DES Case Study: Tencent Cloud helps make manufacturing smart


The Tencent Global Digital Ecosystem Summit was held online for the first time from September 9 to 11, 2020. Tencent unveiled its new strategies and solutions for the cloud and smart industries and shared best practices with the audience at the event. We have selected two customer success case studies that illustrate what is possible when businesses upgrade to embrace the digital economy. This is the first article in the series.


Digital transformation is driving fundamental changes across the global manufacturing industry as major players embrace leading-edge technologies such as artificial intelligence, 5G and cloud computing to make their operations faster, leaner, more responsive and more competitive. 

Tencent Cloud is working with leading manufacturers like Foxconn Industrial Internet Co., Ltd. (FII) in the exciting realm of smart manufacturing. In 2018, the two companies began implementing an innovative end-to-end cloud-based solution that is helping FII build, deploy and operate its industrial internet that connects brilliant machines, big data, and people at work to enable person-to-person, person-to-machine, and machine-to-machine communication.

In July 2020, the two partners elevated their relationship to a new level. FII and Tencent Cloud will work together to promote the industrial application of cloud computing, artificial intelligence, big data and other technologies to provide digital transformation services for industrial enterprises.

They also plan to jointly develop digital solutions for various segments of the industrial field, promote the application of new technologies such as artificial intelligence and blockchain for the industrial internet and explore more possibilities for smart manufacturing.

Zongchang Liu, Chief Data Officer at Foxconn Industrial Internet, shares how the manufacturer teamed with Tencent for its digital transformation.

Tencent Cloud supports Foxconn’s digital transformation to cut costs, improve production

A subsidiary of the world's largest contract manufacturer, FII is the leading professional design and manufacturing service provider for communication network equipment, cloud service equipment, precision tools and industrial robots. With more than 210,000 employees and 30 years of manufacturing experience, FII provides its customers smart manufacturing services and electronic products centered on the industrial internet platform. 

FII has adopted a “smart manufacturing + industrial Internet” strategy using sensor technology, smart logistics and automated industrial control systems. Most of its production lines and factories are fully automated, including several “lights-off” factories that are run entirely via robots. Enabled by the industrial internet and cloud computing, lights-out factories reduce costs, improve manufacturing quality, cut down on energy use and increase data and production safety, among other notable benefits. 

Foxconn’s “lights-off” factories are fully automated.

Tencent Cloud and FII worked together to bring FII’s manufacturing strategy to life with a highly effective industrial cloud platform. The Foxconn Industrial Cloud Platform (FII Cloud) combines operations technology and information technology to create a secure connection between manufacturing plants and the FII Cloud, using the Tencent Internet ecosystem. FII deployed various components and applications of its platform product BEACON on Tencent Cloud, making seamless access between multiple locations a reality. 

FII provides a one-stop development environment and Tencent Cloud, as the application operation platform, helps get applications online and supports functions such as intelligent publishing and service access, integrating app development and operations. This can help evolve the industrial platform as a service capability and accelerate Foxconn’s technological capabilities used for other companies.

With Foxconn's factory-side security architecture and Tencent's cloud security capabilities, the two parties have created highly secure protections in seven aspects: business security, application security, data security, host security, network security, cloud security and physical security. The system provides a comprehensive security guarantee for user data and platform operation.

After adopting the various digital transformation measures, Foxconn saved two-thirds of personnel costs and greatly improved production efficiency. The development cycle of precision tools was shortened by more than 30% and pass-through yield reached 99.5%.

FII uses the Tencent Cloud internet platform to connect industrial equipment. The company has accumulated a large number of industrial mechanism models, equipped with thousands of industrial apps, and has been promoted in 17 provinces and cities including Guangdong, Zhejiang, Shanxi and Henan. The application has served nearly 1,000 industrial enterprise users.

Tencent and Foxconn raise benchmark for the manufacturing industry

In 2019, FII was one of just 44 companies to be recognized as a Global Lighthouse Network by the World Economic Forum. A lighthouse factory company is considered a model of the successful transformation of manufacturing enterprises. 

The recognized companies create value based on data; connect people, sensors, production equipment, robots and other assets through the industrial internet; achieve quality improvement, efficiency improvement and cost reduction; and create a new ecosystem of advanced manufacturing + industrial Internet to upgrade the integrated value chain. 

According to a McKinsey's survey of more than 800 traditional enterprises around the world, about 70% of the companies are still languishing in “pilot purgatory,” unable to bring manufacturing innovation to scale. Foxconn is clearly an exception, having not only achieved smart manufacturing itself but also empowering other enterprises to upgrade to the lighthouse factory level of performance. 

In the future, Tencent Cloud will look for new and exciting ways to work with manufacturing companies on the on their digital transformation. With Tencent Cloud as a partner, manufacturers will be better equipped to achieve their operational and financial objectives in an economic climate that is more global, challenging and competitive than ever.