E-Mail Newsletter

             Issued by the Asian TOP Panel, November 2004

           The Chinese Mechanical Engineering Society (CMES)
           The Institution of Engineers, Indonesia (PII)
           The Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers (JSME)
           The Korean Society of Mechanical Engineers (KSME)


 According to the agreement made in the 2nd Asian TOP Panel Meeting,
the ENGINEERING NEWS IN BRIEF (E-mail newsletter) has now been edited
by the KSME for the year 2004.


(1) China builds giant container ship (Source: CMES)
(2) Shanghai's foreign trade registered 40 percent increase (Source: CMES)
(3) China's total imports to exceed US$1.5 trillion in 3 years (Source: CMES)
(4) China creates multi-satellite control system (Source: CMES)
(5) First home-made 600MW supercritical coal-fired unit put into production (Source: CMES)
(6) Three 200-year-old fire engines found in Guangdong (Source: JSME)
(7) Unique tools, Fiber grinding tool and Fiber deburring tool (Source : JSME)
(8) A human robot interactive system ^RoJi ̄ (Source : KSME)


(1) China builds giant container ship (Source: CMES)

China's largest container ship capable of carrying 8,530 TEUs is expected to be launched in three years, according to the Shanghai-based Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding (Group) Co., Ltd., which is working on it.
The 90,500-ton container ship is 334 meters long and 42.8 meters wide and can sail at a maximum speed of 27 knots.
"This king-size ship will be the best-equipped container ship in China and up to the world's advanced level," said a Chinese expert.
Hudong-Zhonghua will build four or five container ships of this size for the China Shipping Group, according to an agreement signed here Monday.
Building of these gigantic container ships will be completed in October 2008. The first one is expected to leave Shanghai for its maiden overseas voyage in 2007, company officials said.
A 8,500-TEU container ship, manufactured in the Republic of Korea, is believed the largest one in the world currently.


(2) Shanghai's foreign trade registered 40 percent increase (Source: CMES)

Shanghai recorded nearly 230 billion US dollars in foreign trade in the first 10 months of this year, a year-on-year growth of 41.4 percent. The trade volume has already exceeded the total foreign trade volume of entire 2003, according to local customs sources. Of the total trade volume, import came to 99.7 billion dollars and export was
130 billion dollars, up 40.3 percent and 42.2 percent respectively.
The import and export value of foreign-funded businesses handled by Shanghai Port totaled 142.9 billion dollars, a rise of 52 percent.
The city's private companies registered the fastest growth of all sectors, which hit 28 billion dollars, up 68.9 percent year-on-year, while the state-owned companies gained 58.7 billion dollars in foreign trade, a year-on-year increase of 13.5 percent.
The European Union, Japan and the United States remained Shanghai's top three trade partners, accounting for 55.6 percent of the total foreign trade volume, the customs sources said.
Electrical and mechanical products made up the largest percentage of exports, with 52.7 billion dollars, up 62.1 percent over the same period of last year. The export of textile, garment,furniture, shoes and plastic products also reported increases in various extent.


(3) China's total imports to exceed US$1.5 trillion in 3 years (Source: CMES)

The total worth of China's imports is expected to exceed 1.5 trillion US dollars from 2004 to2006, said Deng Zhan, an official with the Ministry Commerce Tuesday.
China's imports have realized fast growth for the three consecutive years since 2001 and the scale of absorbing foreign investment has been further enlarged, said Wang Zhan at China Mining 2004 symposium that opened here Tuesday.
The imports volume of China reached 412.8 billion US dollars in 2003, making it the third largest importer in the world. Besides, China absorbed 53.5 billion foreign direct investment (FDI) last year, making it first in the world in FDI.
In the first nine months this year, China's imports have exceeded 412.3 billion US dollars, up 38.2 percent over the same period last year. The number of foreign investment enterprises newly registered in the period rose 9.2 percent year-on-year to 32,200, with actual foreign investment of 48.69 billion US dollars, up 21 percent.
This year, China's imports are expected to exceed 500 billionUS dollars and China would absorb foreign investment of more than 62 billion US dollars, said Wang.
The rapid growth in per capita income among the Chinese, one-fifth of the world population, has created huge purchasing power.
From 2001 to 2003, China imported commodities worth about one trillion US dollars with an average annual increase of 22.4 percent, said Wang.
He said that it was estimated that by 2020 China's gross domestic products (GDP) would reach four trillion US dollars and the total worth of its domestic retailing of consumer goods would reach 2.4 trillion US dollars.
By then, the China's annual imports would reach about one trillion US dollars and China would become the second largest market in the world, Wang said.


