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Coimbatore PSG College of Technology students design sari wax polishing machine

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The Times of India | 28 July 2015 | Adarsh Jain |

COIMBATORE: Students of PSG College of Technology in Coimbatore have designed a machine to automate wax polishing of saris. The development comes after the students were asked by their professor to identify a solution to reduce labour cost and time for the wax polishing process.  Final year robotics and automation engineering students Abhinav Surana, T R Niveta Sruti, Ram Prasad D S and Krishna A have won the second prize at the Danfoss Innovator Project contest for this invention. The students have secured the second place in the undergraduate category.  A total of 65 teams from five engineering institutions in the category took part in the contest that was conducted by Danfoss Industries Ltd, an engineering company that operates from Chennai.  President of Danfoss Ravichandran Purushothaman said, “We have centres of excellence in five colleges in the country, and all these colleges participated in the contest by designing projects on solutions for industrial and social problems.” He added, “We installed the centre of excellence at PSG last year, and we have seen tremendous response in terms of participation and innovation.”
The machine designed for automating the wax polishing process for silk saris is estimated to cost Rs 45,000 per piece. According to Surana, “One of our professors visited Elampillai near Salem where there silk saris are weaved. He saw that the wax polishing process was done manually, and a minimum of five people were involved in it.” The students then visited Elampillai again and observed the wax polishing process. “We recorded the entire process and deliberated on ideas to come or a solution. For automation, we looked at models of machines used for polishing, painting, spreading dyes etc,” said Surana. The production engineering department helped the students in identifying the right design for the machine. Sruti, said, “The machine is 2.5×1.5m, and the sari will be mounted on two wooden blocks, and with a help of a set of rollers on the top and bottom, the wax polish will be spread evenly on the sari.” Interestingly, the students also said most labourers who wax polished saris were above the age of 60. “This machine will not only reduce the number of labourers from five to one, it will also reduce the time for polishing from 20 minutes to six minutes,” said Prasad. He added, “Around 40 saris are polished by a group of labourers in a day, and the average cost of polishing one sari is Rs 60 (including labour). If we use this machine, then handloom owners will earn their returns in six months.” The life of the machine is 10 years.- Courtesy


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