Zhao Jing: Female Lathe Operator Defies Stereotype

October 12, 2017
Editor: Jane Wang

It is said that in machinery manufacturing industry female workers are not fit for the job. But Zhao Jing's achievements prove naysayers wrong.

When people encounter Zhao, no one believes that this elegant woman is an outstanding numerical control lathe worker.

Having worked in the workshop of Inner Mongolia First Machinery Group for 14 years, Zhao has shifted from a blue-collar worker to an expert in numerical control lathe operation.

"Speaking of the challenges women face in this industry, I think it is the harsh working environment. The machine oil and liquid coolant is pungent and my hands are always black," said Zhao, who is in her 30s. "The job is also demanding physically," she said.

However, Zhao believes patience and feminine nature has helped her turn the tables in the male-dominated industry.

"I really like my job. When I produce an exquisite machine component, I feel the happiness that others cannot sense," said Zhao.

She always faces up to difficulties in jobs and tries every method to solve problems she encounters.

In 2016, her company was tasked with producing fastening bolts in a key military project. The product required extremely high precision, with the distance between the thread of the bolt and the component it is fastened with being merely 0.003 millimeter.

Zhao led her team to make numerous trials until they found the problems that dampened the quality of the products and raised the quality rate to more than 98 percent.

Over the past five years, Zhao and her team members have made nearly 70 breakthroughs in technical innovation, which saved more than 3 million yuan ($456,000) for the company.

"Every time I attend a skill competition, the male participants say they fear me and do not want to compete against me," Zhao said smilingly. "Why are they scared of me? Do they fear losing to a woman?" she said.

Zhao has her own understanding of craftsman spirit.   

"In my view, the spirit of craftsman means to be knowledgeable, keep studying new skills and strive for innovation," said Zhao. And she walks the talk.

In 2016, a new knife tool operation procedure was named after Zhao in honor of her contribution to the refinement of the craft.

Zhao recalled that the old procedure required seven knives, but only six working seats were available on the lathe. As a result, a worker had to repeat the operation twice to make a new product.

"The old procedure had been in use for decades and no one thought it should be changed," she said. But Zhao believed it could be improved.

She set out to research on a new knife tool and streamlined the operation procedure. After more than seven months' trials and errors, the new procedure was rolled out. It greatly improved the production efficiency of sleeve parts components.

In 2013, a technical studio was set up in the name of Zhao Jing in the Inner Mongolia autonomous region. Under her leadership, Zhao's team has completed more than 20 technical innovations, and she has also actively passed on her skills to and shared her experiences with young technicians.

Because of her achievements in machinery manufacturing industry, Zhao was selected a delegate to 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, which will held next week.

(Source: chinadaily.com.cn)

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