Craftsmen of the Nation Series: Pan Yuhua, an expert in fine soldering

Chinese Culture

China showcased its next generation Airborne Early Warning aircraft during the massive parade this September, commemorating the 70th anniversary of the end of World War Two. Big and magnificent as it is, the plane started very small, with every little piece of it made by deft hands of the nation’s most important, but unknown skilled workers.

Pan Yuhua, a technician at China Electronics Technology Group Corporation, is one of them. Since 2009, her institute has been developing the new generation of Beidou satellites. Her daily job was to solder exactly 1,144 contact sockets and lead cylinders into a coin-sized electronic board.

Pan recalls that one day they found a glitch in a component, but couldn’t locate which of the contact sockets had a problem. She was asked to detach them all, find the broken one and then solder the others back, which took her over four hours.

“Normally I solder dozens or hundreds at most. But that day, I had to solder over one thousand sockets. It was a challenge for me. I didn’t know if I could do it,” said Pan.
After 20 years in the job, Pan can take things easy, yet she continues to strive to perfect her skills.

“She asked me if there were more difficult boards for her to work on. I was moved. I admire her for trying to learn more when she’s already so good at it,” said Chen Liang, one of Pan’s colleagues.

Due to Pan’s diligence and virtuosity, she was assigned to repair the function module of military planes, and that’s when she felt the true weight of her responsibilities.

“I feel very proud when I see people are actually using and controlling the things that I made. I have to be stricter with myself because the safety of those soldiers is in our hands,” she said.