Shandong as a manufacturing hub focuses on product quality as way to stand out
By Wang Fang
“Have you heard of the wrench with wifi functionality?”
Wang Shengzhong, a senior technician at the Wendeng Maxpower Tool Group in Weihai, Shandong Province, produces a high-tech looking set of tools.
“The highly intelligent torque wrench with digital display is mainly used to assemble high-speed railway lines,” Wang explains. “How much force is used to mount a screw, how many screws need to be mounted, operation time and other relevant data are all displayed on the electric torque tool. The data stored in it can also be uploaded to computers and mobile devices. Therefore, the monitoring staff can be informed of the production process, quality Shandong as a manufacturing hub focuses on product quality as way to stand out and speed anytime, anywhere, to avoid any deviation.”
In his career ranging from roles as an apprentice to a senior maintenance fitter, Wang Shengzhong has completed dozens of technical upgrading projects, developed over 50 products, acquired five national utility model patents and drafted two national industry standards for locking pliers. He has interpreted the craftsmanship spirit of the new era through practical actions.
“A man should do things in a down-to-earth manner,” he explains. “Only when he acquires practical ability can the craftsmanship spirit be cultivated.”
“Craftsmanship spirit” first appeared in a government work report released on March 5, 2016, and has since become a buzzword across China.
“We will encourage enterprises to use flexible and custom-tailored production processes and foster a craftsmanship spirit of striving for the best, so that more types of products, products of a higher quality, and brand products will be made,” the report read.
Nowadays, “Made in China” is taking a great stride forward to “Intelligent Manufacturing in China”, and the craftsmanship spirit is becoming the soul of Chinese manufacturing.
Today’s China has become one of the most remarkable manufacturing powers in the world. Shandong, a major industrial province, holds an important position in manufacturing across the country.
The assembly of a vehicle that needs hundreds and thousands of parts undergoes 53 processes and 11 quality gates, each of which requires quality control.
Creating Shandong’s ‘Made in China’ Products
As a cradle of Chinese civilization, Shandong has given birth to a number of skillful craftsmen since ancient times.
“In recent years, Shandong has carried forward the craftsmanship spirit, promoted manufacturing transformation and upgraded the structural reform of supply, and achieved positive progress as well as prominent results in creating Shandong’s ‘Made in China’ products,” explained Wang Shinong, deputy director of the Publicity Department of the Shandong Provincial Party Committee.
In May 2015, the State Council officially issued the Made in China 2025 initiative. According to the initiative, China will carry out the strategy of strengthening itself through manufacturing in an all-round way, build a manufacturing culture with Chinese characteristics and make its manufacturing stronger. In April 2016, the Made in China 2025 Shandong Action Plan was unveiled. The plan proposes the active creation of Shandong’s “Made in China” products. It’s hoped that, by 2025, the overall quality and comprehensive level of the province’s manufacturing can be significantly enhanced, and the goal of becoming a strong province in manufacturing can be realized.
“Manufacturing is Shandong’s pillar industry, and it holds a key position in national manufacturing activities,” said Li Sha, deputy director of Shandong Economy and Information Technology Commission. “Through years of development since the reform and opening-up policy was launched, Shandong has built a manufacturing system with a solid foundation and a complete range, which has become an important support for its economy.”
Public data show that, from January to October 2016, the added value of large-scale industries and the output of new-energy vehicles, smart TVs and industrial robots representing advanced highend manufacturing in Shandong rose by 7.8 percent, 80 percent, 72.1 percent and 50 percent, respectively. The added values of its high technology and equipment manufacturing industries grew by 8.4 percent and 7.3 percent year-on-year, respectively.
Manufacturing is the main body of the national economy, a major battlefield for scientific innovation and the foundation, instrument and fundamental factor of building, rejuvenating and strengthening a country. Sticking to the spirit of craftsmanship is a national strategy to boost the Chinese economy and a key move in carrying out the strategic plan of Made in China 2025. As an industrial manufacturing giant, Shandong is committed to creating its own “Made in China” products, and the craftsmanship spirit is of crucial importance as it takes the initiative and gains advantages in the new industrial wave.
The spirit of craftsmanship is not only the embodiment of skill and spiritual quality, but also that of a country’s industrial civilization. To China, the quality of its industrial products has a direct bearing on whether it can truly complete its industrialization. There are a number of companies which consider product quality to be the single most important aspect of manufacturing.
“Make Quality Products Marked by Moral Quality; Contribute to the Society with Such Products” is the slogan put up in every industrial park at Sinotruk. It is not just a publicity slogan, but also shows the heavy responsibility for “Made in China” products and the pursuit of perfection.
“Every product made by us has an ID. If there is a quality problem, it can be traced back to the source,” said Guo Hua, director of the MC Processing Department at Sinotruk Jinan Power. “The improvement of automation and intelligence has set a new requirement for the craftsmanship spirit. A production line that used to have 120 to 150 workers only needs 11 now, and output is tripled.”
A young man surnamed Han, born in the 1990s, is an assembly line worker. His job is to check for bumps, corrosion and scratches on the cylinder liner surface. Han is well aware that for vehicle manufacturers, paying careful attention to details is the key to guaranteeing product quality.
“I need to make sure that nothing will go wrong here,” Han said.
Making sure nothing will go wrong is the most common daily embodiment of the craftsmanship spirit.
“We also set up a space for nonconforming products,” Guo added. “The assembly of a vehicle that needs hundreds and thousands of parts undergoes 53 processes and 11 quality gates, each of which requires quality control.”
“Shandong has designed a blueprint for strengthening itself by improving product quality. The action of building Shandong Standard has been fully launched,” said Gu Yuanqiang, an inspector from Shandong Bureau of Quality and Technical Supervision. “Meanwhile, the Shandong Bureau of Quality and Technical Supervision has drawn up the Opinions on Implementing the Project of Improving Quality and Branding to Promote the Development of Enterprises of All Sizes, which proposes an increase in the quality management level of more than 40,000 small-and medium-sized enterprises across Shandong, developing at least 1,000 brand-name enterprises and products based on the improvement of standards, quality and international certification, focusing on building over 100 famous bench-marking enterprises and products and setting up 10 industries, 10 areas and 10 brands of great quality in three to five years.”
Manufacturing Takes on a Brand-New Look
In 2015, Shandong’s gross industrial output value reached 2.6 trillion yuan (US$380 billion), accounting for 41.3 percent of its total output value. It ranked second in terms of both gross industrial output and economic benefit in China. However, it still has some way to go to become a powerful industrial province, despite its huge industrial output. Besides the 10 fields prioritized for development according to Made in China 2025, there are several product categories that Shandong is focusing on. These include food, textiles and clothing, papermaking, tires, petrochemicals and other traditional industries.
On Dec. 7, 2016, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology released the Intelligent Manufacturing Development Plan (2016-2020). The plan clearly sets forth a two-step strategy to promote intelligent manufacturing by 2025. First, the development foundation and supporting capacity of intelligent manufacturing are to be significantly strengthened. Digital production is to be basically realized in the key sectors of traditional manufacturing. Key industries with certain economic strengths are to make obvious progresses in intelligent transformation up to 2020.
As the main body of the market, enterprises are major forces to facilitate intelligent manufacturing. Driven by informatization and intelligentization, Shandong’s manufacturing has taken on a different look.
Sinotruk’s products are exported to 96 countries, making it China’s largest production base for heavy-duty vehicles.