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Author: by Lyudmila KLIMANOVA, press secretary of the City Mayor
Back in the 1880s a producers' cooperative-the Association of Mechanical Producers-bought an area to the south of Moscow called Maslova Pustosh. The site was chosen for a factory to produce spares for looms and the project also included living quarters for the factory workers and auxiliary infrastructure. The project continued to grow over the years, and more than half a century later-on October 7, 1940-the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Russian Federation formally elevated the industrial settlement to the administrative status of a town with the name of Klimovsk.
Today Klimovsk has a population of over 57 thousand and most of its residents are skilled workers, engineers and researchers. The high scientific and intellectual potential of Klimovsk entitled it to membership of an organization called "Union for the Promotion of Science Cities of Russia" (the term "science city, or town" applies to members of this country's network of leading centers of basic and applied research). The present-day "complexion" of Klimovsk is determined by its three major R&D centers-the leaders in their respective fields.
The staggering Russian acronym TsNIITOChMASh stands for the Central R&D Institute of Precision Mechanics. Founded back in 1944, it has a large staff including 3 Doctors of Sciences and 84 Candidates of Sciences (according to the roster of Russian scientific degrees).
The Center boasts a testing facility, unparalleled anywhere else in the world, for advanced military hardware which can be tried out in some extreme conditions, including adverse biological environment. As experts point out, the complete "run-in" cycle takes only one year instead of a traditional period of 15 to 20 years.
The problem of dealing with emergencies of various kinds has often been on the agenda of the authorities and experts in many countries over the past few years. For the conduct of rescue work and dealing with the aftermath of various technogenic and other calamities, Institute scientists have developed what they call a high-capacity autonomous pyrotechnical tool. It was recently used, for example, for a rapid demolition of a railway passenger terminal in Smolensk put out of action by a recent terrorist bomb blast. In Klimovsk itself the unit was used to
"fell" in an orderly and neatly oriented manner a boilerhouse chimney which was about to collapse from old age.
Of considerable interest for miners, building and assembly workers is another new device developed at the Institute-a set of small-size autonomous pyrohydraulic tools. This can be used, for example, to drive nails into all sorts of material, including metal. Institute experts have also developed training stands for sportsmen sharpshooters which model all sorts of interaction of the man and his weapon. Another novelty in the same vein is a powerful Selezen hunting set which, according to its designers, can be used, for example, for hunting an entire flock of wild geese at one stroke, so to say.
Other products of the Institute include sets of equipment for automated remote control and monitoring of the environment, automatic leak detection in pipelines of all kinds and automatic all-weather landing aids for small aircraft on unpaved runways.
Since 1991 Institute scientists have prepared more than 15 investment projects and 35 proposals for the development and organization of production of high-tech products of various kinds. One of these items, which is currently in great demand among the populace of this country exposed to its unabating crime rate, is a self-defense spray canister and a gas pistol for use against bad guys and/or aggressive dogs. In testing new passenger elevator models specialists will appreciate using a portable vibrodiagnostic device DVP-1010 which helps assess the conditions of machinery and equipment.
Also on the Institute's agenda is equipment for farming applications, such as, for example, the PSU-500 processor for vegetables, fruits and berries with a short shelf life. The unit generates a temperature close to the absolute zero (-273C) at which all of the above products are dehydrated with all the vitamins and nutrients being left intact (through sublimation).
In the medical field. Institute scientists have designed and built small-size wheelchairs MK-1 and MK-2 for use in hospitals and homes. Such wheelchairs have already been supplied to the Klimovsk City Hospital and several other medical centers. Another interesting item is a compact electrosurgical high-frequency apparatus designated EHVCh-50-1, and brand named Elecor-1, which uses HF currents for cutting and coagulation of soft tissues and blood vessels. With its help surgeries of this kind can be conducted on a par with international standards even in small hospitals and the cost of such surgeries will be reduced by some two orders of magnitude. And one of the really major Institute's achievements in the medical field is a magnetic separator for bone marrow and blood cells-MSK-1. It can become an indispensable tool in dealing with malignancies by way of purification or "decontamination" of a patient's bone marrow with its subsequent replacement to the same patient.(*)
A fair measure of the efficiency and importance of the R&D projects ofTsNIITOChMASh is the fact that over the past three years alone its scientists have obtained 103 licences, including 88 patents, on their new products and discoveries. Among the Gold Medal winners of the Brussels-Eureka-1995 show are the aforesaid magnetic separator for bone-marrow cells and the nail gun, and back in 1996 a Bronze Medal was awarded to the Elecor-1HF electro-surgery set.
TsNIITOChMASh has cooperation agreements and contracts for the supply of its novel equipment and technologies with a number of agencies and organizations in Germany, the United States and other countries. The Institute is a
* See: "Separators Cleanse Bone Marrow" in the present issue of our magazine.-Ed.
permanent member of the International Commission of the Brussels Convention with the right of testing the complete range of sports and hunting weapons and ammunition in keeping with the established international standards and requirements.
In the context of technical cooperation with foreign countries and for the promotion of its own and their products on foreign and domestic markets, TsNIITOChMASh operates a State Demonstration and Testing Center which takes care of expert assessment and "on-the-job" demonstrations of the latest technical ideas and equipment.
