Has Russia’s industrial system really gone up in smoke?

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Source: Zhihu Author: Tianxing both ends

I can’t watch it anymore. After watching it for a long time, no one said anything specific. Where is the industrial system so simple.

I have worked in metallurgy for more than ten years, and I have worked on a lot of overseas projects. Our company has done a lot of metallurgical projects in Russia, most of which are EP or EPC.

First, let’s start with the design.

The Soviet era design institute system, which is very similar to China, has long disappeared. Our non-standard design drawings and factory design drawings need to be reviewed by the owner first.

Starting from the basic design review, they will invite some so-called experts in Russia to review all our drawings and put forward their opinions. The frequent problem is that their so-called experts do not believe our technical parameters at all, nor do they believe our equipment performance, especially the technical parameters.

Take a simple example.

It is common in China that belt conveyors are more than 100 meters long, but they have not seen them in Russia. Moreover, their technical route and design standards are very chaotic, and they feel that they have returned to the relationship of learning from others.

China’s national standard system is very sound. At least the drawings produced by the design institute are well documented. Although there are differences among the five hooligans, the framework and computing are the same.

As a result, it is not the same thing in Russia. What each so-called professional said is different from the old nose.


Because there are too few projects that they can design in their own country,

Many of the things they said have fallen behind the times.

Some people engaged in electrical automation are still stuck in the era of building relay operators. They are very tired when transforming our design, especially the civil engineering specialty. Even so, the Russians always look down on us.

I remember once, I told a Russian friend that “the annual output of the project I have worked on now is 40million tons”. He looked suspicious and thought it impossible. I said it was nothing strange. I have done too much for converters with a capacity of more than 120 tons and blast furnaces with a capacity of more than 1580 tons. I have also made several sintering lines with a capacity of more than 450 tons. I said that he has never seen the 300 tons of converters I have worked on.

Next, let’s talk about equipment.

Large blowers, motors, including a lot of non-standard machined castings, they can’t do it.

For EPC project, we certainly hope to purchase and supply locally, so that cost management, freight management, time management, customs card neck, after-sales maintenance and other aspects are cost-effective. However, we are very disappointed after the investigation of several projects.

In addition to the basic concrete, steel structures and cables, the equipment available in Russia is very limited. Many construction materials, non-standard parts, miniature circuit breakers and other equipment supplemented locally during the project implementation are mostly from China, and the price is higher than that in China.

Large equipment can only be transported by land from Central Asia to Eastern Europe. The cost is very, very high, but there is no way to buy it in Russia. Anyway, the comrades who have done projects in Russia have the same reaction: they originally thought that Russia was not so bad, but they didn’t expect it to be so bad.

During the implementation of the project, the Russians did not know when they began to develop the problem of spending when they had money. At first, the wages for workers were monthly, but later they could not change it to half a month. The work efficiency was still low.

We have several Russian engineers who are good at English as translators. The RMB was less than 3000 a month, and the exchange rate with the ruble was about 1:10 at that time.

More to say, the local Russian prices are not high, especially the food prices are really cheap, but it is all a problem, “candy is sweet”. In addition, the shoes in many sports brand stores are also very cheap, sometimes more than half cheaper than that in China, although they are all made in China.

Russia is relatively good and reliable in our overseas projects, and Turkey is also good. What else is worse is Algeria, Iran, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia and Ukraine. Even steel structure cement should be made in complete sets from China!

So I am popularizing a question: what is the industrial system?


The industrial system does not mean that you can produce aircraft carrier decks, that your steel output is tens of millions of tons, or that you have factories.

The industrial system is a country’s comprehensive supporting capacity around the whole process of industrial production with industry as the core. It has many aspects, such as industrial scale and division system, system design, standard management, organizational capacity, social division of labor, education system, scientific research system, etc. it is a ring by ring, a relationship of decomposition and progression at all levels, and a national capacity.

Let me put it this way. If you are really unfamiliar with the metallurgical industry, I will say one you are familiar with – the chip industry.

Lithography machines, etching machines, etc. are all production equipment. The production process starts from fine rounding to chips. TSMC does produce a lot, but it does not produce these production equipment. The production equipment is purchased globally, and the production standards and design standards are those of upstream order enterprises.

TSMC is an OEM. Of course, it also has chip design capabilities, but this is indeed a global division of labor.

In the chip industry, if it is country to country, China has the most comprehensive system in the world. We can produce chip design and production equipment from the beginning to the end of the chip industry.

It’s just that some of our production equipment, such as the lithography machine, is not technically advanced. Of course, it’s actually much more complicated than I said, to the effect.

In addition, a considerable number of electromechanical equipment are not used solely for a certain industry, but are universal, such as motors, fans, electrical equipment, instrument equipment, etc.

Even if it is a complete set of equipment that the metallurgical industry does not require too much, let alone other industries, this is a set of links, which can continue to expand.

China is indeed not technologically advanced in quite a number of areas of the manufacturing industry, and it is also controlled by others in some places, I admit.

However, China has this system and the ability to counterattack. It has the ability that I have first, which is not very good, but can continuously improve by relying on the advantages of the domestic market and system. This is the foundation of the so-called developed countries’ crushers.

You have nothing, can you make a lithography machine out of thin air? Can you make a shield machine without the accumulation of mechanical and electronic materials? If Russia doesn’t give you access to the blocking lock technology, we also developed it ourselves. Without this system, can you let India do it by itself?

