Lublin, Radom and Starachowice are starting to cooperate in the area of the automotive and machinery industry – it is a return to strong economic traditions in the communes acting as signatories of the Letter of Intent.
Lublin is gradually implementing the policy of building an automotive and machine ecosystem – the first step was to create the “Lublin Automotive and Machine Upland” Foundation with its headquarters in Lublin, which has now become the Coordinator of the Cluster “Automotive and Machine Upland” established on 21 February 2018.
Cooperation of the cities in the area of the automotive and machine industry as well as other related industries provides benefits not only for enterprises, but also for the local government. “As a result, employment in municipalities will increase, the number of business entities will increase and their level of innovativeness, but most importantly, the investment competitiveness of cities will definitely improve, which will undoubtedly attract new investments” – says Krzysztof Żuk, Mayor of Lublin.
One of the key assumptions of the Cluster includes strengthening of cooperative relations in the area of the automotive and machine industry, aimed at improving competitiveness by raising the level of innovation and intensifying cooperation between the science and business sectors. The intention of the Lublin City and the founding Members of the Cluster “ Automotive and Machine Upland” is, above all, to integrate and use the potential of industrial development.
The Cluster “Automotive and Machine Upland” serves to facilitate the flow of information and knowledge, establish the cooperation and joint projects within the industry through formal and informal connections between producers, their suppliers and recipients, as well as institutions operating in the sector of science and technology. The Cluster members gain a greater opportunity to acquire new technologies, suppliers, exchange knowledge and information, or use the infrastructure of scientific entities. This, in turn, will translate into a reduction in operating costs and an increase in labour productivity.
The concept of creating the Cluster was preceded by meetings with the representatives of the Lublin business operating in the machine and automotive industry, and the preparation by SEENDICO of a report entitled “The opportunities and barriers to the development of the electrical machinery industry in the Lublin Metropolitan Area”. The strengths of the development of the electrical machinery industry include a large diversity of entities, the dominance of the sector of small and medium-sized enterprises, the willingness of the local government as well as personnel and research resources to support the industry development, extensive infrastructure of the business environment and geographical location. The weaknesses include a relatively small number of large and medium-sized enterprises creating a demand for intermediate goods from local suppliers and a low level of internal cooperation and networking.
The electromechanical industry is one of the key industries of Polish industrial processing. It is characterised by a large diversity in terms of manufactured products and a high share in total Polish exports. In addition, it is also characterised by a high share in expenditure on research and development, as well as a high demand for specialist and highly qualified staff.
In recent decades, the electromechanical industry has become a key industry from the point of view of creating and implementing advanced technologies, not only in Poland, but also worldwide. Many products manufactured within this industry combine mechanical (considered traditional) and advanced technologies.
The ability of enterprises from the electrical machinery industry to meet the expectations of large manufacturers interested in purchasing parts or components is becoming more important when it comes to the inclusion of such enterprises into global production chains. This, in turn, is also associated with additional administrative requirements, system integration, etc. These processes are also connected with the so-called fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0) and the desire that the organization of the enterprise’s production processes consists of an information system and numerically controlled machines operating autonomously and having the elements of artificial intelligence. The fourth industrial revolution presupposes the establishment of intelligent factories, i.e. plants in which it will be possible to carry out the production process with minimum human interaction. This type of production will be characterised by a high degree of flexibility, allowing for ever more individualised products (the so-called responsive manufacturing).
A special feature of the electromechanical industry includes its strong connections between individual companies that are part of particular departments in the industry, as well as within the departments themselves. They manifest themselves in very intense inter-sectoral flows between various branches of the electromechanical industry, as well as flows between enterprises within departments. They are particularly high in the case of manufacturers of motor vehicles, trailers, semi-trailers, excluding motorcycles, who direct 71.3% of flows to the electrical machinery industry, most of which go to the department of motor vehicle manufacturers. At the same time, they are responsible for a large part of the demand in most branches of the electromechanical industry. Strong inter-branch connections are also characteristic of metal producers, who direct 70.7% of their goods to branches from the electrical machinery industry within inter-branch flows.
The electromechanical industry occupies an important place in Poland’s current economic policy included in the Strategy for Responsible Development. The document underlines the role of industry in the economy and presents a new model of its support defined as intelligent reindustrialisation. It will consist in implementing new digital, technical, technological and organisational solutions in enterprises, which will enable the creation of cutting-edge product and process innovations. These changes are combined with the concept of Industry 4.0. The Strategy includes five key directions towards the reindustrialisation of the Polish economy. These include the development of modern industry, development of infrastructure and competence for Industry 4.0, quality management system in the industry, raw materials for the industry and support for vocational training for Industry 4.0.
Electromobility also plays an important role in the current state policy. Stimulating the development of this market aims at increasing the share of electric vehicles, including both electric buses and other means of transport employing electric drive, together with the charging infrastructure. In order to achieve this goal, the Strategy for Responsible Development envisages the implementation of two projects “E-bus” and “Electric car”.