8 Cases Reveal the Dismal Status of China’s Machine Tool Industry

China machine tool industry

After the reform and opening up, the machine tool enterprises to release the promotion of superstructure reform and productivity development momentum, coupled with the implementation of “introduction”, “going out” strategy, a variety of ownership enterprises coexist development, both competition and cooperation, through mergers and reorganization, the emergence of a number of ownership of the star business. According to statistics in 2007, private enterprises accounted for 71.3% of the total industry, annual sales accounted for 56% of the industry, half of the total amount. According to statistics in 2013, both data account for nearly 80%.

machine tool enterprises development

A few years ago, the national economy in rapid growth, led the rapid development of machine tool industry. Domestic machine tool market has expanded rapidly, becoming the world’s first consumer, the first producer, the first importer. This result is not easy, gratifying, industry entrepreneurs are mostly smiling, busy building a new plant, expand production capacity. In the development process and with the government’s “tangible hand” support. “High-end CNC machine tools and basic manufacturing equipment” major science and technology special project (hereinafter referred to as 04 special projects), to give support from the funding and policy, the mainstream machine tool factory almost all received the visit of the party and the country’s top leaders and provincial and municipal leaders, from the spirit of the material are subject to the central and local government attention.

But the cruel market economy, the survival of the fittest law, developed countries, multinational companies and China Taiwan machine tool enterprises, especially the implementation of ECFA, in mainland China carried out a strict layout, or mergers, or joint ventures, wholly owned, set up production (most For the SKD way), sales base, the use of China’s experts or professionals who is familiar with machine tools, deep plowing the Chinese market, and establish a close contact with China’s high-end users, and even into the machine tool industry itself as a technical change.

Machine tool industry is a competitive industry, has long been open to foreign countries, although there is 04 special support, frequently appear in a variety of domestic high-end CNC machine tools into the newspapers and the media, really exciting, but cannot cover the weak nature of the competition in machine tool industry. When the Chinese economy returns to the normal growth rate of single digits, coupled with the 2008 global financial crisis and the subsequent European sovereign debt crisis, triggering the difficulty of China’s exports of manufactured goods, resulting in these export-oriented enterprises lack of technical transformation of technology and as the high-end CNC machine tool can’t compete with the multinational companies in developed countries, mid-range CNC machine tools can’t compete with machine tool company in some countries and Taiwan, China’s machine tool companies, which resulting in today’s machine tool industry, “winter” state, when the winter past, no one can answer.

China Industry News editor Yang Qing published the article named “Chinese machine tools, spring where to go?” on March 4, 2014. She described in Shanghai on the eve of the Eighth China CNC Machine Tool Exhibition (CCMT), to participate in ” 2014 Machine Tool Manufacturing CEO International Forum ” with nearly 60 CEO gathered in Shanghai City on February 22. It is worth pondering. I also get a deep revelation from it.

For the weak competitiveness of China’s machine tool industry, everybody has the different opinion on it but must not say that machine tool industry colleagues do not have fight spirit, did not think of ways to find a way. The following are the analysis for the efforts and current status of China’s machine tool industry.


■ Case 1: Status of large machine tool enterprises (win by scale)

Shenyang Machine Tool Group

Shenyang Machine Tool Group, which is the world’s top ten machine tool enterprises, has more than 15000 staff, the staff in Dalian Machine Tool Group also close to 5,000 people. Some people in the industry called above two machine tool company as the development “leader”, “weathervane” in machine tool industry, make a lot of contributions to the development of the industry. However, in the event of a change in the market environment in 2013, sales have also experienced negative growth, but profitability needs to be improved. I believe that the fluctuation in the development of enterprises is normal sometimes. Both the two companies are the main support object in 04 special projects.

Yang Qing wrote in the article, “This enterprise worth mentioning still is Shenyang Machine Tool Group on the exhibition. Shenyang Machine Tool Group, as always, occupy a good and large position, but not as usual filled with machine tools in the field, but packed with a variety of large and small LCD screen, broadcast different video content. ” “They are launching the new Younis Industrial Services and a series of products with i5 as a symbol … …”

And said, “from the new five classes to i5, from industrial design to the intellectual made, Shenyang Machine Tool Group forward under the attention of peers as play the checkers, while the multinational companies like DMG MORI are playing the game of go, to deploy strength in changes “.

■ Case 2Trying to open the market with heavy machine tools

CNC gantry milling machine

Recently, heavy machine tool enterprises are particularly difficult, in addition to market factors, there are certainly other internal reasons. Five coordinate linkage CNC gantry milling machine is indeed a high-end machine tool products which show the first class quality, the manufacturers only have twenty or thirty (of course, the size of the specifications are not the same). Even the Kunming Machine Tool, which located in Yunnan province, also spent heavily to build a new heavy plant with the 200-ton crane. It wants to engage in large-scale CNC gantry boring and milling machine, however, the transportation of the machine will be a problem.

Why they go after this like a flock of ducks?

