Across China: Machine maker sets sail for global market

Source: Xinhua| 2019-09-23 10:04:52|Editor: mingmei
Video PlayerClose

ZHENGZHOU, Sept. 23 (Xinhua) -- Zhengzhou Coal Mining Machinery (Group) Co., Ltd., the world's largest powered roof support manufacturer based in central China's Henan Province, has made significant strides in breaking into the global market.

With an annual production capacity of 30,000 units of powered roof supports with a working resistance in the range of 160-2,600 tonnes, it is China's only coal mining machinery industry company listed on both the Shanghai and Hong Kong stock exchanges.

Also known as ZMJ, the company once set a milestone in its 50 years of history to make China's first powered roof support, yet was on the verge of bankruptcy in the late 1990s amidst a long-term slump of the coal industry.

"With a debt-to-asset ratio as high as 117 percent, the company had suffered sustained loss for nine years in a row and was operating at half its production capacity at that time," said Jiao Chengyao, chairman of the Henan-based group.

The huge brain drain of technical personnel and skilled workers made the situation even worse and undermined efficiency, Jiao added. Reform was imminent.

A slew of "surgical reforms" related to its personnel system were then carried out in ZMJ, including a new salary system that rewarded workers who contributed more. Those who were incapable or could not do a good job were removed from leadership.

The reform brought internal motivation to ZMJ. The company witnessed a revival through vigorous technological innovation and has gained more room for growth with its unremitting efforts to explore the global market.

In 2016, ZMJ exported a set of powered roof supports to the United States, which marked a breakthrough for China-made coal mining equipment in the U.S. market. ZMJ also sells its products to Russia, Australia, India, Turkey and other countries.

Since global energy restructuring has placed a ceiling on the coal industry, ZMJ began to diversify into auto parts production.

By absorbing the starter motors generators subsidiary of Bosch Group, ZMJ operated under the new name of "a Chinese automotive supplier" and has become an international manufacturer of high-end auto components and a leader in the domestic motor market, Jiao noted.

ZMJ ranked 18th on last year's top 100 list of China's machinery companies. It reported a robust net profit of 731 million yuan (about 103 million U.S. dollars) in the first half of 2019, up more than 60 percent year on year.

"As ZMJ pushes for innovation-driven upgrading, we are becoming smart, going global, and moving up the industrial chain," Jiao said.