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Centuries-old ceramics town embraces innovation

(Xinhua)    10:52, October 16, 2020

GUANGZHOU, Oct. 16 (Xinhua) -- From the height of more than a meter, Zhang Wanzhen dropped a mobile phone rear cover made of ceramics material to the ground. It turned out intact without a scratch.

The ceramics material is made by Chaozhou Three-circle (Group) Co., Ltd., a leading manufacturer of electronic components and advanced materials, which was founded in 1970 in Chaozhou in south China's Guangdong Province.

"We've been doing one thing for 50 years, and that's making quality products," said Zhang, chairman of the company that has invested much in the way of research and innovation.

With a history of over a thousand years, Chaozhou has long been famous for its traditional ceramics industry.

Archaeological excavations show that as early as the seventh century, there had been large-scale ceramics production in the area, and by the Song Dynasty (960-1276) it had become one of the largest ceramics producing regions in southeast China.

Up to now, ceramics production has developed into the pillar industry in Chaozhou, with more than 5,000 ceramics enterprises and an annual output value of more than 50 billion yuan (7.42 billion U.S. dollars).

To help upgrade some small and medium-sized ceramics companies, Chaozhou has been promoting the integration of the Internet, big data, and artificial intelligence with ceramics manufacturing, with the use of robots, 3D printing, and digital technologies.

In a studio of Chaozhou Yuanrun Technology Co., Ltd., a row of 3D printers print ceramics in a pre-set pattern, and staff can set the diameter, slope, and other parameters through a mobile phone app.

Zheng Xiaowei, general manager of the company, said that with 3D printing, a vase that used to take ten working procedures to produce now needs only three. The production time can be shortened from more than 100 hours to three to five hours, and no pollution happens in the process.

More than 20 sanitary ware enterprises in the city have also introduced intelligent production lines and adopted automatic glaze spraying. The product damage rate has dropped a lot.

"In the future, ceramics production will be more automated, intelligent, and clean, with an optimized product structure and high added value," said Liu Maochun, secretary-general of the Chaozhou Ceramics Industry Association.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Wen Ying, Liang Jun)

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