Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC


[Article; Havana, Atac, Spanish, July-August 1972, pp 20-26]

During his visit to the Soviet Union in July of this year, Major
Fidel Castro, First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba and Prime
Minister of the Revolutionary Government, visited the Uzhtomskiy Farm
Machinery Plant in Lyubertsy, a city very near Moscow. This plant is one of
the oldest in the Soviet Union, and Lenin said about it that "it is very
necessary to the national economy." Today the Uzhtomskiy plant is of
special importance to Cubans, since it is there that the first prototypes
of the modern KTP-1 Cuban-Soviet combine have been built, and soon its
workshops will produce 50 units to be used in the tasks of cutting in the
cane fields of Cuba during the next harvest.

In his address delivered at the Soviet farm machinery factory,
Fidel said: "It has been possible to produce this machine prototype which,
as you will see from the model which has been supplied me, is a complex
machine, a powerful machine, and in addition it is a beautiful machine. I
am certain that you will feel proud when the first 50 combines of this type
are on their way to Cuba.

"In resolving the problem, they will not only be contributing to
the solution of a Cuban problem, for we must remember that many countries
raise sugar cane, and these countries sooner or later will need to
mechanize their cane harvests. When this moment comes, the machinery will
already be developed, the prosecution of these machines will be organized,
and all of the needed experience will have been accumulated. Certainly, our
countries, yours and ours, have had to work 10 years to find a technical
solution to this problem, and now we will have to work some years more,
both on the production of the machines and on the development of the
conditions in the field for mechanization."

What is the KTP-1 Combine Like?

The KTP-1 Cuban-Soviet cane harvesting combine was designed to
carry out the harvesting under any condition in which the cane may be,
whether erect, bent, or "doubled over," such as to hoist it, already
sectioned and free of impurities, on to the cart or truck which moves along
with the combine.

The machine has been designed along stark and modern lines, and is
extremely compact and functional. It is of the self- propelled type, i.e.,
it is not hauled by a tractor.

It is made up of the following parts: front carriage, chopper,
sifter, chassis and engine, transmission, and operator's cab with its
controls. The lower cutting apparatus is made up of two disks with cutting
edges which turn one against the other. It is provided with duplicating
wheels for adjusting the cut down toward the ground level.

The speeds, in kilometers per hour, are: minimum, 1.63-3.00;
average, 4.50-7.50; maximum, 11.20-22.50. The combine functions with a six
cylinder 150-horsepower engine.

Both the prototype and the 50 machines which will reach Cuba soon
were built at the Uzhtomskiy plant, based on an original design and
successive variations which were the product of the fraternal Cuban-Soviet
collaboration. The Soviet Union will supply our country with the plant,
which in its first stage, will carry out the assembly in Cuba of the new
combine,and will later proceed gradually to undertake the production of
parts and pieces.

The Tests Carried Out in Cuba

From 18 March until 2 May 1972, the prototype of the new combine
was subjected to operational testing in harvesting, with green cane and
burned cane, in the Lima center of the cane growing area of the Garcia
Lavandero sugar mill, and in the Recompensa area of the A. Lincoln sugar
mill sector, in Artemisa, province of Havana.

The results of the tests were very satisfactory, despite the fact
that some of the fields did not meet the requirements of aptitude for
mechanized cutting, offering many obstacles such as stones, overgrown cane,
barbed wire, etc.

During the 46 days of harvest work, the prototype was tested on
the cutting of green cane of the varieties PR-980, Cuba 23651, a mixture of
varieties and B 42231. The varieties of burned cane tested were PR 980 and
Jaronu 60-5, although the largest volume was of the former variety.

In comparative tests using the KTP-1 and the Liberator 1400, which
is also a very efficient machine, the new Cuban-Soviet combine surpassed
the Liberator in terms of productivity per hour of real work, utilization
time and shift time. These comparisons were made, in this instance, on
burned cane.

The yield per hour of the KTP-1 during these tests was as follows,
on an average, for burned cane: real time: 4,254 arrobas of cane per hour;
shift time; 1,279 arrobas per hour. The average productivity on an 8-hour
shift was 10,398 arrobas.

On the basis of these tests and studies made of the machine, the
DINAME [National Mechanization Directorate] technicians estimate that this
combine, working in "typical fields," with well-trained operators, and
after the planned changes and adjustments have been made on the machines,
could achieve much higher productivities indices.

As Fidel said, speaking of the KTP-1, "work has been done for all
these years. Our technicians worked, the Soviet technicians worked hard,
with much experience, the Soviet mechanical industry worked, and now,
technically at least, the problem is resolved. Naturally, the machine will
be ever further perfected every year. It will be more efficient and more
productive. But what has been achieved to date, from the technical point of
view, is already very encouraging."