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Mechanical entrepreneur wins top award

Update: March, 13/2012 - 16:21

 

Honoured: Nguyen Tang Cuong. — File Photo
by Minh Chau-Anh Tuyet

Nguyen Tang Cuong, director of the Quang Trung Mechanical Enterprise in the northern province of Ninh Binh, is not a scientist by trade, but his passion for mechanical engineering and subsequent inventions have won him a Ho Chi Minh Award.

The awards, granted every five years, are the most prestigious in Viet Nam, and honour scientists whose work has made valuable contributions to society, socio-economic development, national security and defence.

The 52-year-old director won the award for constructing a bridge crane that could successfully elevate and lower 1,200-tonne rotor turbines into the Son La Hydro power Plant, contributing to the early completion of the biggest hydropower plant in Southeast Asia.

"People used to think some of my ideas and initiatives, including the "super crane", were crazy and unrealisable because my technical training was limited," he said.

However, it seems that his passion for machinery and natural ability were inherited from his parents who were skilled mechanics and from his grandfather who was an artillery engineer for the Viet Minh resistance forces against the French.

It was also this "craziness" that contributed to his success as well as his company's achievements.

"Returning from military service, I worked for a thermal power plant in his hometown," he said, adding that the low-paying job was not enough to support his family.

 

Making an impact: The 1,200 tonne rotor turbine of Son La Hydro Power Plant was lifted into place by Cuong's bridge crane. — VNA/VNS Photo Ngoc Ha
He started to run a very moderate stall where he fixed bikes and motorbikes along the roadside to supplement his income.

"In the 1980s, if I'd had enough money to apply for overseas work, I would not have become a mechanic," he said, adding that the first time he fixed a motorbike, he spent hours taking it apart, and still couldn't find anything wrong with it.

"Eventually, I found that there was a problem with the cylinder head, it needed replacing," he said, saying that it was a common problem in second-hand motorbikes at that time.

"That gave me the idea of making cylinder heads to sell," he said. "My first batch was cheap and well made and received reviews beyond my expectations."

In 1989, Cuong established a workshop of his own, employing about ten workers. Business was prosperous and it wasn't long before he opened the Quang Trung Mechanical Enterprise factory in 1992.

"In the 1990s, it was difficult for an unknown factory like mine to gain consumer trust, even though we could refine over 100 types of special-use steel," he said.

People were not only in doubt about his factory's capacity, but it was also rumoured that they bought the steel and then rebranded the products with his company's name.

When they introduced a heat-resistant steel panel used to hold clinker after the clinker is heated to thousands of degree Celsius, cement factories still hesitated, regardless of an application that could help save tens of billions of dong.

In another case, Cuong's factory came up with the goods again, successfully producing a pipeline to carry acid at the Lam Thao Chemical Factory. At that time, many domestic research institutions were finding it hard to produce such products.

From 1990 to 1995, Cuong said he spent most of his money buying broken or second-hand cranes to study, seeing that all the cranes used in Viet Nam were imported and there were no domestic manufacturers.

Mechanics, engineers and workers at his factory from the top down started studying, inventing and improving their cranes.

In 2003, the factory introduced an 80 tonne crane foundation.

In 2005, they won a contract with the Nam Trieu Shipbuilding Factory to provide cranes with loads ranging from 30 to 100 tonnes. The most highlighted achievement of the factory was the provision of bridge cranes to lift the 1,200 tonne rotor turbines into the Son La Hydropower Plant.

The highlight feature of these bridge cranes is that product quality and design is assessed directly during the manufacturing process which helps users take the initiative in controlling spare parts in case parts break down.

By presenting the Ho Chi Minh Award to director Cuong and his enterprises, the Vietnamese State recognised his contribution to the success of the power plant project.

Cuong said that the determination, innovation and concerted efforts of all his staff had contributed to the triumph.

"When I first said we could make the cranes here, I didn't receive much support from relevant parties and agencies who still wanted to import the machinery," he said.

By applying hundreds of fresh initiatives, the factory is able to produce 90 per cent of the products used in-house for half the cost in Western countries or 60-70 per cent of Chinese products.

Cuong said that his dream was to continue producing high-quality machinery which was key for the country to develop industry and reduce import value.

