Workshop helps bus technicians sharpen cutting-edge repair skills

Wu Ruofan
Jiushi Bus Group has established innovative training systems to help its mechanics keep high-tech vehicles on the road.
Wu Ruofan

Jiushi Bus Group has set up a unique training workshop to help its maintenance workers improve their skills and stay current with the latest technological advances.

The workshop was established back in 2018 by senior technician Qin Zhiqiang and several of his colleagues at Jiushi Group to cope with an aging fleet and to keep up-to-date with the new-energy vehicle (NEV) trend.

NEVs will account for about 80 percent of the city’s buses by the end of 2020, which means the application of more electronically controlled parts and greater challenges for workers to ensure maintenance quality.

Of the 1,700 buses in total at Jiushi's third company, 60 percent are NEVs. As many as 20 such buses per day could need repairs.

“The biggest challenge is that vehicles are updated very fast these days, which makes it harder for us repairman to keep up. We have to study to keep up with the trends,” said Song Qiyan, senior technician and co-founders of the workshop.

The workshop's fault-simulation system can simulate more than 90 percent of maintenance issues on Jiushi's electric buses. Workers can analyze problems on a panel which shows the circuits of each electric control component.

“This is a very thorough and practical guide for NEV vehicle maintenance,” said Qin. “It is also very good for learning. It’s connected with the workshop’s maintenance platform, which enables it to enter failures that frequently occur.”

Compared with traditional training methods, demonstrated or taught verbally by senior repairmen, the new workshop provides systematic learning steps and adequate experiences shared by veterans.

One of the conveniences of the workshop is that it can create simulated scenarios to teach students how to react to problems in a more direct way.

To get broken vehicles repaired is our ultimate goal. Repairing a car is like treating an ill patient. You need to find the right formula. It takes several decades of hard work to become a veteran at this. Therefore, for beginners, we’ve created this workshop to improve our training system.

Song Qiyan, senior technician and co-founders of the workshop

A theoretical guide was also written by senior technicians on the principles of pure electric vehicles and common repairs.

After several years of refinement, the maintenance system is now installed in a scaled-down bus, allowing maintenance workers to receive immersive training.

Since 2018, the maintenance team has been awarded for their skills by the company, with a breakdown rate of around four times every 10,000 kilometers. 

Apart from the workshop, Jiushi has also developed the first digital monitoring system in the city to help with maintenance and ensure bus safety.

It is able to conduct real-time monitoring of the location and malfunction information of each electric bus to achieve early prevention of accidents.

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