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Engineer sees progress in nation's heavy forging industry

By ZHOU HUIYING in Harbin | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2022-10-23 08:24
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Liu Boming (right) discusses production procedures with workers at China First Heavy Industries in Qiqihar, Heilongjiang province, last month. WANG SONG/XINHUA

Liu Boming is passionate about the great achievements made by his nation and feels proud that he has witnessed the journey. He also feels a great sense of responsibility as a delegate to the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China.

In 1990, at the age of 18, Liu joined China First Heavy Industries, which was China's leading heavy machinery producer whose products included nuclear equipment and heavy forging equipment.

Since then, the now 51-year-old has specialized in over 25,000 various forging hydraulic press products, some of which have reached an internationally advanced level.

Now he is deputy director of the forging hydraulic press factory, the major manufacturer of heavy forging products of CFHI in Qiqihar, Heilongjiang province.

"We are undertaking the tasks of producing heavy, special and new forgings such as nuclear power equipment, petrochemical equipment, high-end equipment, new materials and other special projects," he said. "Over the past 32 years, I have participated in and witnessed the whole process of China's heavy forging domestic production and industrialization."

Before the start of the 21st century, China had relied on imports for million-kilowatt low-pressure rotors, which cost up to 80 million yuan ($11 million) each.

In order to take the initiative in the construction of nuclear power plants, the country began to promote the domestic production of low-pressure rotors, which are the key equipment for power generation in nuclear power plants.

When Liu and his team received the task in June 2012, he had no idea where to begin.

"We didn't have any technical reference to get key technologies," he said. "We had to work on our own."

The production of low-pressure rotors requires extremely high standards — the huge equipment that is 14 meters long and nearly 3 meters in diameter, must be made without any holes, cracks or even any defect as small as the size of a grain of rice.

In the following days, Liu and his team members spent their time researching, and sometimes stayed in the workshop for several days at a time.

Around 40 days later, they finally realized the independent production of a 715-metric ton low-pressure rotor at an internationally leading level, which not only filled the gap of forging technology in China, but also thoroughly broke the dependence on imports of such nuclear power key forging parts.

Liu has created over 40 new forging methods and developed nearly 40 forging technologies.

Over the years, he has won numerous awards for his work ethic, professionalism and technical innovations, including the title of Craftsmen of the Nation and National Model Worker.

In 2016, he founded an innovation studio and provided a series of training courses to young workers.

Liu and his team members have been striving to develop technologies to shorten production periods and improve material utilization, which have greatly helped increase the group's revenue.

The studio serves as a platform for solving production issues, and for exchanging technical experience and improving skills.

"In recent years, China has attached great importance to scientific and technological innovation as well as to skilled talents, which also greatly enhances the enthusiasm of skilled workers in their fields," he said.

"In addition to continuing to focus on my own work, I also want to unreservedly impart my skills and experience to young workers to write a new chapter through the power of youth."

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