Interview Bo Chen and Christian Schumacher
Positioned for the future with a clear and open strategy
Fast and consistent implementation, together with customers and partners
"Connectivity+" is HARTING's approach to a focus on the future and on technology trends. The focus here: Concrete user benefits in this overall context, which will become the compass of any orientation for the industry in the future. In this issue of our tec.news we are fundamentally illuminating Connectivity+ from different perspectives. Connectivity+ has several levels. As the HARTING Technology Group, we are convinced that the challenges of the future can only be mastered with new technologies. And we perceive partnership approaches as the foundation for future solutions - solutions that can extend far beyond classic electrotechnical components. At the same time, HARTING and all its processes have a responsibility to become climate-neutral.
In this issue, we are placing a regional focus on China and asking the question: What is the relevance of Connectivity+ with regard to the Chinese market? In an interview with Bo Chen, General Manager Sales HARTING China, and Christian Schumacher, Managing Director of HARTING Customised Solutions GmbH (HCS), we highlight the following: It is not only the products, but also the collaborative mindset and sustainable processes that set Connectivity+ apart - especially with a view to China.
tec.news: Which social megatrend has the highest priority for China?
Bo Chen: The issue of sustainability is of particular importance for China today. Our country has set itself numerous environmental goals. The biggest among them: Climate neutrality by 2060 and the associated investments in renewable energies. In this context, China is creating innovative technologies, for example in the areas of transportation, wind power, battery technology and in the field of electronic storage technologies. In the field of wind energy, for example, our country is one of the technology leaders as well as the driver of efficiency gains, while also recording the largest volume worldwide. We are also pursuing a clear strategy for our HARTING site in China: we want to further strengthen our localisation - not only in the areas of production and sales/marketing, but also in research and development, innovation and service. Close contact with our Chinese customers takes top priority. Together with them, we want to develop and realise new products and technologies, especially in the fields of robotics, renewable energies and data centres.
Christian Schumacher: With HARTING Connectivity, we are making a decisive contribution in precisely these areas in order to meet the aims and objectives the country has set. We at HARTING Customised Solutions (HCS) are positioned as a complete solution provider. We provide our customers with ready-made, complete connectivity to make the entire solution ready for immediate use. In China, we at HCS serve the wind power markets in particular, we are active in the railway and robotics sectors with our connectivity technologies, and finally we are providing connectivity for one of the country's biggest technology topics at present: Battery storage systems.
China aims to consolidate its manufacturing capacity and increase digitalization in manufacturing
tec.news: What modern technologies is China using in its own production landscape?
Bo Chen: First of all, with regard to forward-looking technologies, China is on the one hand a user of these technologies itself and on the other hand also a technology partner, producer and supplier to the entire world. This is the unique point of our country, and we are pursuing a holistic approach in this context. Our nation has established a strategic plan, identified key industries for the development of innovative high-end industrial projects and developed statewide initiatives. As part of these measures, China wants to consolidate its manufacturing capacities and increase digitalisation in production – the keyword being 'smart manufacturing'. The establishment of new research and development centres in collaboration with companies, research academies and universities is being pursued so as to achieve innovation and technological breakthroughs in key areas. Likewise, "green manufacturing" plays a significant role in the strategy with the aim of boosting energy efficiency, while reducing resource use. This is the unique point of our country.
Christian Schumacher: If we take a look at the production landscape of our national company there, we can see that the strategy is already being implemented in many places. We don't just produce connectors in China, we do far more than that: HARTING also supplies the connectivity for the production environments and processes. We are represented in the products of various robotics companies – whether with partners such as Kuka or in the applications of the many Chinese newcomers in the industry. Our solutions are helping to build the innovative technologies and competencies in China that will allow us to produce locally in a climate-neutral manner in the future. Likewise, in connection with robotics solutions, they help to further advance the full automation of modern factories.
Bo Chen: This is where another special feature of China comes into play: The rapid speed of both the implementation and the further development of production technology that is currently discernible. For example, there are Chinese institutes that design and develop complete production lines. China is actively pursuing the claim of being the most innovative production location in the world. China is acting instead of reacting and this puts the country in a leading position.
tec.news: Which markets and industries does this apply to in China?
Christian Schumacher: It should be noted that our HCS solutions are used in high-end production facilities - for example in the two fastest growing industries in China: battery technology and data centre production. Especially in the field of battery technologies, we are represented with our solutions on entire production lines.
Bo Chen: These production lines position China as a world leader.
tec.news: For HARTING, the partnership-based development of new connectivity solutions is a key to joint success. How is the topic of co-creation viewed in China? How does HARTING implement its solutions with partners?
Bo Chen: Co-creation is also becoming increasingly important in China. What counts in particular is the manner in which we develop joint solutions together with partners on site and advance collaborative engineering. On the one hand, we are proud of our large development team at our Chinese subsidiary; on the other hand, it is our goal to meet the high demands of our Chinese customers with this team. They require local proximity to their partners in order to create applications that are then deployed in China, for example.
Christian Schumacher: For HARTING, this is a clear commitment to the region: Our Chinese subsidiary does not only produce in order to export. Rather, together with our customers, we develop perfectly adapted solutions for the local market that live up to the Chinese claim of technology leadership. So this applies to both development and production. The basic principle here: Solutions from HARTING in China are jointly developed locally, for customers in China and their products in China - but also for a global context.