Linglong Partners with Tencent Cloud on smart manufacturing strategy for industrial upgrading

Shandong Linglong Tire Co., Ltd. (Linglong) has signed the Phase II strategic partnership agreement with Tencent Cloud and Huazhi, leading big data, cloud service and IoT service providers in China in the joint effort to build LingLong’s digitalized factory in Changchun, which will incorporate fully integrated, digitally connected and cloud-based data and process management software.

The Phase II partnership will see Tencent upgrading Linglong’s marketing cloud, using WeChat and other connected proprietary digital software to improve engagement with users and respond more quickly and efficiently to market demands. The partnership also enables Linglong to tap into the full-suite of marketing products Tencent offers to enhance customer value-add and servicing capability.

The first digitalized smart manufacturing platform of its kind in China, Tencent’s smart platform will enable streamlined manpower resources in the manufacturing process, allowing these resources to be optimized and reallocated into the quality inspection process to further strengthen Linglong’s digital transformation and to set the benchmark in domestic tyre manufacturing. The tech-enhanced LingLong Changchun Smart Factory is also a vital component of Changchun Municipal City’s International Automotive City plan and an integral part of LingLong’s “glocalization” strategy.

“The partnership with Tencent and Huazhi is testimony to our enduring commitment to strengthening our servicing capacity and standards. We are committed to boosting our investment in smart manufacturing and value-added services in a bid to enhance the overall standard of the tyre industry,” said Wang Feng, Chairman and President of Linglong Tyre.

Smarter process, better results

The tyre manufacturing process ­— made up of four major components — has stringent requirements for temperature and quality control, encompassing internal mixing, semi-finished products, finished products, and vulcanization. The new smart platform integrates lean manufacturing that is the hallmark of Linglong’s production facility, allowing for digital monitoring of factory equipment in real time, resulting in minimized down time, increased efficiency and improved quality standards.

The construction of smart factories is set to revolutionize the tyre industry through the integration of digital, smart engineering and new retail platforms, effectively reducing inventory by two-thirds, resulting in lowered costs, shortened response lead time and enhanced value-add to customers.

Further to the strategic partnership signing with Tencent Cloud and Huazhi Smart, the Changchun factory will incorporate IoT, AI, cloud and big data technology, deploying a team of 200 to enable full digitalization of office, manufacturing processes, customer service, management and R&D, including the transformation and upgrading of the automation and intelligence of a single device.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, Linglong Tyre has swiftly adapted to the crisis by enhancing emergency safety mechanisms and continuously improving resource allocation and local operations to soften the pandemic’s impact on Linglong’s international network. The automotive and tyre industry as a whole has been impacted by falling demand, economic downturn and market panic, hampering sales and affecting the supply chain, logisitics, and operations of many companies.

With the pandemic continues to cripple the global economy, affecting the international as well as domestic automotive market, the adoption of a smart platform and digitalization strategy is expected to cushion the COVID-19 impact and keep operational and financial risks at bay.