Steel-smelting System of the Showa Iron & Steel Works in the Late 1940 s
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The Showa Iron & Steel Works (the Anshan Iron & Steel Co. after the war) lost over 60% of its steel-smelting facility when the Red Army (The Soviet Army) confiscated the equipment of the company. One of its two steel-smelting factories was completely destroyed. The production capacity fell down from 1,330,000 tons / year to 500,000 tons / year. The AISC, however, recovered its maximum pre-war level in 1952-53. The output of steel ingot was 843,000 in 1943, 770,000 in 1952, and 976,000 in 1953. This paper aims to examine the reason why the operation of the company recovered so quickly in spite of its serious war damage. The factors which enabled the company to rebuild its production were as follows: (1) the remaining equipment of the first steel-smelting factory; (2) highly educated and well trained Japanese engineers; (3) documents of SISW concerning the operation of its equipment; (4) flexible leadership of the AISC; (5) strong motivation of Chinese engineers and Chinese workers. Technical knowledge and experience were quite important for the AISC, especially when it started its operation. Some parts ofthe first steel-smelting factory was much improved by the Chinese engineers, using the then existing documents of SISW. A conversion of preliminary smelting furnaces to open hearth furnaces was the most successful example. Chinese engineers bravely tried an un-experienced method in the face of Japanese engineers' warning, considering the new circumstances for steel production. Unbelievable hard work of Chinese engineers and workers sustained those process. All of these factors were necessary to accomplish the rapid reconstruction of the company.
The Economic Association of Okayama University
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