Everyday work of a university-plant: supermachine installed

“A university without a plant will educate unneeded specialists. Whereas a plant without a university will be unable to develop,” said Igor Yaminsky, director general of Advanced Technology Centre scientific production company in an interview for STRF.ru. And he acted up to his words. Our reporters recently visited Soyuz plant where the company had rented some workshops, and witnessed the installation of a new cutting-edge machine.

 

New machine arrives to the workshop

 

The plant was established nearly 70 years ago and used to be pride and joy of domestic defence industry; its current state is rather pitiful. Some workshops were converted into warehouses. A part of unique production equipment was got rid of as it was not required. The machines that were thrown away included the legendary metal-working machine that served its purpose for over a century, since 1896, and could still be working. But alas, everything was determined as in the Ballad of Narayama. As for the people… They are in no hurry to leave the plant, they are waiting. The equipment that could be saved from the non-thoughtful managers of that “reconstruction” era, was saved. Igor Yaminsky noted once that “The steps stemming from the bottom lead so some, even if not so significant, success.”

 

 The adjacent equipment — an American drilling machine and a mill (right) used to be state-of-the-art in their own time. They work here at the plant for nearly 70 years

 

Today, is a joyful day at the plant, as the new electric erosion machine was delivered — a gigantic piece of equipment weighing four tons, that was built using the latest developments of Japanese technology. This high-precision machine allows to work with a huge chunk of metal. Among its basic characteristics is an ability to cut metal up to 250 mm wide and weighing up to 0.5 ton with the accuracy of 4 micron.

Working part of the electric erosion machine

 

According to the company manager, a former electronics engineer who accompanied the equipment delivery, the concept on which the equipment operation is based was discovered in Russia in the 1940s. So today we see a comeback of a Russian invention in the form of a Japanese machine.

The workers who stayed at the plant came to help unload and install the machine; they were busily hooking it to the lifting crane and attaching bearings to the machine platform in order to move it. The oldest worker was in command of the process doing it calmly and unhurriedly: “Listen to me.” There were women who dressed up for the important event. How did they find out about the installation of the new equipment? There was the atmosphere of calm joy that these people managed to convey to us as well.

Advanced Technology Centre scientific production company rented the workshops at the plant just several months ago. Some of the rooms were renovated during this time, the floor for the new machine was prepared and the equipment was installed. It is important now to train young specialists and launch production while retaining old specialists and their priceless experience. Nano-analytics appliances — scanning probe microscopes, biosensors — are planned for production. One of the floors will soon host a training centre. New Advanced Technology Centre specialists will complete a training program developed jointly by Moscow State University and leading equipment manufacturers. The complete name of the program sounds as follows: “Advance Professional Retraining to Produce Measuring-Analytical Equipment for Nanotechnologies for Materials Science, Biology, and Medicine.”

 

Electric current is fed to the wire, a spark emerges between the wire and the metal form. This spark then cut metal

 

 

Interviewed by Larisa Aksenova, published by The Russian Nanotechnologies journal

 

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