The second biggest R&D center in Klimovsk is called the Koshkin R&D Bureau of Automatic Production Lines (now an open joint stock company). It was established back in 1949 and the center bears the name of its founder and life-long director- Academician Lev Koshkin (1912-1992).
During World War II the Center faced the task of technical reequipment of Soviet ammunition factories and switching them to automatic rotor lines designed by Academician Koshkin himself. Experts of the Center pioneered a whole range of new machines and equipment put to different applications in the subsequent years. For example, some 200 automated systems, unparalleled anywhere in the world, were developed for the production of rifle ammunition. 3,000 such lines replaced more than 30 thousand units of earlier types of equipment previously used for the same purposes.
On the basis of these automated rotor lines (ARL) more than 50 production centers were set up by the
1970s, including three with a closed production cycle, which are still in operation in Klimovsk itself and also in the Kyrgyzstan capital Bishkek and in the city of Amursk in the Khabarovsk Territory.
Thanks to these innovations labor productivity at such factories was boosted by 4.5 times and the number of staff could be reduced by 90 thousand. The area under factory grounds could be reduced by three times and the length of production cycle was cut back by 15 times. As a result of these innovations out of the 18 munitions factories in operation in the Soviet Union in 1944 only eight remained by 1980 while their aggregate output remained as before. The same technologies of ammunition manufacture are now used in Bulgaria and Lybia and the appropriate licences have been sold to Germany, Czechia and Hungary.
The experience accumulated in the development of automated rotor lines has also found a range of applications in other industries. Such lines, for example, have been installed at plastics reprocessing factories in Odessa, Zlatoustye, Bishkek, Novosibirsk and other cities in this and other CIS countries. Similar production lines are now in operation at plants in Tula, Barnaul, Yuryuzan, Ulyanovsk and other cities for the manufacture of roller chains for bicycles and motorcycles and for farm machines. Another important application is the production of syringe needles and automatic lines of this kind are in operation at four factories in Ukraine and five in Russia (in Moscow, Saratov, Izhevsk, Tomsk and Klimovsk). Automatic lines of this kind are now also used for making of sausages, aerosol valves,
household electric bulbs, spark plugs for cars, condensers and pin bearings.
More than 500 products of the Koshkin R&D Center have been certified and patented here in Russia and 52 foreign patents have been obtained including those in the United States, Germany, Britain, Italy, France, Switzerland and Hungary. The range of these technical innovations rests on a foundation of more than 700 R&D projects and studies. The scientists involved have developed more than 50 fundamental standards and just as many methodological guides regimenting the process of development and introduction of rotor machinery and production lines on their basis.
The aforesaid R&D Bureau also remains this country's main producer of ammunition, and the rapid progress of military technology calls for the launching of big new research projects and for the development of a new generation of automated production lines. Over the past few years three new types of such lines have appeared in Klimovsk. They are designed for the making of ammunition with increased piercing power. And there is also new energy-saving and environment-friendly equipment for manufacturing anti-corrosion coatings of dual application from domestic raws.
Finally, the third industrial "whale" of Klimovsk is commonly known as its punching factory (an open stock company since 1993) which was established back in 1936. Its output is a wide range of ammunition.
1974 saw the launching of the Modul production complex equipped with automated rotor lines which do away with manual work and ensure good quality. The plant specializes in the manufacture of hunting ammunition of 7.62 x 32 mm caliber and shots weighing 8,9 and 10 g for hunting rifles. It also produces special-type ammunition. The factory is this country's leading maker of sports airguns of 4.5 mm. One of its "sidelines" are electric cardio-stimulators used in the treatment of cardiac disorders.
Today the Klimovsk Punching Plant Co. employs some of the latest high-precision and high-output technologies. Current economic reforms in this country and the availability of up-to-date technologies, combined with an impressive national research potential and manufacturing base, accelerate the development of business and commercial links with foreign firms, help broaden the range of products and their promotion on the domestic and foreign markets. The 60 years of experience in the field of ammunition production have made it possible for the Klimovsk experts to establish themselves on international market and set up links with the United States, Canada, Cuba, CIS countries, and many states in Western Europe and South-East Asia.
The plant actively participates in annual international shows and fairs including those in Germany and the United States, the Moscow International Arms Show, the Novel Technologies of Podmoskovye in Germany and the ROST-99 show in Izhevsk (Udmurtia).
One basic asset of the above R&D centers, which form the core of the "science city" of Klimovsk, are fine research labs with their highly skilled staff and exquisite development and production facilities. Thanks to that any and all new ideas generated in this fertile climate can be translated into tangible reality within the shortest period of time. And speaking of the industrial potential of Klimovsk, one can not pass in silence its Engineering Plant-the leader in building new machines and equipment for the textile industry over many decades. Today plant experts, working in conjunction with the World Technologies Co., are developing machinery for grain cleaning and processing with a capacity of 800-1,000 kg/h and with the stripping factor per pneumatic channel of 69-95 percent, which experts regard as quite an achievement.
The R&D community of Klimovsk is looking with optimism into the future of their "science city" as an integral part of the technical and economic structure of this country.
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