“Okay. I'll change my ticket right away and back to the project". It was the New Year's Eve of 2018 when all Chinese were celebrating. Being one of them, Wang Baoli was happily enjoying the rare reunion with his family, which however was interrupted by a phone call from his project. His son asked him to stay him for the festival.
He is Wang Baoli, senior electrical engineer of China Railway Engineering Equipment Group Co., Ltd. (CREG), mainly engaged in assembly, commissioning, field troubleshooting, technical consultation and providing other technical services related to shield equipment. He has been working abroad for a long time, and involved in shield equipment service providing in Malaysia, India, Singapore and other countries.
As a boy coming from the rural area, Wang cherished every opportunity in study and work. He also has the tenacity and strong willpower to study intensively, which soon made him a technical expert in electrics.
But even so, a "piece of cake" has blown him when he just joined CREG. In March 2009, Wang Baoli, 23 years old just then, was sent to Hangzhou for the assembly and commissioning of shield machine. He had never worked with such kind of large-sized tunneling machinery like a shield machine before. During commissioning, the Electro-mechanical Chief Engineer asked to open the progressive distribution valve behind him. But he failed to find the valve, and this reminded him that all his accomplishments could only prove the past, and once taking on a new post, he should make arduous efforts adapting to it and making himself an expert in this brand-new field.
Then he really knocked himself out on the shield machine to study on it without going out for a single time. He saved every minute and felt grateful for those knowledge and experience he has built up during that time. With all the diligence, he became quite familiar with the electrical system of shield equipment, even though that was totally unknown to him just one month ago. He also acquainted himself with the English-language drawings and manuals, despite that before going to Hangzhou he almost forgotten all the English words learned at school.
It was since then Wang was appointed to specialize in electrical system assembly of shield equipment. Based on the years of experience in electrics and his study on the foreign circuit drawings of shield machine, he proposed an optimization scheme for electrical system wiring grooves and mark system, which showed clear, simple wiring for electrical assembly of shield machine, and reduced electromagnetic interference to the minimum. All these outcomes made it convenient for the customers to operate and use shield machine, and accelerate the internationalization of shielding machine series.
In May 2013, Wang’s wife noticed that, different from the frequent working overtime in the past, Wang started to went back home on time, cooking, doing laundry and cleaning. She then found out the reason -- the first batch of exported CREG shield machine were to be delivered, and Wang would also go abroad serving as project manager. He was caught in a dilemma to make a choice between his pregnant wife and the beloved career. Considerate and sensible as she is, said "Just go. Don’t worry about me".
CREG's Model 50/51 shield equipment exported for the first time was used for the section between Semantan North Portal to KL Sentral of the underground works of Phase I MRT in Malaysia's Kuala Lumpur. In the shield construction contract, the latter required that tunneling and assembly of a ring shall be completed in 24 minutes; while in general situations, the time needed for such work would be around 40 minutes. The above technical requirement was only for Chinese machine, and the section within our scope of work was the most complicated and difficult part, featuring various connecting channels, complex formation, abundant groundwater and above-ground buildings, bringing a huge challenge to the construction and shield tunneling.
Wang led his team to conduct in-depth field survey, and made inductive planning based on past experience, coming to the conclusion that boring a ring in 24 minutes was possible under some certain conditions. It turned out that CREG's shield machine fulfilled all requirements in the contract with a perfectness ratio up to 98% in the end. Model 50 shield machine was the first that completed segment tunneling among all the 10 shield machine used, and Model 51 machine completed the first segment tunneling task 43 days ahead of schedule, setting a record in Malaysia of up to 347.2m forward per month, winning the first battle of Chinese shield machine to go global.
After the Malaysia MRT Project was completed, Wang led the service team to repair and maintain equipment at the storage yard of Port Kelang in Malaysia and then traveled to India, where they were to provide services to the New Delhi's Metro Project. When they first went to India, they were not used to the climate and living habits like eating mashed potatoes and curry rice, drinking raw water, etc. Due to poor conditions on site, Wang and his colleagues were infected with dengue fever. Even such tough living and work conditions wouldn't hold them back from the pursuit of "China Shield Dream". They kept standing fast on the post to serve the client. It was the first time the Employer independently assembling shield machine. Wang instructed Indian workers on electric and conventional equipment by teaching them to read the machine drawings, equipment installation, commissioning, and troubleshooting of common problems. The service team under Wang's leadership not only provided customers with technical services, but also trained technical talents for them.
As the “Belt and Road" Initiative has moving forward constantly, CREG developed various iconic products, including the first combined shield in China, the world's first ultra-large section rectangular shield, the world's smallest diameter TBM, the world's first horseshoe-shaped shield, and the largest diameter slurry balance shield. For many years it has been occupied the lion share on the domestic market. In 2016 CREG's slurry shield series products were put into the Singaporean market, which is characterized by high standards and strict requirements in terms of technical specifications, quality and safety, environmental protection, laws and humanities, etc. and the Employer required almost perfectness. Under all these situations, Wang performed the due obligations and adhered to the tenet of providing butler services, sticking to the maintenance post by arranging for working 24 hours in two shifts, and successfully passed through the slightly-weathered full face hard rocks, softness-upward and hardness-downward crushed zones, and fractured formation where slurry pressure is difficult to maintain. Ultimately they delivered a satisfactory result, with the construction period satisfied the schedule requirements.
Ever since he was engaged in overseas projects, annual leaves became a luxury. He originally planned to spend the days with his family, but it required him to be on the site to guarantee that every work could be put into use on time. As on-site representative for the Project, Wang encouraged his colleagues to overcome difficulties and face new challenges. He worked extra hours and exercised strict controls to be free of error with high efficiency. The client sent a letter of acknowledgment to make a compliment about the services on site.
During his work, he also taught some Bangladeshi engineers Chinese who are keen on Chinese language and culture. Wang felt so proud of his country and he also wishes to build a tie between the two countries on the Belt and Road. .
Wherever we are and whatever challenges we are confronted with, CREG will always adhere to the corporate tenet, spread the shield machine technology from China to the world, and lead the world with China speed and Chinese technologies.