In July 2021, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) called for public comments on the “Guidelines for the Construction of the National Intelligent Manufacturing Standard System (2021 Edition) (draft for comments). The deadline for submitting comments is August 5, 2021. SESEC made the briefing as below.


To implement the requirements for standardization indicated in the National Standardization System Construction Development Plan (2016-2020) and the Intelligent Manufacturing Development Plan (2016-2020), MIIT and the Standardization Administration (SAC) issued the Guidelines for the Construction of the National Intelligent Manufacturing Standard System in 2018 and then 2021. The objective of the Guidelines is to promote the development of intelligent manufacturing standardization and provide support for the implementation of the standardization projects, as well as Industry transformation and upgrading.


The Guidelines were first compiled in 2015 and then revised in 2018 by the General Group of National Intelligent Manufacturing Standardization – which is led by the China Electronic Standardization Institute (CESI), and is combined with experts from MIIT, research institutions, industry, universities, testing labs, etc. CESI is the core driven force of standardization work in China’s electronic and information technology sector, providing key support to the formulation of relevant policies and regulations. The standardization activities in intelligent manufacturing led by CESI mirror IEC/SyC SM (IEC Systems Committee Smart Energy) and the ISO/TMB/SMCC (ISO Technical Management Board Smart Manufacturing Coordination Committee).


Since the release and implementation of the Guidelines, China has completed 285 national standards for intelligent manufacturing. The published standards and those are under drafting cover nearly the whole manufacturing life cycle and production chain. However, following the quick development of new technologies in recent years, such as 5G, artificial intelligence and digital twin, the manufacturing industry in China is witnessing the emergence of new products and new models. This is combined with new growing demands for standardization for intelligent manufacturing, covering aspects such as management of Intelligent supply chains, etc. At the same time, the demand for standardization in specific technical fields keeps increasing. Under such situation, in 2020, the General Group of National Intelligent Manufacturing Standardization started to organize the revision of the 2018 edition of the Guidelines.


Besides CESI, who is the leader organization, the process involved various actors, including 5 deputy leader units (the Instrumentation Technology and Economy Institute (IETI), China National Institute of Standardization (CNIS), China Academy of Information and Communication Technology (CAICT)); key technical committees such as SAC/TC28, SAC/TC124, SAC/TC159, and SAC/TC260; scientific research institutions such as the China Productivity Center for Machinery, the China Academy of Machinery Science and Technology, the Beijing Research Institute of Automation for Machinery Industry; as well as industry associations like the China Machinery Industry Federation, and the China National Light Industry Council.

Five Foreign invested enterprises, including Siemens, Mitsubishi Motors, Schneider, Phoenix Contact, and Rockwell, also joined the revision as members of the editors.


The main changes in this revision include:

  • For basic common standards, a “personnel capacity” subsystem was added. It consisted of “capacity evaluation” and “capacity requirements” standards; The “inspection and test” subsystem was also changed from the previous “test items” and “test methods”, to” inspection and test requirements”, ” inspection and test methods” and ” inspection and test technologies”.
  • In intelligent equipment standards, the “identification and sensing” subsystem is divided into “sensors and instruments”, and “cognitive and identification equipment”; “additive manufacturing” is changed to “additive manufacturing equipment”; while “inspection and testing equipment” was added.
  • For intelligent factory standards, the “intelligent logistics” subsystem was changed to “factory intelligent logistics”; while the ” intelligent factory construction” was deleted.
  • The “intelligent supply chain” subsystem was added.
  • In terms of intelligent service standards, “other new modes” were added, and the relevant branches of “operation and maintenance service” and “network collaborative manufacturing” were modified according to the standard system and revision.
  • In intelligent enabling technology standards, two subsystems of “digital twin” and “blockchain” were added; the branch of “artificial intelligence” and “industrial big data” was modified in the light of technology application,
  • In industrial network standards, two new branches: “industrial network integration” and “industrial network resource management” was added.
  • In industry application standards, the ten key areas of the 2018 edition were modified, by including shipping and marine engineering equipment, building materials, petroleum textile, steel, railway, aerospace, automobile, non-ferrous metals, electronic information, power equipment, etc.


Meanwhile, in July 2021, MIIT also called for public comments on the Guidelines for the Standardization of Industrial Internet (2021 Edition) (draft for comments).  the background of this document is as below.


In January 2019, MIIT and SAC published the “Guidelines for the Standardization of Industrial Internet”, to fulfil the requirements of the “Guiding Opinions on Deepening “Internet + Advanced Manufacturing” to Develop the Industrial Internet(issued by the State Council), and the Industrial Internet Development Action Plan (2018-2020) (issued by the Industrial Internet Working Group under MIIT)”.


The Guidelines were compiled by the General Group of the National Industrial Internet Standards led by the China Academy of Information and Communication Technology (CAICT). CAICT is an important player in the field of ICT sector and plays a crucial role in supporting the formulation of Telecommunication policies, regulations and the standardization. The standardization activities in the field of industrial internet led by CAICT mirrors ITU-T SG13 (International Telecommunication Union SG13 Future Internet) and SG20 (Internet of Things and applications), as well as 3GPP, etc.


After 2019 version published, 3 other key policy documents related to 5G + industry digitization +industrial intenrent were published

  • In November 2019, MIIT proposed the strengthening of ‘5G + Industrial Internet’ technical standards”.
  • In December 2020, MIIT’s Industrial Internet Working Group further issued the Action Plan for Industrial Internet Innovation and Development (2021-2023),
  • In May 2021, MIIT released the Internet of Things and Radio Frequency Guidelines (2021 edition)


Aiming to implement the above documents, and at the same time to adapt to new technologies and applications such as 5G, AI, digital twins and industrial parks, the General Group of the National Industrial Internet Standards led the revision and updating on the Guidelines for the Standardization of Industrial Internet (2021 edition).


Similarities and differences between “Guidelines for the Construction of the National Intelligent Manufacturing Standard System (2021 Edition) (draft for comments” and “Guidelines for the Standardization of Industrial Internet (2021 Edition) (draft for comments)” 


The fact that the two documents were released simultaneously by MIIT, and that they present numerous similarities, generated confusion among not only overseas industry players, but some Chinese industry as well. However, significant differences can be identified by the main drafting organization and drafting background of the two documents.


The construction of the national intelligent manufacturing standard system put forward by the first document involved all aspects of intelligent manufacturing – including technology, equipment, factory, supply chain, service, application, safety, evaluation and so on; however, it did not involve the application of advanced mobile communication technologies (such as 5G) – reflecting the lack of technical strength by the key drafting leader, CESI.


As China is committed to give full play to the role of 5G and its application is bringing crucial changes in manufacturing processes, the integration of 5G with intelligent manufacturing becomes inevitable. For this reason, CAICT built a standard system for the industrial Internet, placing 5G as the core – as seen in the Guidelines for the Standardization of Industrial Internet.


In terms of the referenced standards, the intelligent manufacturing system developed by CESI referred hardly any standards from the tele-communication system; while in the Industrial Internet standardization system made by CAICT, 5G and tele-communication standards are the key.


Overall, the two Guidelines maintain a different focus. The “Guidelines for the Construction of the National Intelligent Manufacturing Standard System focus on most fields of intelligent manufacturing, while the Guidelines for the Standardization of Industrial Internet focus on the application of new generation of mobile communication technology into traditional manufacturing processes.


For Guidelines for the Construction of the National Intelligent Manufacturing Standard System, China team of Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, kindly made the full translation and the comparison of the 2021 version vs. 2018 version, please click here for the full text in English.