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Students come to the aid of handloom weavers

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Efficient innovation: Third year Mechanical engineering students of Kongu Engineering College led by P.Senthil Kumar have come up with new Jacquard machine that makes in handloome easy
Efficient innovation: Third year Mechanical engineering students of Kongu Engineering College led by P.Senthil Kumar have come up with new Jacquard machine that makes in handloome easy

Karthik Madhavan

PERUNDURAI: Weaving in handlooms will be easier, if the improvements on the Jacquard machine by Kongu Engineering College students are anything to go by.

Improvements

P. Senthil Kumar, M. Vinayak Raj Kumar, P. Nandakumar, R. Thangaraj and K. Sakthivel, all third year Mechanical Engineering students have improved upon the machine by doing away with treadles.

What they have instead done is to move the cylinder from the side to the top of the Jacquard machine.

Cylinder here is a cuboid with holes in rows and columns on four of the six sides, on which rests the punched card.

By taking the cylinder to the top, the students have eliminated the need to use knives and hooks, which pull strings to raise warp yarns the top. They have also removed the griffe, the frame like structure in the Jacquard machine that moves up and down.

And, to operate the hooks, they have connected the Jacquard lever to the loom’s slay in such a way that when the slay moves away from the weaver, the lever gets activated.

Easier functioning

Mr. Senthil Kumar, the key person behind the group, says by eliminating a few parts, they have made the operations easier, thereby increasing efficiency. Preliminary studies reveal that the efficiency increases by at least 50 per cent. The students’ guide E. B. Thayumanasundram says by doing away with the treadle, the boys have made it possible even for persons without legs to operate the loom.

“Handlooms have become handlooms in every sense of theterm.”

Increased efficiency

Mr. Senthil Kumar says by further fine-tuning the Jacquard machine, the group will be able to increase the efficiency level. In his estimate, the loom can be produced for Rs. 3,500.

That will be possible only after the boys get patent, for which they are working on at present.

On the boys’ project, Assistant Director, Handlooms, Erode, S. Paldurai, says the department plans to take the improved machine to Chennimalai for testing on handlooms producing bedspreads.

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