Imara Tech Multi-Crop Thresher
Imara Tech has developed an engine-powered Multi-crop thresher (MCT), a machine that can thresh the crops most common in the developing world (rice, maize, wheat, sorghum, barley). Their MCT improves upon traditional methods by eliminating the need for toilsome labor and greatly decreasing the time required to thresh from three hours to just ten minutes per sack of rice. The MCT is designed as an axial flow thresher. Un-threshed grains are tossed into the entry chute and enter a chamber where a rotating drum beats, squeezes, tumbles, and pushes the grain to separate it from the stalk. Large pieces of chaff are propelled through the machine and expelled at the end, while threshed grain and smaller pieces of chaff fall into the lower section of the machine. These smaller pieces of chaff are removed by a blower, leaving clean grain to be collected by the user.
MCT is to be sold at approx. 700 USD. The designers propose a rental model for the unit as a shared resource, whereby farmers buy and then offer the product as an affordable service to the rest of their community. The company further wishes to offer product loans.
Goal 2: improve food security by improving the yield users can get from threshing grain, while decreasing the time and strenuous labor.
The Multi-Crop Thresher will be produced at several workshop locations in Tanzania. It can be built with locally-sourced parts and fabricated manually with use of the following equipment: welding machine, hand tools, drill press, lathe
Imara Tech aims to make business-to-business sales to partner organizations specializing in last-mile distribution and sales in rural areas. The product is also aimed at entrepreneurs as an additional source of income. Users will be able to purchase MCTs at the fabrication workshops which will also act as service centers for machine repairs, showrooms, office space and storage areas.
Because the MCT’s testing periods are limited to the harvest season, which typically runs for a couple of months between late May and August, currently they do not have any active users. They plan to make first sales in May and then will have 15 MCTs being used and monitored in the field.
The Multi-Crop Thresher (MCT) is a throw-in type thresher. This means that crops are fed into the machine from the top. Once they enter the threshing chamber, a rotating drum beats the grains off of the stalks. Large chaff passes through to the exit of the chamber and expelled from the machine, while threshed grain falls through a sieve-like structure called a concave. A fan blows dust and small chaff from the threshed grain, which then leaves the machine through an exit chute to be collected in bags.
The MCT is made from sheet metal, mild steel, nuts/bolts, welding rods and PPE.
The MCT is designed for portability in the field and around rural settings, it is equipped with two wheels. It also has an indented seat so that it easily fits onto the back of a motorcycle rack.
The crops that are poured into the machine enter a chamber where a rotating drum, powered by a small 6.5 HP petrol engine, beats the grain until it is removed from the stalks. The threshed crops are propelled axially through the machine until they are expelled, whereas the threshed grain and chaff fall below into another chamber, where a blower removes the chaffe.
It is foreseen that the most common modes of failure can be repaired by local technicians. However, Imara Tech plans to use the MCT fabrication workshops as service centers for machine repairs.
The MCT is designed to be easy-to-maintain and so that users can easily repair or replace components.
The warranty and repairs will be covered by Imara Tech using technicians based out of their workshops. Some metal parts could be recycled afterwards.
MCT can thresh up to 200 sacks of maize in an eight-hour day. Capacity to thresh different crops including maize, sorghum, barley, and rice. It can process 1000 kgs of maize in 24 minutes
It is said to be up to 75 times faster than traditional methods
Risk per projectiles, minor winding risk.
Field trials, the testing periods are limited to the harvest season. Currently, there are 15 units in the field under monitoring.
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