Hu Zhonghui, a deputy to the National People's Congress (NPC), is also the chief artisan at Pinggao Group and head of his eponymous workshop.[Photo/npc.gov.cn]
Hu Zhonghui (3rd L) talks with colleagues. [Photo/npc.gov.cn]
After more than a month of trial and error, a team led by Hu Zhonghui, the chief artisan at Pinggao Group, finally made a breakthrough in manufacturing a core part of high-voltage switchgear, which plays a critical role in ensuring the stability of power grids.
The prototype has already been processed and tested, with all parameters fully meeting the design requirements, said Hu, who is a deputy to the National People's Congress (NPC).
Pinggao Group, based in Pingdingshan in Central China's Henan province, manufactures and sells high-voltage switchgears and equipment for power transmission and distribution. Since joining the group in 2005 at the age of 18, Hu has made many accomplishments that are significant to the group and the industry.
From an ordinary technician to a National Model Worker
Hu started as an ordinary lathe operator and brought himself to the positions of senior engineer and superior technician with concrete actions. He has so far won more than 50 honors, including the National Model Worker, the May Day Labor Medal and the National Skilled Worker.
Hu said he bears in mind the importance of switchgears in terms of keeping power grids safe, so he has always worked with a high sense of responsibility, a spirit of bold innovation and a commitment to solve problems. The enterprising young man kept growing his expertise through study. He has worked on a variety of key components used in China's ultra-high voltage projects.
Hu has helped address more than 300 technical problems for front-line production and obtained 13 patents for his breakthroughs. For example, his solution in one project allowed processing accuracy to be within 0.01 mm, that is one seventh of the diameter of a human hair. The project, worth more than 1.2 million yuan ($188,640), also won the second prize at the China Machinery Industry Science and Technology Progress Awards and the third prize at the State Grid Science and Technology Progress Awards.
In the eyes of his coworkers, Hu excels technologically and strives for flawlessness. Workshop inspectors say the parts processed by Hu don't need to go through quality check as they are so well made.
Hu said he's just an ordinary worker who loves to dig deeper and enjoys a good challenge. He still remembered the day when it took him a whole month to solve a challenge in making a core part for the Shanxi Southeast Substation project, China's first self-developed experimental 1,000 Kv UHV grid project.
"At that time there was no domestic or foreign practice that I could learn from, but I was truly determined to overcome the difficulty and eventually I did it," Hu said.
There's an urgent need for artisans with high skills in the process of realizing China's goals of upgrading manufacturing, facilitating the rise of new industries, and pursuing innovation-driven growth, Hu said.
To fill the gap, he said, it's necessary to strengthen the training of skilled workers and cultivate artisans so that China can shift from a big manufacturer to a leading manufacturer.
"As a young technician in the equipment manufacturing industry, I grow up by solving problems. We are here to address the 'last-mile' problems and put technologies into practice. We should be patient, bide our time, explore new techniques, and develop strength while overcoming difficulties," Hu said.
Noting that no work is superior or inferior in itself, Hu said people can stand out in any position and play a role in key national engineering projects or major S&T research if they work professionally and passionately.
Amid his personal career success, Hu has actively supported apprenticeship efforts to spread knowledge, techniques and skills. So far, he has taught 26 apprentices, including eight senior technicians and 10 technicians. His team has won many regional and national honors, such as the Youth Model Unit Award and Workplace Safety Role Model in Henan Province.
In 2013, Hu set up a workshop with several young workers with an average age below 30, and they have since tackled a number of technical problems in making power equipment components. Members of the workshop, with the youngest at 26, are all skilled workers recognized at the provincial-level and some have won awards in national, provincial and municipal skills competitions. Under Hu's leadership, the team has engaged in more than 650 innovative projects and brought about economic benefits totaling more than 46 million yuan.
Playing NPC deputy role in spirit of craftsmanship
As a deputy to the national legislature, Hu has also earnestly fulfilled his duties and responsibilities.
In 2021, he paid visits to more than 20 enterprises, stayed in close connection with eight vocational colleges to learn about their enrollment and employment situation, and participated in some 20 events, engaging in exchanges with students and young workers.
The lawmaker, also an invited supervisor of the Supreme People's Procuratorate, was asked on Sept 9 last year to monitor Henan's efforts to strengthen legal supervision of the people's procuratorates, part of a nationwide campaign. The procuratorate organs in the province reviewed 34,771 cases, rectified 3,810 deep-rooted problems, and promoted solutions to 4,391 law enforcement and judicial problems, according to a work report of the provincial procuratorate. Hu hailed the progress made in this regard, saying it reflected strong political determination, resolute self-reform and decisive measures.
Embracing the spirit of craftsmanship in this work, he made suggestions to improve capacity-building, quality and efficiency of procuratorate work when dealing with cases. In his view, procuratorial organs should organize and conduct more training on various fronts, such as joint sessions with public security organs and courts. Meanwhile, efforts are needed to specify the criteria of penalties for new crimes, further clarify the criteria of penalties for common and frequent offenses, and promote the well-received procuratorial practices to improve the business environment, according to Hu.
During the NPC session this year, he made suggestions on the training of skilled workers, such as improving training mechanisms and introducing more incentives. He said he is confident that such efforts will enable more young people to master sophisticated skills, build their careers and serve the country.