Domestic substitution has been going on all the time. We are all too slow. It is best to achieve it in one step, but that is impossible. 20 years ago, industries such as automobile, home appliances and mobile phones imported key components, saved them by themselves, and gradually began to localize some parts. This is a process. The red supply chain of Apple mobile phones has been expanding.

So is our metallurgical industry.


When I first entered the industry, lf\rh and even slab casters were imported in complete sets. We can only slowly digest, copy and learn. Now the main processes in the domestic metallurgical industry are almost localized. Now the PLC system is more dependent on Siemens, but in fact it is not impossible at home. DCs has already done well.

China, which has the largest industrial system, is still the case, not to mention those who have already fallen behind.

The annual output of your steel plant is 5million tons, but the design, equipment supply, construction organization, cold test, hot test, automatic commissioning and turnkey commissioning of this steel plant can not be completed in your own country. You are particularly short of items, or the main parts and main equipment need to be obtained by foreign countries.

Do you think the systematicness and radiation of the 5million ton steel plant and the upstream and downstream supply chain relationship can be compared with that of China’s steel plants? Moreover, China’s annual output is 1billion tons.

It’s not just Russia that can’t do it. China is the only country in the world that can do almost all these things in one country.

So, of course, we can build a 5million ton steel plant with a long process and put it into operation in less than 2 years. Just look abroad. It is impossible not to give you 5-6 years!

China’s strong point is that it has a strong system. I can play with you whatever you play. There is almost nothing missing. Let alone the level, I have this huge, complex and comprehensive system. Only in this way can I stay at the card table, challenge the board, and quickly organize and develop all kinds of things that we didn’t have.

So why do I object to what many people say, don’t go to India to build infrastructure, don’t go to India to invest in factories, and prevent India from reverse engineering and industry.

I just laughed. This is a bunch of people who don’t understand the industrial system and haven’t been to the factory. If India had a strong system, it would have been strong. In those days, don’t think that the Soviet Union only helped China. He also gave systematic help to India. What was the result?

Our competitor is not India, but the West.

If the West gets a big order in India, they will make a profit. Their follow-up R & D and follow-up market will be larger than yours, and their technology upgrading will be faster than yours. This is the handicraft industry or secret recipe thinking in the agricultural era. After all, it is a market with 100million people.

In addition, many people don’t know the principles of the aiib. Even if India gets the investment from the aiib, it is conditional. It should give priority to buying equipment from China, a treaty country!

India is not China. There is no need to worry that India will surpass China one day. Russia and the west do not lag behind in selling India’s weapons, and India will do it? Jokes. A few days ago, China and India withdrew their troops. Isn’t it that India has begun to approve Chinese investment again?

In addition, the metallurgy we do in Russia is, of course, the export of industrial technology. Why didn’t anyone jump out and object? The news effect is really harmful. In your eyes, Russia’s industrial system is still developed. Aren’t you afraid? Afraid of India? I am not afraid of him copying Russia.

Finally, Russia is not without merit.

They can produce the best nuclear submarines, mass spectrometers and special materials, but they are eating the old Soviet base. If it is as good as you say, how can we not build a warship of more than 5000 tons? Why can’t the warehouse number be repaired?

The most important thing for industrialization is the stability of the country, especially the stability of the market, the stability of Finance and the continuity of policies.

Look at the fluctuation of the Russian Ruble (we have been doing projects there for several years, and many people have made money by pointing to the change of the ruble exchange rate). The high loan interest rate is frightening. International competition does not have the ability to produce industrial products, so we can only make a fuss about arms and resources! Military fans can see the variety and quantity of weapons we have bought from Russia in the past 10 years.

Finally, I would like to stress that the industrial system is not so simple and easy.

Living in China, we are used to everything around us, to the stability of the country, to economic growth, to the development of our industry, to “the mask machine can be transformed in a few days”, to “the second place in the world is humiliation”, “the lithography machine is not advanced but not good”, “the global output value of the ball point pen in the first year is hundreds of millions, and I must do it”, and to “China’s independent mass production is definitely not advanced”.

But it is not the case abroad. In a country like Russia, you must first understand that it is not the Soviet Union! He is not a qualified industrial country. He is not a country that can make everything.

At a deeper level, even if you have industries and factories, your products need to be sold. You don’t have a stable international and domestic market. How can you develop and build them?

To tell the truth, if many countries in the world do not buy Russian military products, can they afford that little economic strength? Su 57 whose money is it? If you can’t sell your stuff, you won’t have the funds to return, and you won’t have the ability to continue research and development. Of course, you will gradually be unable to build anything. Even if you have it, it is backward!

How can your market scale support the industrial scale and industrial enterprises to compete with others? Russia’s GDP is about the same as that of Guangdong. It’s very simple. Tencent and Huawei are Guangdong enterprises. What will happen if they only have the Guangdong market?

China’s industrialization is both an angel and a devil to many Third World countries of these semi industrialized countries.


It is an angel because we have provided these third world countries with cheap industrial products,

So that they can also live an entry-level modern life. In the past, they and the West exchanged 10 tons of ore for a mobile phone. Now they can buy it from China with 1 ton. It is still three cards and three waiting.

It’s the devil because our scale is too large. The industrial system with high, middle and low levels has crushed them, making their own industrialization difficult

Why don’t you exchange ore with us.

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