The enterprises with 04 special support are doing it, the one doesn’t have also been doing it. High-end CNC machine tool homogeneity strange to appear, which shows the blind role of the market mechanism. Is it not a waste of human and material resources in machine tool industry? Many of the samples cannot be put into production, therefore they are being stocked or for the purpose of exhibition, the user is rarely interested. Excess capacity causes the existing heavy machine tool enterprises take a loss.

Yang Qing reported that Wuhan Heavy Industry, Qiqihar Heavy CNC Equipment, Spark CNC only use display panels or model to show their machine. In addition to the display panels and models is a chair, for the reception of the audience. (certainly, have other reasons, such as the heavy cost of transportation)

These companies have got support from 04 special projects. Wuhan Heavy Industry has developed a new product, which to a certain extent, win the user’s recognition. Such as several major limit super heavy machine, including 320 meters of CNC floor boring and milling machine, 28 meters CNC vertical milling machine, 3.6 meters CNC horizontal heavy lathe, 6 m × 68 meters CNC milling machine, 8 to 12 meters propeller special CNC milling machine, etc.

■ Case 3:Exploration of the reform system

Mergers and acquisitions

Mergers and acquisitions, the survival of the fittest in the market economy is normal, the purpose is to optimize the allocation of resources, but what about the situation? Qiqihar Heavy CNC Equipment attaches importance to privatization, Qiqihar No.2 Machine Tool, Harbin Measuring & Cutting Tool Group, Beijing Machine Tool Research Institute, Wuhan Heavy Industry find the central enterprises as ” mother-in-law “. Besides, Ningjiang Machine Tool Plant to find the Wuliangye plant as an investor. Kunming Machine Tool Plant is a listed company, several times changing ” mother-in-law “, from Xi’an Jiaotong University to Shenji Group. This example is indeed a lot, still cannot solve many problems, why?

■ Case 4: Once the “Pearl” light is gone

In the late 1950s and early 1960s, the new China was established only 10 years, suffered an imperialist blockade, the state developed a “high precision machine” campaign. From 1958 to 1965, a total of 26 successful high precision machine tools were developed successfully, to 1965 with an annual output of 500 high-precision machine tools, shortening the gap with foreign countries.

I study to Japan in the early 1960s. The variety of the same type of precision machine tools is not more than ours. At that time, they don’t have gear grinding machine, thread grinder, high-precision cylindrical grinder, only better than us in the high-precision coordinate boring machine and high-precision measuring device (Mitsui Seiki).  Certainly, many companies in the entire machine tool industry, such as Hitachi, Chi Bay, Toshiba, Makino, Toyota, Mazak, their manufacturing process, and management is better than us, their finishing and assembly has been in the constant temperature purification plant to ensure quality.

At that time, the machine tool industry two pearls “Shanghai Machine Tool Plant” and “Kunming Machine Tool” made a contribution. Before the liberation of the two plants have a group of skilled technical staff and skilled workers who played a very important role after the liberation.

Kunming Machine Tool

Shanghai Machine Tool bear the R&D and manufacturing of gear grinding, shaving knife grinding, thread grinding, high precision cylindrical grinding machines, while Kunming Machine Tool mainly coordinate production of boring, engraving machine, engraved ruler, round grating, long grating, synchronous sensor measurement device. National cooperation, research, and development production into the worm gear master, sub-plate machine, high-precision screw sub-machine, etc., to lay a solid foundation for the development of precision machine tools. Years lost the light of the two “pearl” when to reproduce the light?

■ Case 5:The role of leadership

After the reform and opening up, gradually enter the market economy, the survival of the fittest show. Shenyang No.3 Machine Tool, one of the “Eighteen Lohan” (before the Cultural Revolution joking on the 18 scale machine tool plant) and Jinan No.1 Machine Tool have seen the better days and enjoy good fame in the last century 80’s, also won the praise of the government and a lot of medals, rank the top level of machine tool industry, but did not last long.

Shenyang No.3 Machine Tools

Shenyang No.3 Machine Tools famous for the highest rate of NC throughout the country, however, the quality and service are not good. I repeatedly issued a warning, but no one can listen to, advise against the ear, and finally abandoned by the user and the market, came bankrupt finally.

Jinan No.1 Machine Tool cooperate with Japan’s Mazak and became famous. Make use of OEM export, rapidly increase technological level in the plant, such as gear noise, not only the assessment of decibel but also sound “sweet”, the standard cannot be described as not harsh. But in the then director of the leadership of Zhu Xiquan, after hard work, the problem is solved one by one, the export momentum is good. Later successors, due to various complex reasons, lifted the cooperation with Mazak, the introduction of technology and made the wrong decision, gradually decline, until now still not become well known, allegedly mergers by one private enterprise.


Nanjing Machine Tool, which is also one of the “Eighteen Lohan” enterprises, encounter the similar experience. In the early 80s of last century, the plant cooperates with the German company Traub to produce small and medium-sized CNC lathes and transfer of technology, the conditions are quite favorable. At that time the director Lvtian Le seizes this opportunity, greatly improving the technology and management level. But then several successors, I do not know why again and again, toss, although the restructuring, and now has not recovered.

