The machine that purrs

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Not everything that is possible can be understood by human

S.Lem “Eden”

I’ve always found machines soulless. However, life surprised me with another poetic detail in a place that is supposed to be non-poetic. But how Edward Stachura used to say: Everything is poetry.

Recently, I started a new job in the manufacture of ventilators that save human life. I make PSOL valves that control the flow of air and oxygen inside the most advanced ventilators by Medtronic. This is a manual and engineering job that requires good attention to detail because building ventilators is complex. The PSOL valve alone consists of more than 20 parts, including some components with tolerance for accuracy as thin as a strand of hair.

When I make such a PSOL, I have to measure the accurate pressure in it with a machine. The air has to fit between specific numbers. At first, catching the accurate air was very difficult for me. It seemed to me that I did not understand the operation of this device at all and had to repeat the action many times. Meanwhile, I saw the inside of the ventilator, and when I finally thought I have learned how to use this machine and I was doing pretty well, the machine suddenly made a specific sound.

I said to Mary who was my trainer I must have done something wrong. But my co-worker replied that on the contrary, I used the machine very well because it sound shows that she is very happy. –You know, the machine purrs like a cat does when he is satisfied. I was impressed that devices can also feel something in their own way. I would like to add that this sound appears extremely rarely, but it convinces me even more that maybe the machines are not as soulless as we think.

How life is stunning. Maybe a cover drawing by Paulina Lachowska (8 years old) will bring you closer to this reflection. After all, we do not have to understand everything perfectly, sometimes it is enough to be happy with our little discovery.

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