China Daily 2020-06-24
Foshan, a manufacturing center, is promoting the spirit of craftsmanship and entrepreneurship, in the pursuit of high-quality development.
In 2016, the city launched a biennial high-level awards ceremony to honor local influential experts and specialists as "Foshan Craftsman". They must each have prowess in production skills, innovation or traditional crafts.
Among the first group of 60 awardees is Li Baiqian, chief engineer of plastic conduit provider Rifeng.
Li said he likes to feel water pipes being squeezed from machines in the manufacturing shop and can judge any flaws simply by touch. "Water pipes are alive and I can feel that they are pouring something out," he said.
Li quit the teaching and research office of plastic engineering at Sichuan University in Chengdu and joined Rifeng in April 2000.
"Although I received many titles, the Foshan Craftsman is the most important one as it is the highest-level honor that the Foshan city government has given to me," Li said.
A sense of honor and responsibility makes him lead Rifeng with the craftsmanship spirit and contributes to helping Foshan's high-quality development, he said.
Rifeng has operated in Foshan for 24 years, covering fields ranging from water supply and heating to bathroom accessories. Li is mainly responsible for the company's newest research and development trends.
He directed 14 R&D projects over the past four years. Eight of them have been developed into Guangdong province's high-tech products.
His R&D team has been granted 42 patents during that period. Twenty of which are invention patents, one of three patent types with the most stringent requirements for approval under the current legal system.
"Since I became a Foshan Craftsman, I have received much attention," Li said. "I am impressed that the city has its own way to remember those making contributions to its development, I feel as though Foshan is my second home."
At Rifeng's production center in Leping town, Foshan, underfloor heating pipes rolling out from machines are smooth not only on the surface but also on the inside.
The pipes are a necessary material for buildings in China. The industry uses a surface texture coefficient to measure how rough a surface is. Plastic pipes usually have a coefficient of about 5 microns. The wall coefficient of an underfloor heating pipe developed by Rifeng is 0.4 micron.
Li said smooth insides can reduce water flow resistance, which makes indoor heating more stable. If the pipe is not smooth enough inside, it is easy to have microorganisms that influence heat transfer.
"Though the industry's national standard doesn't have specific requirements for a pipe's internal smoothness, we hope to keep improving and sustain our leading position in the sector," he said.
Qin Xiaomei, who is in charge of R&D in Rifeng, said: "He (Li) is always like a tutor at work and guides us to keep improving R&D."
Li is the best example of Rifeng's craftsmanship spirit, Qin added.
Li Baiqian, chief engineer of Rifeng, who is among the first winners of the Foshan Craftsman honor. CHINA DAILY
Source: China Daily