(4) China creates multi-satellite control system (Source: CMES)

China has created its own multi-satellite automatic control system, marking the transformation of its satellite supervision management, China Radio International reported Wednesday. According to national space development plan the number of China's satellites in orbit will be increase every year. The traditional manual supervision mode on the ground will no longer effectively handle the multi-satellite management.
The new system is expected to improve the management efficiency and identify and fix common technical defects while the satellite is orbiting.
China has launched 45 satellites by early November.


(5) First home-made 600MW supercritical coal-fired unit put into production (Source: CMES)

At 1:17am November 23 China's first home-made 600MW supercritical coal-fired unit - No.1 unit of Huaneng Qinbei Power Plant was officially put into production after passing the 168-hour test operation. It indicates that manufacturing of power station equipment and infrastructure of electricity industry in China has advanced to a new
As learned the 600MW supercritical coal-fired unit is one of the nine key production-localization projects laid out by the State Council for the "ninth five year". The objective is to reach a localization rate of 70 percent for the production of supercritical coal-fired units and a coal consumption rate of 300 gram/kilowatt-hour, through the supporting projects and after the manufacture and construction of two 600MW supercritical coal-fired units.
Li Xiaopeng, general manager of China Huaneng Group, said the successful operation of No.1 unit of Huaneng Qinbei Power Plant is of great significance for raising China's production localization level of key equipment and the adjustment and optimization of electric power structure.


(6) Three 200-year-old fire engines found in Guangdong (Source : JSME)

Three 200-year-old fire engines have been discovered in Foshan City of south China's Guangdong Province, a local official said on Saturday.
The three non-automation engines were found in Longjiang, a town in Shunde District of Foshan, and currently kept in a local museum. It is rare for one locality to home three similar engines dated back to the imperial Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), said Liang Jinde, director of the Shunde District Cultural Museum.
The fire engines were made of iron, red wood and bronze in 1806.The largest one is 1.6 meters in length and weighs 500 kilograms.
Longjiang used to be known for its firework-manufacturing industry in the Qing Dynasty. In order to fight fire, local residents pooled their money to purchase the three engines from Guangzhou, now the capital of Guangdong Province, and used them for more than 100 years, according to Zhang Yequan, a 80-year-old local resident.
The water streams sprayed from the engine can reach about ten meters, said Zhang, who helped to find the three ancient fire engines.


(6) Development of C60 molecular bearings (Source : JSME)


We have developed C60 molecular bearings, an ultralubricated system which confines a C60 monolayer between graphite plates. C60 molecules act as molecular bearings, assisted by the nanogears of six-membered carbon rings between C60 molecules and graphite, where dynamical frictional forces are zero up to a high load of 100 nN.
A step rotation model of C60 molecules is proposed based on the concept of single-molecular bearing. This graphite/C60/graphite system, the smallest bearing in the world, is the first proposal as an artificial nanomachine using fullerene.
This ultralubricated system , very promising for the realization of nano- and micromachines, is expected to open a new research field of molecular bearings, and have a potential for more essential application for nanoengine.


(7) Unique tools, Fiber grinding tool and Fiber deburring tool (Source : JSME)


A unique grinding tool has been developed. Fibers are used as abrasives. In this tool, long alumina fibers of 10-50nm in diameter are densely bonded in parallel by thermosetting resin. The end of the bar or rod of the bonded fibers is used as a grinding surface where reciprocating and rotating motions are applied to the surfaces
respectively in the grinding process. This tool is preferably used in the grinding of die top surfaces.
A deburring tool has also been developed. It is made of a brush composed of thin rods of bonded fibers. These rods are 0.2-1mm in diameter and 100-200mm in length. As the top of the brush exercises an abrasive action, it is used as a deburring tool. This tool can be applied to the micro-deburring process without roll-off.


(8) A human robot interactive system ^RoJi ̄ (Source : KSME)

Professor Joongsun Yoon of Pusan National University recently reported in KSME International Journal (Vol. 18, no.11) that he developed a human robot interactive system ^ RoJi ̄. Based on interactive technology, a robotic cane, ^RoJi, ̄ is proposed for blind or visually impaired travelers to navigate safely and quickly among obstacles
and other hazards faced by blind pedestrians. Unique features of the robotic cane include an active sensing unit,
antennas for contact sensing , powered wheels, and a customized-off-the-shelf (COTS) design.
The ultrasonic sensor in thus active sensing unit can detect the obstacles to find the safe paths efficiently by scanning the area ahead by a RC motor. It can reduce the missing areas caused by the narrow coverage due to the fixed sensor arrangement. Additional antennas for contact sensing effectively compensate mid-range and/or long-distance sensing. Antennas are especially suitable for the blind user¨s superb tactile information processing capabilities.


Editor : Professor Mansoo Choi of Seoul National University,
           Director of General Affairs, KSME

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