future by semcon - the chinese product revolution

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We explore a China in transition






    China doesnt only manufacture global products. It develops them too.


    Your global partner in engineering services and product information www.semcon.com

    future by semcon

    #3 2011

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    2 FUTURE BY SEMCON 3.2011

    24 IS A KITE THE FUTURE OF ELECTRICITY?Minestos underwater kite generates electricity by surfing on tidal currents. Now its the moment of truth. Semcon has been there during the whole journey.

    34 INFINITE NANOTECH POSSIBILITIES One of the worlds leading experts on nanotechnology, Christine Peterson,explains how nanotechnology will change everything. Read more about how the future will look.

    48 MEET SEMCONS SHARPEST MINDS In Semcon Brains you can meet Zhao Jibing and Xin Situ who do business in China, Nina Lnn who refines in-dustrial machines and Mikael Ham-skog who solves plastic problems.


    Looking to the East

    I n the wake of the financial crises in Europe and the US, more and more people are looking towards the East. China has emerged as the global economys new engine, with seemingly limitless resources and ambitions. However, theres also a very conscious trans formation in China. From production to inno vation, from plagiarism to unique products and it is not content with its own gigantic market. More and more Chinese companies are looking outside their borders.

    SEMCON HAS BEEN ESTABLISHED in China since 2005 and we will be a natural partner for companies in China and for Chinese companies who want to get out in the world. Therefore, we are continuing to expand in China. Today, we are at five locations with over 40 employees and have the ambition of expand-

    ing in industries such as telecommunications, life science and automotive.

    In this issue of Future by Semcon, we analyze a China in transition, we visit Bombardier, who sup-ply high-speed trains to China and you can also meet two of our talented engineers in Beijing.

    THIS YEAR MARKS Future by Semcons tenth an-niversary as a customer magazine. For a decade weve had the ambition of showing the exciting world of technology and innovation through words and images that we encounter at Semcon every day. Today, you can of course get the magazine on the web or on your iPad, but we hope you still get the exciting sensation of possibilites when you read about our challenging assignments. Happy reading!


    30 FROM STATION TO LINE WITH ABBTo double its production capacity, ABB Device Components in Ludvika took a radical approach: they went from a station set-up to a production line, with Semcons help.

    44 THE FUTURE ACCORDING TO SEMCONSemcons involved in various research projects to increase its skills in future technologies, especially in the auto-motive sector. Find out what you can expect from tomorrows cars.

    52 EFG GOT ASSIS TANCE FROM INDIAOffice furniture manufacturer EFG needed help to optimize new height-adjustable furniture. With help from Semcon India they saved both time and money.

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    Website: semcon.com Letters: Future by Semcon, Semcon AB, 417 80 Gteborg, Sverige. Change of address: future@semcon.com Publisher: Anders Atterling. Tel: +46 70-447 28 19, email: anders.atterling@semcon.com Semcon project manager: Madeleine Andersson. Tel: +46 76-569 83 31, email: madeleine.andersson@semcon.com Editorial production: Tidningskompaniet, Gteborg. Project Manager/Editor: Katarina Misic. Designer: Mathias Lvstrm. Website: tidningskompaniet.se Translation: Cannon Sprkkonsult AB, Kungsbacka. Repro: Tidningskompaniet, Gteborg. Printing: Trydells Tryckeri, Laholm. ISSN: 1650-9072.

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    6 The new ChinaChina wants to replace low-priced products with high-tech. With its own innovations and large-scale production theyre ready to take on the world. Will China succeed with its product revolution?

