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Any road to light is not straight. The same is true for the machine tool industry
On April 16, ZTE was banned from selling components in the United States, and the lock-up period lasted for 7 years. After the U.S. Department of Commerce’s activation of ZTE’s refusal order, ZTE stated in its internal letter that any path leading to a bright future is not straightforward, and the company’s internationalization journey is also accompanied by twists and turns.
Indeed, if there are no hardships and bumps along the way, what can be celebrated for success?
Looking back at China's machine tool industry, from scratch, from poverty to innovation to independent innovation, along the way is also full of thorns and bumps.
Although we are still not a powerful machine tool until today, we have been working hard on the road to a powerful machine tool country.
Any path leading to light is not straight, and so is the machine tool industry.
The machine tool, also known as the mother of industry, manufactures machines. The upper reaches of the machine tool industry include steel and foundry industries, while the downstream affects automobiles, railways, wind power, nuclear power, shipbuilding, air transport, and military industries that are related to national defense. It deeply affects all industries in our country and affects every corner of our lives.
If manufacturing industry is the foundation and lifeblood of the country, then machine tools are the most important thing in the manufacturing industry. Without a machine tool, there would be no high-speed train with electricity; without a machine tool, there would be no fighter jets that hit the sky; if there were no machine tools, there would be no aircraft carrier that traveled far and wide.
But all along, our country's machine tool industry has taken a very difficult road.
Our country’s industry started late and its technology lags behind, and it is almost a poor and white situation. Machine tools are also among them.
At that time, the new China was just established and the country attached great importance to the machine tool technology. However, at the time, China had no experience or technology, and nobody knew how to make a machine tool. Under such circumstances, Tsinghua University and Beiyi Machine Tool Factory cooperated to overcome various problems. It was in 1958 that China's first CNC machine tool was created and it was built in the same year as Japan's first CNC machine tool.
In the 1960s, foreign developed countries imposed a technical blockade on China, and the Soviet Union also stopped providing assistance to China. The machine tool industry has almost no way of external exchanges. By relying on self-reliance, China's machine tool industry has developed 18 key enterprises. , that is, the later machine tool industry 18 Arhat.
The 18 companies silently supported the development of the entire equipment manufacturing industry and even the industry at that time. By the end of 1965, there were 26 types of high-precision precision machine tools that had been mastered by the 18 Arhats.
After the reform and opening up, advanced technology and machine tools flowed into China, subject to the impact of foreign technology, the original backward machine tool technology can no longer meet production needs. Due to various personnel, complicated institutions, brain drain, and misaligned production and sales, 18 companies have experienced bankruptcy, mergers, and restructuring. Some of them have launched a historical stage. Foreign-funded enterprises set up factories in China, and privately-owned machine tool companies also formally entered the market.