Founded in 1991, Gree Electric Appliances Inc. of Zhuhai is the world’s largest specialized manufacturer of air conditioners. Revenue increased from around $19.4 billion in 2013 to $22.6 billion in 2014, while at the same time the number of employees decreased by 10,000 to a total of 80,000. This increased productivity was achieved through an automation program initiated in 2012, when the company started to manufacture its own robots, automated guided vehicles (AGVs) and other equipment.
“Our automation needs were specialized on account of the wide variety of air conditoners we make. We found the technological level of Chinese robots insufficient, and so, rather than import automation equipment, we decided to manufacture it ourselves,” says Lewis Liu, Sales Manager, Industrial Goods – Automation at Gree.
As evidenced by Liu’s title, Gree’s robots and other products are now available to the plastics processing industry. The company commenced external sales in 2014.
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