From a single touch he can feel the difference down to the micrometer. Lu Rongliang has been dealing with automotive molds for nearly 30 years.
1000 micrometers is one millimeter, one hair is 50-60 micrometer. Feeling by hand, Lu Rongliang can discover problems in vehicle part molds down to 30 micrometers, half the thinness of a strand of hair.
Technical problems that 40-year technical experts from Japan couldn’t figure out, Lu Rongliang solved in two weeks. Processes that industry leaders thought were impossible, Lu Rongliang perfected. Inventing new assembly methods, he reduced production time from six months to two weeks.
How did he become the master of such godly skill?
Lu Rongliang has concentrated on automotive molds for twenty eight years, never diverging from his path.
He joined Geely in 2002. In pursuit of his dreams, he quit his guaranteed state job and joined Geely. In 17 years, he witnessed and participated in the historic rise of Geely, leading the company to make many technical breakthroughs. So far, he has created 60 million RMB in economic value for the company.
“Geely’s development of automotive molds has progressed by leaps and bounds throughout the years. In addition to the integration of external technologies, another important factor in Geely’s high quality development is their high quality requirement in automotive molds.” ~ Lu Rongliang.
When Lu Rongliang joined Geely a decade ago, Geely was still using simple molds in their production process. Today, Geely has achieved fully automated production and mastered complex multi-cavity mold technology, becoming a leader among independent brands in China.
In December 2013, a dent in the panel in one of Geely’s models seriously affected its perceived quality. The factory invited an expert who’s been in the mold industry for over 40 years in Japan to diagnose the problem. After two months, the solution could not be found and the expert advised the factory to stop production in order to fix the problem. However a shutdown would undoubtedly lead to huge losses.
At the crucial moment, Lu Rongliang took up the challenge and worked night and day to find and fix the problem. After two weeks, he and his team finally succeeded. His achievement was greatly admired by the Japanese experts.
To build a car, at least four or five thousand molds are needed and every model requires its own combination of molds.
The mold industry has one of the highest precision requirements in the world with molds required to be accurate down to the micrometer. After many years of experience, Lu Rongliang can feel the difference in molds down to 30-50 micrometers, a single hair is about 50-60 micrometers.
“There’s a master in the industry who can feel the difference down to 20-30 micrometers, I haven’t reached this level yet.” Not satisfied with his achievements, Lu Rongliang is still practicing, constantly looking to improve.
“National Molding Skill Award”, “National Machinery Industry Top 100 Craftsman Award”, Geely Holding Group “Li Shufu Award”, from national awards to industry awards to group awards, Lu Rongliang has received many of them, but he doesn’t let them get to his head.
A Master’s Responsibility is to Pass Down Knowledge to Future Generations
Everyone who has been in touch with him is impressed by his down to earth and resolute attitude. He regards himself as a common front line employee.
Self-cultivation and innovation, this is the craftsman spirit of Lu Rongliang. When asked about his thinking on a craftsman’s spirit, Lu Rongliang answered “superb skill, professionalism, perseverance, constant innovation, and a responsibility to pass down knowledge to future generations.”
In September 2018, Lu Rongliang formally opened his own master studio with 11 technicians and 15 apprentices. The studio has already trained 17 highly-skilled talents and held over 70 training sessions. The research and projects completed by the studio has created an economic value of 2 million RMB for the company.
Lu Rongliang is not the only master with his own studio throughout Geely’s family of companies. Within the Group, including Lu Rongliang’s master craftsman studio, there are currently 26 such studios. Nearly 70 patents have been produced by these studios since 2018.
In June 2015, Wu Yichao, a team leader in Geely for over 10 years, but a newcomer to the mold industry, joined Lu Rongliang’s team. After four years, Wu Yichao grown from a “blank sheet of paper” to a mold industry technical expert and have been award a “national technical expert award.”
This is not the only example of Lu Rongliang’s teachings. His team members have won many awards and recognition in district, city, and national competitions. His apprentice Zhu Lizan was elected as the representative to the 17th National Congress of the China Trade Union.