By Daymaris Taboada Moreno / Radio Cadena Agramonte.
We can find talent and creativity in the hands of a worker who, on a daily basis, creates spare parts for operating equipments made by different manufacturers.
Rafael Suárez Jiménez is one of the most outstanding innovators of the Provincial Recyclable Materials Company in Camagüey, three decades working as a lathe operator have given him enviable skills.
Suárez Jiménez accepted to speak with me as he worked, because –as he said – “he’s got still some things to be fixed”.
“The lathe is as if it were my own arms. With it I can do whatever I want, and aside from being the livelihood of my family, I really love what I do. That’s why I do my best each day”, he says looking at a piece of iron which he has been working on.
Different types of metals start to shape up into utilitarian devices. Suárez Jiménez spends long hours on this creative challenge; and satisfaction only comes when they fully repair the equipment.
We can mention among his most important inventions the repair of a forklift truck that has been functioning for 4 years after it was fixed. “These machines are essential to load and transport heavy items, so we needed to make a good and durable job”.
Do you imagine that electric powered bicycle can be reloaded as they are on the road? This is the new invention on which Suárez Jiménez has been working.
“I will attach a dynamo on the wheel so that it can work as an alternator and the bike can be loaded as it’s running. So, there will be no need for a power cord or there will no be electricity expenditure”, says this operator who has made the experiment on his own bike.
When asked about the importance of his job, Suárez Jiménez shut down the lathe and looked at me, then I could hear his voice clearly.
“The work of a lathe operator is like that of an artist, for example, a painter puts attractive and colorful figures on the canvas, while a lathe operator takes a piece of steel and shapes it up, creating an utilitarian and even beautiful device. A lathe operator is just like an artist”.
Prowess and experience are unfolded every day in front of the machinery, metals offer no resistance to his small but skillful hands, and this artist turns iron into miracle and molds with his hands the future of his Homeland.