhou has radiated to Southeast Asia, and the optical cable production base in Shenyang has radiated to Northeast Asia. Zhejiang Ally First will become the second largest in Zhejiang Province as well as the most influential supplier for optical fibers in China.


Abroad, the optical cable factory in Burma has radiated to Southeast Asia, the optical fiber factory in Indonesia is the first one in Southeast Asia, and the subsidiary in South Africa will become the most influential supplier for optical cables in African regions.


In order to better meet the requirements of overseas customers and improve its service quality, YOFC has continuously strengthened the construction of overseas sales teams. By the end of 2015, it had established 22 overseas offices.


Reprinted from Hubei Daily, reported on December 7, 2016

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