It is said to be nearly 15 times faster than a human hand with an effeciency of 80-85 per cent

Students of National Institute of Technology Karnataka (NIT-K) have developed a machine for de-shelling coconuts. The prototype of the machine – aimed at helping the faster production of coconut powder as a substitute for grated coconut — was recently demonstrated on the premises of NITK.

While people are accustomed to de-husking the coconut and use a simple equipment to do that, breaking the hard shell was difficult and skilled job which involved removing the shell of the coconut without harming the coconut ball. The machine does this by introducing four cuts in the shell that causes the shell to break when it is heated. This unharmed coconut ball then goes through a process known as paring, removal of brown (outer) skin, which cannot be done on pieces of coconut. The final product of this is the desiccated coconut powder which is used as a substitute for grated coconut.

The machine, expected to help small-scale entrepreneurs by eliminating the requirement of skilled labour and increasing the production rate, was designed by the students attached to E-FOREA (Engineer's Forum For Entrepreneurship Awareness) Entrepreneurship Cell of NIT-K, with the help of College Innovation centre. The machine is said to be nearly 15 times faster than a human hand and give a yield with an efficiency of 80-85 per cent without harming the coconut ball. It is made in a way that can accommodate any size and contour of coconut “This will revolutionise coconut industry once it is complete,” said Sharath Chandra Shetty, MD and Founder of Swastika Coco Pvt Ltd., who needs to de-shell at least 30,000 coconuts every day to produce desiccated coconut powder. According to him the machine was still at its initial stage. Mohammad Tariq said that in six months they should be able to completely optimise the product.

This problem was posed as a challenge to them by Mr. Shetty in an annual college fest called ‘Engineer' last September. Initially, many teams participated and threw in ideas for design. All the ideas were then put together to come up with the final design.

A team of five students, Mohammad Tariq and Prajwal Kumar, both second year mechanical students, Madhusudan G. first year chemical student, Madhumitha Sridhara, Head-Project and Consulting, E-FOREA and R. Raghav have been working on the project.

The project was financed by the Centre for Innovation at NIT-K and a private company. The Centre for innovation has come up with a new initiative called TechVenture, co-founded by Mr. Raghava and Madhumitha Sridhara both students of NITK. It aims at solve problems of small and medium enterprises and encourages students to develop equipment that help people in real life situations.

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