Hirun Engineering aims to shake up seismic market

Updated 2016-11-22 12:34:43 China Daily

Wuhan Hirun Engineering Equipment Co Ltd said it is aiming to export more bridge and anti-seismic products, after building its first high-performance seismic testing machine earlier this year to simulate earthquake effects.

Hirun, a manufacturer of bridge bearings and seismic isolation products, is a wholly owned unit of Wuhan Marine Machinery Plant Co Ltd, a major ship equipment supplier in China.

"We are upgrading our core technologies as China strives toward the goal of innovative manufacturing," said WMMP Chairman Ma Juyong.

"The development of the seismic test machine marked the first time that we hired highly experienced foreign experts to join the company to introduce technology," he added.

Anti-seismic devices are installed in buildings or engineering projects to neutralize vibrations caused by seismic events.

The seismic test machine was developed by a joint lab, newly established by the company and Tongji University, a leading engineering university in Shanghai.

"The capacity of the lab is on par with top seismic experiment labs in the world, such as the SRMD lab of California University in the United States and the European Center for Training and Research in Earthquake Engineering's TREES lab," said Hirun's President Peng Shengli.

With a maximum vertical load of 75,000 kilo newtons, the machine can simulate real seismic conditions on isolation devices, through the application of big forces and high speeds.

It is able to test the reliability of seismic isolation devices, in order to provide detailed comprehensive dynamic monitoring data for product design.

"China was not able to carry out high-speed dynamic load tests for seismic isolation devices in accordance with the most advanced international standards," Peng said.

"But the completion of the test machine has changed the situation."

In order to develop the machine, Hirun invited three Italian experts to guide the research three years ago.

"We did that to transfer technology. The test machine was constructed in order to satisfy European standards, which are the highest in the world for seismic products," said Agostino Marioni, a vice-president at Hirun.

"It is nearly impossible for any other country to develop such a complicated machine in such a short time," said senior engineer Roberto Dalpedri.

"The fast mobilization of business know-how, technology, investment and people can only be realized in China."

Marco Banfi, technical director at Hirun, said that Chinese products still faced difficulties in building a good name in the international market.

"Overseas customers usually feel unsure when it comes to made-in-China products. But, in fact, many Chinese companies have become first class in the world. This needs to be known worldwide," he said.

The company said it had won a bid to supply seismic isolation products to the .4 billion Padma Bridge Rail Link Project in Bangladesh, which is being built by China Railway Construction Corp Ltd. It is China's biggest bridge construction project being built overseas so far.

Hirun now exports to 15 countries and regions, including India, Turkey, the Middle East, Russia, Japan and Italy.

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