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    China doesnt only want to make the worlds products but also create them. Meet some people in Future by Semcon talking about the theme of China.


    zhao jibing, team leader and project manager, semcon beijing, chinaHow do you hope that Semcon will continue to develop in China?We must succeed in adapting to the enormous speed of Chinas economic development. Even companies develop more quickly than in other countries, and Semcon has to keep up.

    magnus hggmar, production engineering manager, abb ludvika, swedenHow important is China as a market for you at ABB? It is and has been very important to us for a long time because of the large volumes involved. We have had our own manufacturing in China for a number of years. Much of the expansion in China is in the power sector because they need more and more energy.

    christine peterson, nanotechnology expert, foresight institute, usa What is Chinas role in the field of nanotechnology today? China is ramping up rapidly in nanotechnology and their number of patents is increasing very quickly. They are determined to be involved in this space and they will be a major player in the area. They currently dont have the right levels of talent, but I dont think we can count on that continuing for long.


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    anders jansson, ceo, minesto, gteborg, sweden What potential does China have as a market for tidal power?

    China has major market potential, both for us and our competitors. The challenge for us is that they have relatively shallow waters there.

    However, we expect that we could extract 5,000 - 10,000 megawatts off the coast of China, which represents about 20,000 of our tidal power.

    nina lnn, specialist in exhaust treatment,

    semcon gteborg, swedenWhat is the potential in China for

    the area you work with?The number of vehicles in China is sky-

    rocketing and emissions standards will be tightened. The problem is that they still run on

    fuels containing harmful substances for catalytic converters, such as sulphur, which means the converters arent working properly. The fuels

    must be significantly improved before very low emission levels are achieved.

    mikael hamskog, plastics expert, semcon lund, sweden What is Chinas relationship with polymers?The plastics world is extremely China-oriented. Theres tool- injection moulding at huge factories with 2,500 CNC machines in a row. They can do it all - quickly and cheap.





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  • MADE IN CHINA.FOR REAL.In just over thirty years, China has gone from being a secretive nation to an economic superpower. Now they want to replace low-price products with cutting-edge technology. With its own innovations and large-scale production, China is ready to take on the world.TEXT JOJJE OLSSON & KATARINA MISIC PHOTOS CHARLIE FONG, BOB SACHA & IMAGINECHINA / SCANPIX


  • HONGGUANGCUN, 1979: A small street in one of Beijings sleepy suburbs, mostly known for its limited, but at the time unique selection of electronics. Three years earlier a decade of cultural revolution had reached its end, during which almost all research was stopped, and the countrys universities were closed. Chinas new leaders wanted to catch up with the out-side world, and for the first time in a long while Chinese people were sent to the West to gain ideas and knowledge.

    One of them was Chen Chunxian, a physicist and researcher at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, who was invited to the USA in 1979 and visited Silicon Valley, among other places. Silicon Valley at this time consisted of just over three thousand electronics companies, most with fewer than 100 employees. Steve

    Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Bill Hewlett and David Packard were already there, but were not yet the legends they would become. Chen Chunxian was very impressed by what he saw.

    We thought, Why cant we do the same thing in China? Why cant we do it better?, he apparently said after his visit.

    ON 23 OCTOBER 1980, Chen Chunxian started the first non-state-controlled company in Zhongguancun, with a focus on plasma tech-nology. His company soon shut down, but public interest had been awoken and the way was paved for private companies and entre-preneurs. In 1988 the authorities designated the area a high-tech experimental develop-ment centre and Chen Chunxian was recog-nized as the founder of Chinas Silicon Valley.


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  • Thirty years later, companies in Zhong-guancun have devel-oped technology used in everything from spacecraft to nuclear power plants. Lenovo, now the worlds second largest PC manufacturer, was founded here. Google, Intel, Ericsson, Motorola, Oracle and Sony all have their Chinese headquarters and devel-opment centres in Zhongguancun. Microsofts new Chinese development centre is also being built here and will house 5000 employees. According to state media there are over a million employees here, at

    around 20,000 companies. The area is expanding at the moment with a 75 km innovation park, which will attract yet

    more talent and more capital. Over

    120,000 patents have already come

    from Zhongguancun. Zhongguancun has

    entered a new phase of develop-ment. In the next 20 years, Zhongguancu