Business / Companies

Mongolia company enables self sufficiency in steel tubes

By Yang Ziman and Yuan Hui (China Daily) Updated: 2016-07-07 09:58

Self-developed manufacturing equipment is key for China's high-end manufacturing drive, said a top executive of Inner Mongolia North Heavy Industries Group Corp.

The company's independently developed steel tube extruder has made the country self-sufficient in high-end steel tube supplies to the power generation industry, said Pang Haiping, director of IMNHI's special steel department.

Inner Mongolia-based IMNHI is a key manufacturer of military equipment in China. Its portfolio covers military products, special steel and tram cars with technologies covering smelting, forging, heavy extrusion and machining.

Pang said heavy extrusion-the core technology for producing large diameter steel tubes widely used in power generation, aviation and national defense-has a great bearing on the country's security.

"Conventional forging can easily result in small creases on the surface of the steel, which makes the tube break easily. In comparison, extrusion exerts pressure from all directions so that the raw material is pressed into a whole entity to ensure that the product is solid," Pang said.

China has been importing heavy extrusion equipment for a long time and US company Wyman-Gordon used to be a major manufacturer in the sector.

"IMNHI's independently developed metal manufacturing and exploitation equipment has broken the monopoly of foreign companies to supply higher quality steel products to the domestic market," Pang added.

IMNHI's 360 extruder has been used in making military, aviation, and nuclear high-end steel tubing that is gradually replacing imported steel tubes, Pang said.

Zhang Lin, analyst with Lange Steel Information Research Center, said that China has great demand for large-scale and high performing tubes as its electricity, aviation and national defense industries develop.

"China's annual crude steel output, which was 804 million tons in 2015, ranks number one in the world. The volume is 7.5 times of that of Japan," he said.

"However, the number of patents of China's steel industry is only 54 percent of those of Japan. The innovation in China's steel industry is not on par with its output."

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