The lessons of these plants are, success by the leader, failed also by the leader, fully explain internal cause is the main role in the rise and fall of a business, external is only the condition.

■ Case 6:Take the international road to enhance the industry level

Because in the reform and opening up the machine tool industry start the co-production, the introduction of technical methods, especially the co-production, rebate, is the fast way to enhance the machine tool industry level and has its own characteristics in the machinery industry.

Later developed into the merger of the well-known international machine tool companies, such as Shenji Group merged Germany Schiess, Bejing No.1 Machine Tool merged with Germany’s WaldrichCoburg, Dalian Machine Tool Group merged the United States IngesollRand, Harbin Measuring & Cutting Tool Group merged Kelch, Tianshui Spark CNC merger or build joint venture with a number of enterprises, Hangzhou Machine Tool invest in Aba and so on. This road still need to go forward, how to make China’s machine tool enterprise become consolidated?

Shenji Group

This issue is subject to the law of the host country, technology exports, financial and other restrictions seem to have not been resolved. Not only in order to deal with the financial crisis, those well-known international machine tool enterprises encountered difficulties caused by breakage of capital chain and meagered by us, if we can not control, can not digest, not like Shanghai Automobile Company merged Korea Ssangyong car many years ago, at last pay back, please remember this.

■ Case 7: Explore new avenues to try

The original Yingkou Machine Tool Plant, Anyang Machine Tool Plant, Weihai Machine Tool Plant has been insolvent, on the verge of bankruptcy, and some restructuring through the business leaders, capable staff, privatization, to save the enterprise with “Phoenix Nirvana, bath rebirth” approach.

On the basis of the establishment of Yingkou Guanhua, Anyang Xinsheng, East China CNC, and other enterprises, back to life. How to consolidate the results?

Some have already encountered reefs.

■ Case 8: An effective exploration of forging machine tool industry

Forging machine tool industry seems to be better than metal cutting machine tool industry, see a little hope. According to the relevant material, data show that sales ranked in the top ten including the Jinan No.2, Yang Li, Yawei, Tianjin Forging, Yangzhou Forging, JFY, Tai’an Hualu, Hubei Tri-ring Group, Hefei Forging, Xuzhou Forging, 9 companies are positive growth in output value and have profits. A small number of corporate profits is negative growth.

Forging machine tool

Because of the high technological content and strong competitiveness of the products in Jinan No.2 Machine Tool, the profits and taxes are realized to be more substantial. It should be said that it has stood out in the machine tool industry. I believe that the reason is that the plant takes press machine and gantry planing machine as the leading product since the start of the factory. For decades, in addition, to change gantry plane into milling planner after reform and opening up, it has always insisted on their own development direction. From the beginning of the reform and opening up the press, machine adopts Wilson’s press technology, and digestion and absorption innovation. At that time, FAW and other car users plant, technically requires a different guide with the Wilson column, guide sleeve structure, Jinan No.2 Machine Tool provide design according to user requirements, the designed press machine is warmly welcomed by the users such as FAW. Since then opened the automotive industry market.


At the same time, Jinan No.2 cooperated with other well-known foreign enterprises for decades, accumulated extremely valuable experience in the press design and manufacturing aspects, and carry down from generation to generation through management, technical staff, skilled workers, so that technology to be inherited and developed. They have suffered a variety of tests, in the “bigger”, “diversified” wave, not lost. Although the leadership of the enterprise under enormous pressure, still adhere to the concept of scientific development.

In the wave of joint ventures, the Jinan No.2 did not merge with domestic and foreign enterprises, relying solely on their own strength to become the world’s top press enterprises, to compete with Germany’s Schueler and Weingarten. Jinan No.2 win the tender Ford car body press production line in the United States. This machine tool enterprise which can “lead the technology, lead the market,” is quite rare.


From the Jinan No.2, I see the hope in China’s machine tool industry. Of course, the national 04 special project support for it is also indispensable. The development of anything, the internal cause is fundamental, external conditions only. As the forging industry has such a vanguard example, has played an irreplaceable role to lead the development of the industry. This does not mean that there is no shortage of forging industry, such as large tonnage screw presses, high-speed fine punching machine tools, multi-station spinning equipment still needs to import, this should be normal. But the user cannot forgive is that the forging equipment factory, including top ten, there is a big gap in the fine management of its quality, performance and production process with Japan Komatsu, Amada.

I visited an electrical plant last year, the plant stamping precision electrical parts of the small parts with a small and medium-sized forging machine, the accuracy requirements are high (of course, rely on the mold), not long time operation after the bought, the vertical rail plate generate resistance force, which led to heat and deformed. The factory sent people to repair many times, but not repaired. At last the user had to spend a high price to buy 5-6 sets of Amada presses, which should blame?

Amada presses

And the plant has big strength, after the reform and opening up, from the scale to the breed has made great achievements, in particular, I am impressed that the body is welded steel components, the scrap steel has reached thousands of tons, all for casting ductile iron crankshaft, not only in good quality, but also a typical energy-saving materials. But the wise man sometimes also has a loss, which indicates that there is room for the development of the press industry.

2017-12-07T11:41:12+00:00 Industry|

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