On August 1, 2007 Kim Jong Il visited the Ranam Coal-Mining Machine Complex.
At the shop floor where the workers and technicians were stepping up the assembling of a large machine in its final stages, the General inquired in detail about its parts and components.
While answering his questions, the manager felt regretful for the fact that the machine was operated by a program logic control unit, a lower version than that which had been planned.
He explained, “According to the original design, this machine was to be operated by a system of AC servo motor and ball-jointed screw. But it has been redesigned to be equipped with a program logic control unit.”
To his surprise, however, the General said, “The workers at Ranam who are unfailingly loyal to the Party, despite the shortage of all materials and the difficulty of conditions, have given full play to the revolutionary spirit of self-reliance and fortitude and their creative wisdom, making innovations in manufacturing new, modern machines.”
The manager was perplexed by this undeserved praise. The AC servo motor was a high-tech product as it could automatically regulate the speed and power while in operation. That’s why the management of the complex had planned to use it, with the conviction that it accorded with the Party’s call for steadily developing new things.
The manager pledged that they would from now on adopt the system of AC servo motor and ball-jointed screw.
The General advised that the system did not conform to the country’s actual conditions.
He explained to the manager: Under the existing conditions, the hydraulic model suits our economy. If we use a machine operated by the system of AC servo motor and ball-jointed screw, accuracy of voltage and frequency should be ensured in the electric power systems. Now this is all but impossible. It is your subjective desire to make a machine run by the above system. Of course, we must manufacture such a machine in the future.
The manager felt ashamed for his narrow vision.
The General had keen insight into the overall economic conditions of the country and, instantly discerning the officials’ unrealistic plans, would advise them against seeking impractical solutions to scientific and technological problems.
As if he was still appreciating the manager’s pluck and ambitiousness, he resumed: A man with strong molar teeth can munch at hard food. For the present we should make hydraulic machines. After building up the foundations of production to ensure rated voltage and frequency, we should gradually switch over to developing machines operated by the system of AC servo motor and ball-jointed screw. I think that attempting to make such machines now is an impractical plan.
He reiterated that hydraulic machines suited the country’s actual conditions and the machine equipped with a computer-operated NC device was really excellent. He instructed the manager to continue to direct efforts to manufacturing hydraulic machines like the one he saw that day.