An innovation that generates revenue for rural women
Most of the existing machines to grind chilli and coriander require high installation costs, and use a lot of power making it unsuitable for rural areas, where power supply may also be undependable.
Mr. Vivekanandan thought he solved 90 per cent of the grinding problem when he developed the machine, and manufactured nearly 100 of them. But to his dismay he found that only 20 pieces found buyers. Some of the buyers returned the machine, because the chilli and coriander did not pass through the filter screen, and created too much dust while grinding.
Work came to a standstill, and did not resume for almost a year.
Mr. Vivekanandan came to know about Villgro (an organization that supports rural entrepreneurs) and he approached them for guidance. The staff at Villgro tapped different resources to work on this problem. Technical expertise first assisted Mr. Vivekanandan in producing a 1 HP, single phase machine, because the machine could not initially run at a speed on 3 HP. (In rural areas the preference is for a one- HP, single-phase machine due to voltage fluctuation).
After several trials they identified the problem of chilli and coriander getting stuck on the screen was not because of their high fibre content, but due to the speed of the rotor. Accordingly, the weight of the machine was reduced, its wall thickness, size, and diameter of the stator and rotor altered to suit rural application.
Mr. Vivekanandan brought down the cost of the machine to cater to rural needs by focusing on the types and amount of materials used. Each unit is priced at Rs. 11,500 (with motor).
For more information readers can contact:
Mr. K. Vivekanandan, M/s Vivega Engineering Works, New No: 116-118, Sathy Road, R. K. Puram, Ganapathy, Coimbatore - 641 006. Mobile No: 94437-21341.
Source : A innovation that generates revenue for women, Science & Technology column, The Hindu