An automatic band saw designed by a man from Vietnam’s Mekong Delta is earning praise both inside and outside the country, including Africa – the saw’s biggest foreign market.
Pham Hong Tham, 41, a native of Tien Giang Province, and his employees are working hard to complete an order of horizontal band saws, some of which are destined for Africa, a market which orders approximately 100 on an annual basis.
Founded in 2012, Tham’s company specializes in designing automatic band saws – a safer and more cost-effective alternative to standard band saws.
A band saw uses a steel belt stretched between two wheels mounted on horizontal rails. The operator can also adjust the height blade to produce planks of wood at a predetermined thickness.
The tightness of the band is controlled by a hydraulic system and registers on an accompanying pressure gauge, significantly reducing any risk of the blade snapping.
|One of Pham Hong Tham’s band saws. Photo: Facebook|
Tham’s automatic band saw prototype, first designed in 2010, won first prize at a 2016 technology competition in his hometown of Tien Giang.
A judge at the contest praised his creation as a more efficient, safer alternative to expensive, manual band saws.
Tham spent his childhood inventing machines outside the house owned by his poor, rural family.
Later, he worked as an apprentice at mechanical workshops while attending Cao Thang Technical College in Ho Chi Minh City.
After graduating, he took up work at several shipyards in the southern metropolis before returning to Tien Giang, where he split his time working at shipyards and woodcutting facilities.
His “eureka moment” came when he realized the extreme shortcomings of the typical band saws used by Vietnamese workers.
Now, his products can be found in provinces and cities across Vietnam, including Ben Tre in the Mekong Delta, Ho Chi Minh City, Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Binh Duong, and Dong Nai.
His company currently rakes in an annual profit of VND6 billion (US$264,000).