Strict international standards have pushed Chinese manufacturers to improve the quality of their products, moving from imitation to innovation. Today we take a look at tunnelling shields. China used to rely entirely on imports for the tunnel-making machine.
But nowadays, made-in-China tunnelling shields have become a competitive product in the global market. Tunnelling shields manufactured by the China Railway Engineering Equipment Group were sold to Malaysia in 2013 for the first time.
Word spread of the machine’s high quality, and this year, it made its way to Singapore and India. At their factory in Zhengzhou, in central China’s Henan province, one tunnelling shield is ready to go.
Another three will be exported later this year. Engineers from Singapore have paid three visits to inspect the machine and ensure the China-made product meets international standards.
Li Jianbin, Chairman of China Railway Engineering Equipment Group said:”They raised hundreds of problems for us to address, all focused on very specific details. They have detailed requirements on the welding, cracking and inspection of the cutter. The standards are much higher than domestic ones.”
These high standards pushed the company to improve and innovate. Like most Chinese manufactures in the past, it used to copy foreign products. But its innovation and strict adherence to global standards earned the company international recognition and more business.
Such strict global standards are a good thing for Chinese manufacturers. After getting the European CE certification and sales in Singapore, more high-profile clients have come to us. One is a sewage tunnel to be constructed under the Thames River.
A British company has contacted the Chinese manufacturer. Another Italian company wants to purchase two tunnel boring machines. Contracts are under negotiation for both deals. Technological innovation is a top priority on the government’s agenda for China’s manufacturing industry.
“How to achieve our own unique innovation and develop new products, new technology and new markets is the next big step for our manufacturing industry. You have to leap from creative imitation to genuine technological innovation,” said Zhang Yansheng, Secretary-General of Academic Comm., Nat’l Dev’t & Reform Commission.
Built upon such industrial progress, the momentum of China’s exports are rising. Official data show that foreign direct investment of China’s manufacturing industry has reached 960 million US dollars in the first quarter. Industrial equipment amounts to 85% of total exports in the first quarter.
The potential for growth is also strong. China’s exports reached over 690 billion US dollars in the first four months of this year, with a 1.6% annual growth rate. Among these, nearly 58% were electro-mechanical products, and their year-on-year growth is 3.6%.
Learn more in our Global Ready China Seminars