At this year’s World Economic Forum in Davos, Lenovo’s Hefei factory, LCFC, has been recognized as one of 18 additional sites added to the Forum’s Global Lighthouse Network of 132 leading manufacturers, each chosen for their leadership and integration of fourth Industrial revolution technologies (4IR).
The Global Lighthouse Network is a community of production sites and value chains that are world leaders in the adoption and integration of the cutting-edge technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR). Lighthouses apply 4IR technologies such as artificial intelligence, 3D-printing, and big data analytics to maximize efficiency and competitiveness at scale, transform business models and drive economic growth, while augmenting the workforce, protecting the environment, and contributing to a learning journey for all-sized manufacturers across all geographies and industries
Established in 2011, LCFC is one of the most advanced smart manufacturing factories in the world and the largest for intelligent computing devices (PCs, servers, edge computing, smart Internet of Things). It is the flagship in Lenovo’s network of 35+ manufacturing sites across nine markets and ships products to 126 markets around the world. This is done while managing 300K individual pieces of materials and parts every day, 300 discreet new products every year, and more than 200,000 different product configurations.
LCFC was recognized for its integration of 4IR technologies, and the transformation the factory has undergone in the last few years to meet and overcome the broad industry changes, increased competition, and significant fluctuation in demand through the global pandemic, as well as a growing requirement for customization of products. This transformation has included the use of advanced analytics, improving labor productivity by 45%, reducing any potential supplier quality issues, while managing 8,000 orders a day – 80% of which are small-scale orders of less than five units.
Digital intelligence technology has played a significant role too, with a focus on production scheduling/planning and dynamic operation of the factory’s 36 intelligent production lines. This has resulted in significant efficiency gains for scheduling and inventory management, meaning a completed PC is delivered off the production line every 0.5 seconds.
LCFC’s focus on R&D and being a center and beacon for advanced manufacturing technologies – with a particular focus on sustainability – has resulted in 121 authorized patents in the field of intelligent manufacturing. One of LCFC’s other notable innovations is the low-temperature developed to improve PC manufacturing by conserving energy and increasing reliability. Lenovo uses the best practice from LCFC across its global manufacturing footprint and uses it to support the wider industry ecosystem’s digital transformation. Lenovo is highly regarded globally for its manufacturing and supply chain, with Gartner ranking it #9 amongst the world’s top 25 supply chains, and #1 amongst supply chains in Asia Pacific.
The Global Lighthouse Network is a World Economic Forum project in collaboration with McKinsey & Co. Factories and value chains that join the Network are designated by an independent panel of experts. More information can be found here.