How can Shanxi’s small county achieve the world’s first place in iron making business?

At the end of 2022, a film called "County Party Committee Courtyard" caught people's attention, which was an important work presented to the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China. This TV drama tells the story of Hu Ge's portrayal of the Secretary of the Guangming County Party Committee and his colleagues uniting the people to build Guangming County.


Many viewers are curious, what is the prototype of Guangming County in the drama? The answer is Dingxiang County, Shanxi. The pillar industry of Guangming County in the drama is flange manufacturing, and Dingxiang County in Shanxi Province is known as the "hometown of flanges in China". How did this small county with a population of only 200000 achieve world number one?

A flange, derived from the transliteration of flange, also known as a flange, is an important accessory used for pipeline docking and connection in pipelines, pressure vessels, complete equipment, and other fields. It is widely used in power generation, shipbuilding, chemical industry, and other fields. Although it is just a component, it is crucial for the safe operation of the entire system and is an indispensable basic component in the world industrial field.

Dingxiang County, Shanxi is the largest flange production base in Asia and the world's largest flange export base. The forged steel flanges produced here account for over 30% of the national market share, while wind power flanges account for over 60% of the national market share. The annual export volume of forged steel flange accounts for 70% of the national total, and they are exported to more than 40 countries and regions both domestically and internationally. The flange industry has driven the rapid development of upstream and downstream supporting industries in Dingxiang County, with over 11400 market entities engaged in related industries such as processing, trade, sales, and transportation.

Data shows that from 1990 to 2000, nearly 70% of Dingxiang County's fiscal revenue came from the flange processing industry. Even today, the flange forging industry contributes 70% of tax revenue and GDP to the economy of Dingxiang County, as well as 90% of technological innovation and employment opportunities. It can be said that one industry can change a county town.

Dingxiang County is located in the northern central part of Shanxi Province. Although it is a resource rich province, it is not a mineral rich area. How did Dingxiang County enter the flange forging industry? This has to mention a special skill of the people of Dingxiang - forging iron.


"Forging iron" is a traditional craft of the people of Dingxiang, which can be traced back to the Han Dynasty. There is an old Chinese saying that there are three hardships in life, forging iron, pulling a boat, and grinding tofu. Forging iron is not only a physical task, but also a common practice of swinging a hammer hundreds of times a day. Moreover, due to being close to a charcoal fire, one has to endure the high temperature of grilling all year round. However, the people of Dingxiang made a name for themselves by being willing to endure hardships.

In the 1960s, people from Dingxiang who went out to explore relied on their old craftsmanship in forging to win back some forging and processing projects that others were unwilling to do. This is the flange. Flange is not eye-catching, but the profit is not small, far higher than shovel and hoe. In 1972, Shacun Agricultural Repair Factory in Dingxiang County first secured an order for a 4-centimeter flange from Wuhai Pump Factory, marking the beginning of the large-scale production of flanges in Dingxiang.

Since then, the flange forging industry has taken root in Dingxiang. Having skills, being able to endure hardship, and being willing to study, the flange forging industry in Dingxiang has rapidly expanded. Now, Dingxiang County has become the largest flange production base in Asia and the world's largest flange export base.

Dingxiang, Shanxi has achieved a magnificent transformation from a rural blacksmith to a national craftsman, from a worker to a leader. This once again reminds us that Chinese people who are willing to endure hardship can become rich without relying solely on hardship.

Post time: May-27-2024

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