Technology focus gives Shanxi firms the edge

Updated: Jan 27, 2021 Print
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Chinese companies are making inroads into global markets thanks to the country's continued reform and opening-up. Among them is Shanxi-based Jinneng Holding Equipment Manufacturing Group, which has secured orders from the European Union for its round-link chain products.

"Our round-link chain products have earned the EU-wide standards certificates by authoritative certification organizations in the EU, paving the way to reach broader overseas markets," said Li Feng, a senior executive of Jinneng.

Round-link chain is a crucial component in coal-mining conveyors. Due to the high requirement for heat treatment technology for tensity, the higher end of the market in China has been dominated by overseas manufacturers for many years.

To break the monopoly, Jinneng began researching high-tensity round-link chains in 2013.

Over the past eight years, its research and development team has developed 28 product varieties to meet demands in both domestic and international markets.

In China, Li said its new products, as a substitute for imports, can help clients reduce costs by about 40 percent.

"We have applied our independently developed technologies to the whole process from heat treatment to welding," Li said, adding that the company will continue its efforts to develop more localized products for coal mining.

Because of its continuously increasing investment in R&D, Jinneng is currently China's second-largest and the world's third-largest company in coal mining and coal-mining machinery. The company owns more than 460 technologies with self-developed intellectual property rights.

Jinneng is only one example of Shanxi's recent efforts in technological innovation covering the six areas of new infrastructure, new technologies, new materials, new equipment, new products and new industries.

Xinyuan Coal Mine, a subsidiary of Yangquan-based Huayang Group, for instance, is now increasing investment in its new infrastructure facilities for coal mining.

The coal mine's production sites are now connected to 5G networks.

"The connection allows us to monitor and control mining processes in shafts as deep as 500 meters below the ground, helping to increase efficiency and improve safety substantially," said Cui Maosheng, a technician at Xinyuan. "In the past, all monitoring was carried out by workers, who needed to walk 5-8 kilometers a day in the shafts. And now all monitoring can be done with 5G-connected robots."

More projects related to the "six new areas" have settled in Shanxi, creating new growth.

These include a smart manufacturing base invested in by Great Wall Computer in Taiyuan, which became operational in July last year, and an energy information technology base that was put into operation in Datong in last October.

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