"My company would not manufacture low value-added products," Zhang Xuming, a winner of the honorary title of National March 8th Red-banner Holder and president of a company in Qingdao, East China's Shandong Province, once said.
However, to fight against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), Zhang broke her oath and began to produce the ear loops used for facial masks.
Established in 1922, Qingdao Hailiya Group, was originally a textile enterprise producing women's strings for binding plaits.
After a couple of reforms, it has evolved into a national high-tech enterprise manufacturing special cables for marine and aerospace use. Its products have been used in the Jiaolong Expedition Manned Submersible.
On January 30, Zhang learned that there were three million emergency masks without ear loops. To meet the needs of mask production, she changed the production line of high-profit cables to make low-profit mask's ear loops.
Facing a shortage of labor, equipment parameter mismatches and process differences, Zhang gathered employees who stayed in Shandong Province, including experienced technicians and corporate executives, to bring about the production switch.
Making their reforms to equipment and techniques in two days and one night, they began to successfully produce standardized ear loops for masks.
Hailiya has received tens of phone calls for assistance since then. The company is enhancing its production volume. A traditional manufacturing device can produce 40-50 ear loop strips; after equipment renovation, it can produce 80-100 strips at once. The company arranged two shifts for 24 hours to produce two million meters of ear loops daily to fit nearly one million masks.
"Every meter of ear loop is only sold for 0.09 to 0.15 yuan (US $0.01 to 0.02), far less than the special cable that is sold for several thousand yuan per meter," Zhang said, "But the difficulty for the business of the company is temporary, and as a private enterprise, it's our social responsibility to shoulder the task at this critical moment."
(Source: China Women's News/Translated and edited by Women of China)
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