LONGi’s China-based Jiaxing manufacturing plant has been recognized by the World Economic Forum (WEF) as a Global Lighthouse Factory. It is the world’s first solar module manufacturing site joining WEF's Global Lighthouse Network (GLN) as one of 153 factories around the globe.
The Global Lighthouse Network is an initiative of the World Economic Forum. Co-founded with McKinsey & Company, it is governed by an advisory board of industry leaders who are working together to shape the future of global manufacturing. Factories and value chains joining the network are selected by an independent panel of experts.
The digital transformation of manufacturing is in the center of attention
With the recognition, LONGi is one of 21 newly honoured Global Lighthouse Factories. The WEF highlighted: “Empowered by a number of intelligent technologies, LONGi’s Jiaxing production site has developed and implemented more than 30 digital technologies to promote intelligent manufacturing, many of which are industry-first independent patented technologies, reducing unit manufacturing costs by 28% within one year and reducing yield loss by 43%. The production delivery cycle is reduced by 84%, and the unit energy consumption is reduced by 20%.”
The essence of the Global Lighthouse Factory initiative is the digital transformation of manufacturing. The core is the strategic ability to build an intelligent manufacturing system. Through the extensive application of digital technologies such as automation, Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), big data analytics, 5G, etc., it can improve resource demand, planning management, and flexible production, logistics and transportation, customer service, and other full value chain systems for lean management.
Production Processes in Jiaxing Deploy State-Of-The-Art Technologies
AI and machine vision to overcome solar module industry automation problems
By optimizing processes and supplier collaboration, combined with flexible automation enabled by artificial intelligence and machine vision, the LONGi Jiaxing module factory overcomes 7 photovoltaic module industry automation problems, such as lamination and assembly processes, making the whole line process stable and leading in the industry.
AI-powered full-process visual inspection and precise traceability
LONGi’s Jiaxing manufacturing plant achieves full coverage of 20 processes. It deploys a total of 784 cameras, collecting tens of thousands of data points. The AI-powered process can display abnormal change trends and yield change trends of the covered processes in real time to assist in making fast decisions. It can analyze the causes of distinct types of hidden cracks and weld defects and, combined with an expert knowledge system, recommend the best solution to quickly resolve anomalies.
In addition, the AI-powered process can accurately identify 1,000+ image features on the cell string. Through feature similarity calculation, it can also complete the source machine information identification of 12 cell strings every 18 seconds.
Intelligent management of order production delivery cycle ensures on-time delivery
The production plant also introduced more than 20 digital processes along the production, warehousing, and logistics value chain. They rebuild the end-to-end business process, improve the efficiency of warehousing and coordination, achieve full traceability of logistics links, and shorten the order cycle. As a result, this ensures on-time delivery for customers around the globe.
AI-powered solar cells resource matching and dynamic correction
The LONGi Jiaxing production site deployed the industry's first self-developed AI intelligent solar cell production plan calculation system. It computes the optimal production plan to achieve accurate module power delivery and reduce power loss. LONGi believes that accurate module power delivery is critical to cost control as it reduces energy waste and cell costs.
“Innovation is the core competitiveness of enterprises and the inexhaustible driving force for their sustainable development. In the photovoltaic industry, technological innovation capability is particularly important,” said Zhong Baoshen, Chairman of LONGi. “It is necessary to accelerate the digitalization and the level of intelligence development of a company through the Global Lighthouse Network initiated by WEF. These are important for the transformation and upgrading of the photovoltaic manufacturing industry in general.”
LONGi drives the solar tech development for the entire industry
LONGi is committed to becoming an advocate, practitioner, and leader of sustainable development in the global clean energy field. Through continuous technology R&D and milestones, the company regularly improves the conversion efficiency of solar cells, reduces the cost of photovoltaic power generation, and achieves cost reductions for the entire industry.
LONGi's technological leadership, once again underscored by the WEF's recognition which the company received in December 2023, contributes to the global energy transition and carbon neutrality goals.
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