Tired of searching for persons to de-husk coconuts by the dozen? Here is news for you. A group of final-year students of Mechanical Engineering of the Mar Baselios College of Engineering and Technology here have put together a device which they claim is a cost-effective and speedy way to undo nature's packaging on the coconut. The semi-automated machine has been developed by Jibin Jose, U. Pranav, Jeffin Jose, V.U. Jijoy and Jackson K. Sunny. It took the team four months and Rs.18,000 to come up with their de-husker.
At the heart of the de-husker are two ‘teethed' cylinders that rotate in the opposite direction. The rotation is power-driven. “One begins by placing the coconut in between the two cylinders. There is an arm which holds the coconut in place. The person operating the machine should hold the coconut in place—with minimum effort—till the wheels' teeth bite into the husk,” Mr. Jose explained.
Mr. Jose claimed that the machine can de-husk one coconut in just 25 seconds. The existing de-husking machines in the market take an average of two minutes to de-husk one coconut, he said. In terms of cost, de-husking a coconut in the new machine would take all of five paise. “Today if you hire a person to manually de-husk a coconut, it will cost you anything between 80 paise and Re.1 a coconut. Our machine helps the user save Rs.450 per 1,000 coconuts when compared to manual de-husking,” Mr. Jose said.
The team's de-husker is primarily intended for oil mills. The team was guided in its efforts by college assistant professor Rajesh Kumar, professor Gisuthan and the head of the department K.M. Raju.