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Train technician embraces new productive forces

Updated: Mar 15, 2024 By Zheng Jinran in Beijing and Zhang Yu in Shijiazhuang China Daily Print
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Accelerating intelligent manufacturing and the training of high-skilled talent can promote the development of new quality productive forces, Zhang Xuesong, a national legislator and a skilled worker on high-speed trains, said during the recently concluded annual sessions of China's top legislature and political advisory body.

"I was inspired and encouraged by the new concept of new quality productive forces, and want to do more in my field to contribute to the nurturing of the forces," Zhang said.

The phrase, highlighted in this year's Government Work Report, has ignited mounting enthusiasm across the country.

As a chief skilled operating specialist at CRRC Tangshan, a major Chinese high-speed train manufacturer based in Tangshan, Hebei province, Zhang has helped build trains for more than three decades.

From working as a fitter in 1992 to becoming a team leader in the use of cutting-edge technology to produce aluminum alloy bodies for high-speed trains, the strides Zhang has made have promoted the high-quality development of high-speed trains.

He said using aluminum alloy can make a train lighter, which is conducive to improving running speeds.

Since the trial production of their first aluminum alloy train body, Zhang and his team have produced nearly 5,000 carriages for over 600 high-speed trains, with zero quality defects.

In 2007, a work studio named after Zhang was established in the aluminum alloy workshop of CRRC Tangshan, bridging the gap between designers and production sites. In 2013, the studio was designated as a national-level skilled master studio.

Every achievement he made represented a new starting point, Zhang said.

The manufacturing of aluminum alloy train bodies is one of the core technologies in the manufacture of high-speed trains, and Zhang said that compared to traditional manual methods, an intelligent manufacturing mode using industrial robots had many advantages.

Since 2017, Zhang has led his team in research on intelligent manufacturing of aluminum alloy train bodies, seeking to use automated production lines and robots in place of a previously labor-intensive operation.

At the same time, Zhang and his team members have used their training platform to train a large number of frontline production technicians in intelligent manufacturing, nurturing over 300 industrial robot operators.

After mastering digital production line skills, they are now involved in the intelligent manufacturing of high-speed trains, contributing to the continuous improvement of the industry's level of digitalization.

Zhang's success in promoting intelligent manufacturing and training high-skilled workers has created opportunities for his involvement in the making of trains or subway trains for overseas countries, according to his employer.

The company's products, including high-speed trains, subway trains and light rail vehicles, have been exported to more than 20 countries, including the United States, Canada, Argentina, Portugal, Turkiye and Pakistan.

Last year, it produced the first new-energy light rail train for Argentina, which was the first such train exported from China.

It also exported 18 metro trains to Portugal, which became the first European Union country to purchase made-in-China metro trains.

"A large number of our high-end products, technologies and services are continuously going global, which is inseparable from our technological breakthroughs," Zhang said.


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