Engineer helps push development of high-speed train

High-speed railway engineer Wang Lichao has been striving to break technical bottlenecks over the past 15 years.[Photo provided to China Daily]

Wang Lichao has recently sorted out his years of work on China’s high-speed railway, working on several technical papers and preparing to file for more patents in the field.

“There is still room for improvement and I would like to contribute to it,” said Wang, 41, a senior engineer at the Locomotive Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Railway Sciences.

Hailing from Suihua City in northeast China’s Heilongjiang Province, Wang, who now lives in Beijing, has worked on virtually every major production project for the past 15 years. Meanwhile, the country’s fast trains have gone from a speed of 250 kilometers per hour to 380.

Wang has played a positive role in the development of various types of high-speed trains over the years, supporting the development of new products, the establishment and optimization of the process line, while making every effort to eliminate technical bottlenecks.

The efforts of Wang and his team at the research institute led to major breakthroughs for the high-speed railway.

Wang’s accomplishments have repeatedly earned him model employee awards from the country’s railway system.

In 2007, Wang received a master’s degree in mechanical manufacturing and automation from Harbin Institute of Technology and joined the railway system right after graduation. He then rose through the ranks from apprentice to senior engineer through hard work and continuous learning.

“The school’s education laid the groundwork, but there was a lot to learn from the real work environment, so I was able to face the challenges that came my way and complete the assignments,” says Wang. , which specializes in the production, assembly and debugging of key brake system parts.

With the explosive development of China’s high-speed railway and subway, the capacity of the locomotive research institute has not been able to meet the actual production demand.

“We received hundreds of orders every year,” says Wang.

To solve the problem, the institute came up with a plan to outsource the production and processing of rail parts to outside organizations.

“We provide them with technical advice and are responsible for the acceptance, assembly, testing and final delivery of the parts,” says Wang.

Therefore, several highly qualified and experienced technicians, including Wang, were dispatched to deal with various problems encountered by outside organizations.

“We needed to maintain close communication with contract factories and provide timely solutions to technical and quality issues to ensure production tasks ran smoothly,” says Wang.

In the process, Wang actively and patiently made technical presentations to each subcontracted factory, designed several processing tools, and offered technical solutions to meet the different conditions of these factories.

“It’s important to ensure on-time production and delivery,” Wang said. “No matter the problems and how difficult they are, production progress cannot be jeopardized.”

It has made it a point to get to the bottom of each problem as quickly as possible and carry out process innovation and equipment upgrade under the existing personnel and equipment conditions to produce a practical improvement plan.

At the same time, Wang insisted on solving problems with minimum input, for the benefit of contract factories, and encouraged them to seek technical upgrades on their own initiative.

After years of effort, the production process and equipment, as well as the technical solutions offered by Wang for the subcontracting factories, have proved to be effective and brought stability and efficiency to the production of parts.

Some of the modifications are now patent pending.

“Wang has a solid theoretical basis, rich practical experience and high professionalism,” said Jin Mingxu, deputy director of the locomotive research institute. “He has kept abreast of the latest developments at home and abroad in the business he is engaged in and is focused on innovation.”

Jin added that the stability and comfort of passengers moving at such a high speed was not easy to achieve, and praised Wang and his fellow engineers.

By the end of 2021, China’s high-speed train network covered more than 40,000 kilometers and was the largest of its kind in the world, according to the China State Railway Group.

The Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway, set to be showcased at the upcoming G20 summit in Bali, Indonesia in mid-November, will mean China’s high-speed rail technology is making inroads in the foreign.

Although Wang has accumulated valuable good experience, he is not resting on his laurels.

“I’m just a cog in the development of the bullet train,” Wang said.

“There are still a lot of things worth considering.”

Jose P. Rogers