|Cracking contraption: An automatic winding machine with a six spindle engine made by Tran Huy Quang. The device has improved the safety and productivity of garment and textiles workers in northern Ha Nam Province.
by Mai Thanh Tung and Bui Tuyet
Recently, hundreds of households in the northern province of Ha Nam have been able to raise their incomes and living standards thanks to a simple machine invented by the son of a village weaver.
Tran Huy Quang, 28, a resident of Hoa Hau Commune, LyNhan District, is the founder of Thanh Nien (Youth) mechanical engineering workshop, which has provided over 4,000 machines to weaving factories in Ha Nam and the surrounding provinces of Thai Binh and Nam Dinh.
Since its inception, the workshop has been a valuable source of village livelihood, with nearly ten young people given stable incomes between VND 3 million and 4 million (US$142-190) per month. The project was even praised by the commune's People's Committee Chairman, Tran Huy Hai, for its impact in the local community.
The idea came to Quang when, as a high school student, he helped his mother wind thread through bobbins. Seeing how local people worked so hard for so little, he dreamed of developing an automatic winding machine and other devices to save strength, increase labour productivity and improve the quality of manufacturing.
"Threads would easily cut my fingers and make them bleed. It would take me two minutes to fully wind thread onto each bobbin. Because of this, my mom and I could weave only 30-35 metres of fabric per day," he recalled.
A graduate of Nam Dinh Technical College, and unlike most people his age, Quang was uninterested in being just another employee in the big city. He returned to his hometown and began making his own machines.
In 2005, using parts from old bikes and pumps, he successfully invented an automatic winding machine with a six spindle engine substantially different from imported machines.
"I met many difficulties in pursuing my passion for invention. After failures, I even postponed the invention to wind thread for others, aiming to earn money to buy the materials," the young man said.
|Changing lives: Quang and his automatic winding machine. - VNS Photos
The machine soon gained popularity with locals because of its benefit to local production.
"The machine 'made by Huy Quang' could be easily transported, installed, and placed in houses because of its simple design. Additionally, it took the machine only one minute to wind yarn onto 30 bobbins," Hai said, adding that because its parts are available in the domestic market, "the machine only costs VND1.7 million ($80) each, 30-times cheaper than the imported machine."
After succeeding with his winding machine, Quang continued to invent dozens of machines, including a galingale and slicer.
Quang's story has become an inspiring addition to local folklore, showing young people that 'getting rich' doesn't always require a degree from prestigious universities.
"Quang's success proves that university is not the only way to success," said 18-year-old Vu Hoai Nam, a 12th grader at Ly Nhan High School.
Quang has helped train young people in his commune how to make the machines and has used his experience to provide workers with valuable skills at his workshop. His goal is for young people, like him, to one day have workshops of their own.
In his role as secretary to the village's Youth Union, Quang often holds monthly activities to enable union members to network and share business ideas; in an effort to build a community dedicated to improving living standards in the area.
"The village's youth union has nearly 50 members. Many of them are studying at universities and colleges. I often use social networking sites like Facebook to connect them and bring them together," he said.
In recognition of his contribution to the community, Quang has received prestigious awards and been offered leadership positions for his efforts. - VNS