Liu Ping, a computer numerically controlled (CNC) machine tool operator working at Chongqing Chuanyi Control Valve Co Ltd, is pictured at the company's workshop on Nov 14, 2017. (Photo:chinadaily.com.cn/Zhu Lingqing)
Editor's note: The "Chinese Dream • Craftsman of Great Powers" campaign is carried out jointly by Cyberspace Administration of China and All-China Federation of Trade Union and participated by central news websites, local key news websites and major commercial websites. The activity, aimed at in-depth studying, promoting and implementing the spirit of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, carries forward the model worker spirit and craftsman spirit to create a social conduct of honoring work and ethos of respecting professional dedication by reporting the stories of typical grassroots craftsmen.
On a field trip to Southwest China's Sichuan province 14 years ago, Liu Ping, a tool operator of a computer numerically controlled (CNC) machine, got a chance to see the local military products.
"It is better for these kinds of products to be made on our machines," he said.
His words interested the director of the military product enterprise. After sharing technical issues with each other, Liu earned his company a trial-produce order from this enterprise.
Liu completed the order in just three days, much shorter than the client's expectation. It laid the basis for Liu and his company, Chongqing Chuanyi Control Valve Co Ltd (CCV), to get involved in manufacturing the components of Long March-2F carrier rockets in the following years.
"However, it was not easy at all to make that batch of products," Liu admitted. "Although we had already accumulated some experience in machining thin-wall parts at that time, this order contained all the difficulties."
"They ordered a tail nozzle of the rocket flame thrower, which was designed to be 180 mm in length and 1.3 to 1.5 mm in its single side wall thickness. Having many slant and curved surfaces, it is one of those most difficult-to-machine products."
Liu spent a whole day on adjusting the machining process and grinded cutting tools by himself to reduce deformation of parts in machine process.
In Liu's 30-year career, he has received a variety of difficult and complex parts orders like this, which have given him a wealth of experience in processing pieces that have slender shaft, thin-wall or abnormal structure.
Between 1987 to 2000, when he was just an ordinary machine operator in CCV's machine shop, Liu could complete more than 200 percent of the quota production task and process more than 300 pieces of difficult and complex parts of various specifications and kinds annually in average.
In addition, with ingenuity and bold study, Liu made his quality index reach 99.9 percent.
Breaking through the manufacturing bottleneck
In 2001, Liu asked his leader to transfer him from the ordinary machine shop to the company's newly established CNC workshop.
There was a lack of CNC machine tool operators at that time and Liu wanted to enter the new field.
"I bought a computer in the late 1990s. I could feel this computer numerical control will be the trend and the future," he recalled.