Shanghai has started efforts to attract investors in the robotics manufacturing sector with the aim to develop the industry and make the city as the hub of the country’s robotics industry, the Want China Times reported.
Shanghai Huakuo Automation Engineering Co., an engineering company specializing in welding, robot 3D processing and developing automated manufacturing solutions for client factories, is one of the first companies to set up headquarters in the Pudong Kangqiao Industrial Zone, some 20 kilometers from the center of Shanghai, the report said.
Zhang Zhiyong, general manager of Huakuo, told the news service Jiemian.com that they "have rented a 1,300-square-meter factory there and will have equipment shipped in soon."
According to the report, Huakuo is the first robotics enterprise to set up a production line in the industrial park which is significant for Kangqiao, being one of the oldest municipal industrial zones in Shanghai, where the idea of developing the industry started in the second half of 2014.
Xue Ming, an assistant to the general manager of Kangqiao Group, said that the company is moving toward robot manufacturing amid the increasing labor and land costs that pose a challenge to the growth of traditional manufacturing sectors.
Similarly, the plan to develop a robotics industry has been started in an industrial zone called Gucun, 40 km north of Kangqiao, three or four years ago. Gucun, inaugurated in 1994, is a district-level industry zone with an area of 2.95 square kilometers. In 2006, it was promoted to the municipal level and ranked 37th among 103 industrial zones in Shanghai last year. Kangqiao ranked third in the same rankings.
The report said that Japan's Fanuc Group and Shanghai Electric have jointly set up the Shanghai-Fanuc Robotics Co. in 2008, and are now looking for a location to build a factory for the new company. Gucun had reportedly invited Shanghai-Fanuc to set up its production line at the park.
When the construction of the Shanghai-Fanuc factory in Gucun was completed in 2010 and the China headquarters of Fanuc was also inaugurated, Gucun has been called the "Shanghai Robot Industry Zone" since then.
Several other robotics business giants have also set up bases in Shanghai, such as ABB, a Switzerland-based international company operating mainly in robotics, giving the city the largest cluster of robotics companies in China.
Although several companies are scattered around different districts of the city, Wang Yingchun, an assistant researcher at the Shanghai Institute for Science, said that it is not yet possible to develop an ecological system for the robot industry and form a complete supply chain.