Outstanding Employees
"Colorful" maintenance workers
Source: China National Tire&Rubber Corporation Date: 2011-11-01

They're a special group of front-line workers at Aeolus, on Mixing Plant No 2's internal mixer line, down there in the dark, wet and stuffy trenches, or up on the towering carbon black storage tanks, in narrow and closed mixing chambers in the "battle" for rush repairs and overhauls. Their colors change with the different work environments and work processes and they seem to be "chameleons" adapting to the environment and integrating with different maintenance sites. They are in fact the tireless, hardworking, "colorful" maintenance workers of the Aeolus Tyre Manufacturing Department's Mixing Plant No2.

Mixing is the first step in tire production and, to ensure quality, light yellow sulfur, ink-black carbon black, white scorch retardants, and various additives are "kneaded" into the rubber compound with an internal mixer.

A sulfur sieve screens the sulfur, in a way that's similar to putting on makeup. The workers enter the sulfur sieve chamber as neat, clean figures, and the tense maintenance work begins. As they disassemble the sulfur sieves, the sulfur dust inside is exposed and the faces and bodies of the maintenance workers and the tools in their hands are all covered with layers of yellow sulfur powder, making them look like a flock of bees busy among some "yellow flowers".

To reduce the fumes and dust generated by the raw materials, there are many air-draft dust collectors installed in the workshop. These dust collectors filters out the fumes generated during the rubber compound processing and the dust generated during the adding of carbon black. After that they expel the fumes and dust with a high-powered draft fan. The examination and maintenance of the filter bags and dges inside the pulse dust removers is an important part of guaranteeing the health of employees and the air quality. Maintaining the filter bags and cartridge involves a process of putting on heavy makeup for the maintenance workers. The filter bags are densely arrayed inside the dust collectors and are supported by filter cartridges which look like a small array of luxurious wood. Every filter bag is covered with carbon black and dust and the maintenance workers wear cloth headgear and dust masks, and fasten their cuffs and trouser legs, and move agilely into the pitch-black dust collector area. The filter bags and cartridges for repair or replacement are passed out by hand, one by one. The workers outside the dust collectors quickly repair or replace the filter bags and cartridges and then hand them back to the dust removers. By now, the maintenance workers are shrouded in dark carbon and black dusty fog. Their jumpers, headgear, and shoes are blackened, the faces behind their masks are also black, and even their eyelashes are covered with a layer of carbon black. The senses become blurred and a third person can only figure out their identities from their shape and their voices. If they're viewed from afar, they appear to be a group of theatrical performers or mime artists waving props around busily in the black maintenance site. After the maintenance work is completed, the dust on their eyelids cannot be removed, even after a few days. They remain like actors, partially made-up and with a touch of "eye shadow".

The overhaul work on the mainframe internal mixer is a really big job for the maintenance workers. In a narrow, damp, stuffy space, they have to remove various large bolts and covers with special repair tools and meters in their hands without a moment's pause. Sweat soaks their jumpers and turns the yellowish-brown cloth into a black brown. Inevitably oil mixes with the sweat soaked jumpers and oil stains can be seen all over their faces. These changes make "special forces" troops, wearing "camouflage clothing" and grease-paint on their faces. Indeed, they're fighting a hard "battle" down there in the internal mixer mainframe.

These maintenance workers in Mixing Plant No 2 truly are a special group. In spite of wind or rain, a scorching summer or cold winter, in the mid of night or in the early morning, on festival day or normal times, if the equipment breaks down, they'll rush to the site and "fight" against failure without hesitation. The nature and environment of their work determines how "colorful" it is. In the long-term, the maintenance work leaves their jumpers dotted with indelible oil spots, which bear witness to their diligence and testify to their dedication. These are their ID cards and the real portrait of their fearless, dirty, hard work and their willingness to fight and make a contribution.  (Aeolus  Du Yankai)

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