Monday, October 25, 2010

Millyon Sinim

A typical discussion in Israel about efficiency and getting projects done on time will sooner or later contain a comment about millyon Sinim, which translates, literally, as a million China-men. (I use China-men advisedly, not "Chinese"). The concept being that if we could apply millyon Sinim to the problem it would go away, or since we can't, it won't. You get the idea.

Well, it turns out that the concept is grounded in reality!
In May 2007, employees of the Chinese company CCECC arrived in Israel and unloaded their equipment at Haifa Port. The firm had been chosen to dig the Carmel Tunnels - one in each direction - which open next month. The director of the project, Haim Barak, and the main architect, Walter Wittke from Germany, were shocked. "Prof. Wittke said he couldn't believe his eyes; this was equipment they used in Europe 40 years ago," says Barak.
The Chinese equipment was mostly intended for manual labor - manual drills, small cement mixers and hand cement sprayers for covering walls - the exact opposite of the Europeans' computerized systems operated remotely. "Prof. Wittke didn't think they would be able to complete the job on time," says Barak. The Chinese finished the work on Israel's longest tunnel five months ahead of the deadline. 
Who knew?


Unknown said...

men works, machines don't?
is that why it's posted on 25/10?

NormanF said...

The Chinese are an intelligent and hard working people.

They know how to get quality work done at a reasonable cost.

Its why the world has out-sourced much of its production to China.

I'm impressed.

Anonymous said...

a lot of improvement in tools for construction crews has gone into job accident and labour caused sickness prevention -
I hope the Chinese equipment wasn't lacking there.

If let's sy a man is allowed to work on a roof without putting on first safety equipment he may be a lot faster than the one who works in a style minimizing potential costs to the social security net