When the German Raffloer Erbsich built the Rig Factory in the outskirts of Matanzas city in 1911, he envisaged an excellent business in the production of fibers from the cultivation of henequen. A century later the industry and its machinery remain almost intact.
However, the instability of the raw material and the long-term recovery programs were the incentives of the workers of the today Julián Alemán industry to innovate and maintain production.
“The productive capacity of the industry is very large, but the machines are extremely deteriorated. Faced with this situation, our maintenance brigade rescued part of the means of production and, most importantly, adapted some to process natural and synthetic fibers such as polypropylene “, informed its director Carlos Ernesto Hernández Sánchez.
The twisters and spinners of the Watson Machine-Patterson company of New Jersey, United States, have been operating for more than one hundred years and were designed for the exclusive processing of henequen.
“The idea of adapting the machinery starts from the need to increase the productive results of the industry, since our main raw material is polypropylene”, explained its director Carlos Ernesto Hernández Sánchez.
Today 15 workers work in the production of ropes and cords, so that the changes affect productivity.
“Rollers were converted into rounds where the raw material slides and resistance was prioritized in the support pedestals of the same. This work has allowed the production of more than 40 tons of polypropylene in rope of 1½ inches, “added the executive.
The maintenance brigade composed of three men also innovates in other areas.
“The mobile clamps were also changed by an axis where the reels of the No. 16 roller were mounted. This work is a continuation of another adaptation of the machines to use synthetic fiber instead of natural fiber”, stressed Pablo Palacios, mechanic of the entity.
In the last forum of science and technology of the National Company of Natural Fibers, the Julián Alemán industry stood out for the presentation of innovative ideas and solutions.