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Science and Technology China│Insist on "Only Innovation"

Feb 14 /2022

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Palletizing robots, warehousing robots, handling robots... Walking into the pilot workshop of BlueSword located in the Shandong Dezhou R&D Center, it is like entering the world of logistics robots.

From the beginning of its establishment in 1993, it was mainly engaged in logistics consulting and planning, software business, and carried out system integration in 1999; in 2003, it entered the tobacco logistics industry; in 2013, it expanded to power, medicine, e-commerce, fast-moving consumer goods and other industries; 2016 , with the help of the Vipshop project, a new model of intelligent warehousing and logistics system operation service has been added; in December 2020, BlueSword successfully landed on the Science and Technology Innovation Board... After nearly 30 years of steady development,BlueSword has become a leading global logistics company in China. Process intelligence logistics system solution provider.

Facing the footage of "Science and Innovation China", Wu Yaohua, chairman of the company, said confidently and firmly: "The core concept ofBlueSword is 'only innovation'. The way to go is not to be a follower. We want to do things that the industry does not have, research more innovative technologies, and be 'the great blessing of China and the blue sword of the world'."

No "wisdom", no standing: the business chain is fully covered

As the chairman of the Science and Technology Innovation Board, Dr. Wu Yaohua's own "scientific innovation attributes" are very sufficient. Wu Yaohua has been engaged in warehousing and logistics automation research for more than 30 years. He is also the commander-in-chief of the company's R&D team and the president of BlueSword Research Institute.

In Wu Yaohua's view, the future of the logistics automation industry is not "intelligent".

"Automation has basically exhausted the various application scenarios of the previous logistics industry, but the lack of intelligence restricts its further application and development."

Wu Yaohua told reporters that logistics automation originated in the United States in the 1950s; in the mid-1960s, Japan began to build automated high-bay warehouses, and automated logistics systems began to develop rapidly in developed countries in Europe and the United States and Japan. Among them, the Japanese enterprise Daifuku (DAIFUKU) It is one of the representatives; my country's intelligent logistics equipment industry began to grow with the development of the manufacturing industry in the early 1990s.

At present, with the application of Internet, Internet of Things, big data, cloud computing, artificial intelligence and other technologies, my country's warehousing and logistics automation system industry is in the stage of developing from integrated automation to intelligent automation.

How different is logistics intelligence from traditional automation?

"Some application scenarios cannot be automated without intelligence. For example, if robots, stackers, and shuttles can be intelligently controlled, the intelligence of the entire logistics automation system will be increased, and the traditional logistics automation system will be expanded. The boundary of the application can achieve more intelligence and automation." Wu Yaohua explained.

BlueSword's core products are a series of robots that add intelligent "wings" to logistics automation. Its business scope has covered the entire business chain of the intelligent logistics system.

After 30 years of development, the company has become not only a software developer, but also a hardware equipment manufacturer and a system solution provider.

In the front-end market, the company can provide customers with engineering and technical consulting and planning services, so as to design a system solution with good applicability according to the actual situation of the customer; the mid-end market is also the market and advantageous links that the company focuses on. The company can provide intelligent robots and intelligent A customized intelligent warehousing and logistics automation system with highly integrated software; in the back-end market, after the system is delivered, the company will provide after-sales operation and maintenance services after the warranty period. In addition, the company can also provide customers with RaaS (Robot as a Service) operation services based on the logistics system.

It is worth mentioning that the company's product line has a self-developed and self-produced rate of 80%, with obvious cost advantages. The product quality, performance and indicators are comparable to those of overseas developed countries, and the safety, stability, reliability, and efficiency have all reached international standards. .

Only innovation: to be the industry leader

Wu Yaohua's favorite sentence is "only innovation", which is also the core concept of BlueSword.

He explained, "When we entered this industry, there were still very few domestic related companies, and it was all foreign manufacturers that needed to compete, forcing us to take a more innovative path. To be more innovative and able to solve the deeper needs of customers, in order to better sustainable development and survival."

What is innovation? Wu Yaohua believes that it means that people who do not have what I have, and people who have me are better.

For example, he said that when the company first did unmanned sorting of the entire warehouse of commercial cigarettes, there were no relevant products and technologies in the world. He led the team to explore from the traditional manual system to the semi-automatic system, that is, the "second-generation line"; later, Lan Jian proposed the third-generation automatic sorting line, which is called the waterfall automatic sorting line... Now, BlueSword has developed the entire sorting line, that is, the parallel waterfall sorting system, which has achieved high efficiency and leading throughput.

With the rapid rise of the domestic e-commerce economy, in recent years, BlueSword has developed a set of honeycomb technology that surpasses Amazon's flat goods-to-person system - a 3D goods-to-person system with shuttle robots as the core product, also known as "three-dimensional three-dimensional" Goods-to-Person System".

"This system is five times more efficient than the plane system, and the 3D goods-to-person system can better solve the problem of massive throughput of Chinese e-commerce," said Wu Yaohua.

At present, BlueSword's complete 3D goods-to-person system with shuttle robots as the core has been exported to Japan, Germany, the United States and other developed countries.

In 2021, the company also developed the first digital twin system in the field of international logistics, which has been implemented and applied in actual projects. The system can simulate and analyze the operation dynamics, link rhythm, personnel cost, system resource utilization, etc. of large and complex warehouse logistics automation systems, find the bottleneck of the scheme, obtain the optimal design scheme and the best operating parameters, and provide actual warehouse logistics automation. The implementation and management of the system provide effective guarantee, and provide customers with better customized intelligent warehousing and logistics automation system solutions.

Innovation relies on its own technical research and development strength, which is also one of the core advantages of BlueSword.

In recent years, the proportion of the company's R&D investment in operating income has averaged more than 7% annually, and it is as high as 8.78% in 2020. The company has a research and development team led by a number of doctors studying in the United States, and has established extensive cooperative relations with Shandong University and other famous domestic universities, and jointly undertakes a number of national, provincial and municipal scientific research projects. The company has also established a national-level logistics engineering talent training and training base, and innovatively implemented an all-round targeted training plan for logistics engineering talents. In the first batch of the "New Generation Artificial Intelligence Industry Innovation Key Tasks Announcement Winners List" issued by the General Office of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of the People's Republic of China recently, BlueSword is on the list. Up to now, the company has applied for 342 intellectual property rights, including 143 invention patents; it has obtained 221 various intellectual property rights, including 50 invention patents.

The long-term innovation gene is gradually building a fortress for BlueSword, and the customer stickiness is continuously strengthened.

Wu Yaohua said frankly that there is no dark horse in the intelligent logistics industry, and the top 10 companies in the industry have a history of over a hundred years. The supply chain of the logistics industry is very long and is a comprehensive discipline, so in order to do it well, every field must be thoroughly understood. This is not easy and requires years of accumulation of technology and talents.

Steady and far:

To be "the great blessing of China, the blue sword of the world"

*The following article is from Shanghai Securities News, reporter Liu Li.

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