He has now set off on another adventure to pursue the idea of generating electricity from waves. He has already spent nearly VND100 billion on the project, but still believes it will succeed. — VNS

echanical entrepreneur wins top award

Honoured: Nguyen Tang Cuong. File Photo

Making an impact: The 1,200 tonne rotor turbine of Son La Hydro Power Plant was lifted into place by Cuong's bridge crane. VNA/VNS Photo Ngoc Ha

by Minh Chau-Anh Tuyet

Nguyen Tang Cuong, director of the Quang Trung Mechanical Enterprise in the northern province of Ninh Binh, is not a scientist by trade, but his passion for mechanical engineering and subsequent inventions have won him a Ho Chi Minh Award.

The awards, granted every five years, are the most prestigious in Viet Nam, and honour scientists whose work has made valuable contributions to society, socio-economic development, national security and defence.

The 52-year-old director won the award for constructing a bridge crane that could successfully elevate and lower 1,200-tonne rotor turbines into the Son La Hydro power Plant, contributing to the early completion of the biggest hydropower plant in Southeast Asia.

"People used to think some of my ideas and initiatives, including the "super crane", were crazy and unrealisable because my technical training was limited," he said.

However, it seems that his passion for machinery and natural ability were inherited from his parents who were skilled mechanics and from his grandfather who was an artillery engineer for the Viet Minh resistance forces against the French.

It was also this "craziness" that contributed to his success as well as his company's achievements.

"Returning from military service, I worked for a thermal power plant in his hometown," he said, adding that the low-paying job was not enough to support his family.

He started to run a very moderate stall where he fixed bikes and motorbikes along the roadside to supplement his income.

"In the 1980s, if I'd had enough money to apply for overseas work, I would not have become a mechanic," he said, adding that the first time he fixed a motorbike, he spent hours taking it apart, and still couldn't find anything wrong with it.

"Eventually, I found that there was a problem with the cylinder head, it needed replacing," he said, saying that it was a common problem in second-hand motorbikes at that time.

"That gave me the idea of making cylinder heads to sell," he said. "My first batch was cheap and well made and received reviews beyond my expectations."

In 1989, Cuong established a workshop of his own, employing about ten workers. Business was prosperous and it wasn't long before he opened the Quang Trung Mechanical Enterprise factory in 1992.

"In the 1990s, it was difficult for an unknown factory like mine to gain consumer trust, even though we could refine over 100 types of special-use steel," he said.

People were not only in doubt about his factory's capacity, but it was also rumoured that they bought the steel and then rebranded the products with his company's name.

When they introduced a heat-resistant steel panel used to hold clinker after the clinker is heated to thousands of degree Celsius, cement factories still hesitated, regardless of an application that could help save tens of billions of dong.

In another case, Cuong's factory came up with the goods again, successfully producing a pipeline to carry acid at the Lam Thao Chemical Factory. At that time, many domestic research institutions were finding it hard to produce such products.

From 1990 to 1995, Cuong said he spent most of his money buying broken or second-hand cranes to study, seeing that all the cranes used in Viet Nam were imported and there were no domestic manufacturers.

Mechanics, engineers and workers at his factory from the top down started studying, inventing and improving their cranes.

In 2003, the factory introduced an 80 tonne crane foundation.

In 2005, they won a contract with the Nam Trieu Shipbuilding Factory to provide cranes with loads ranging from 30 to 100 tonnes. The most highlighted achievement of the factory was the provision of bridge cranes to lift the 1,200 tonne rotor turbines into the Son La Hydropower Plant.

The highlight feature of these bridge cranes is that product quality and design is assessed directly during the manufacturing process which helps users take the initiative in controlling spare parts in case parts break down.

By presenting the Ho Chi Minh Award to director Cuong and his enterprises, the Vietnamese State recognised his contribution to the success of the power plant project.

Cuong said that the determination, innovation and concerted efforts of all his staff had contributed to the triumph.

"When I first said we could make the cranes here, I didn't receive much support from relevant parties and agencies who still wanted to import the machinery," he said.

By applying hundreds of fresh initiatives, the factory is able to produce 90 per cent of the products used in-house for half the cost in Western countries or 60-70 per cent of Chinese products.

Cuong said that his dream was to continue producing high-quality machinery which was key for the country to develop industry and reduce import value.

He has now set off on another adventure to pursue the idea of generating electricity from waves. He has already spent nearly VND100 billion on the project, but still believes it will succeed. — VNS

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