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Internet of things plays key role in reshaping traditional business models

By LIANG KAIYAN |  China Daily Global |  Updated:2023-01-03

With the rapid development of internet technology, the internet of things has advanced improvements in people's lifestyles as well as reshaping traditional manufacturing business models.

Wuxi of East China's Jiangsu province is taken as a new landmark of IoT in China, as it has blazed new trails in the sector over the years. The city's IoT industrial cluster was approved as a national sensor network innovation demonstration zone in 2009.

At the Wuxi Taihu New City, the Xuelang Town, built in 2017, has been established as a cradle of China's IoT development that focuses on driving the digital transformation of manufacturing businesses. It is now home to six leading industrial internet-based platforms and more than 200 innovation businesses.

Xuelangyun, an industrial internet platform, is one of the first batches of businesses that settled in Xuelang Town in 2018.

The company offers digital services to large-scale manufacturers from industries such as high-end equipment, chemistry and coal energy.

"Wuxi has a large number of factories. Traditional manufacturing industries such as coal and automobiles require digital transformation to reduce costs while increasing efficiency," said Zhao Shanshan, operation manager at Xuelangyun's exhibition hall.

For example, Xuelangyun has developed a digital twin cooling tower at the thermal power factory of Shuangliang Group, a Wuxi chiller manufacturer. This virtual reality model accurately reflects the physical cooling tower but can do more to predict changes in temperature to ensure the system's safe operation and increase the efficiency of coal burning. It helps the group's plant save around 50 percent of human resource costs and 22,000 metric tons of coal for each unit of facility.

"Our edge is information technology. Traditional manufacturers have their fully-fledged mechanism models. So, we have given full play to both advantages in collaboration to achieve digital transformation," Zhao said.

C2Matica, a consumer-to-manufacturer or C2M smart solution service provider in Xuelang Town, has a target market of small and medium-sized manufacturing businesses.

"The traditional manufacturing businesses are based on the mode of product delivery, which hardly meets the market's diverse needs. A data-driven supply chain is necessary to propel customization production of manufacturers," said Wang Wen, a staff member at the marketing department of C2Matica.

Using its software technology, C2Matica has developed a digital solution for British shoe brand Walsh, which allows consumers to select and tinker with the designs online.

The system collects the data about the shoes that consumers want and sends it to the shoe manufacturer to produce a customized pair. Through this, consumers can easily get tailor-made shoes while the seller doesn't need to suffer a pileup of inventory.

"China is now one of the largest consumer markets and has the most complete supply chain. Online consumption and the industrial internet have created opportunities for us," Wang said.

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A man takes a photo of an internet of things display by Xuelangyun. CHINA DAILY

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