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DESIGN INNOVATION IN PALM FRUIT BUNCH STRIPPER: A CONTRIBUTION TO SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
Rufus Ogbuka Chime* and Odo Fidelis O
Design is a creative activity whose aim is to establish the multi-faceted qualities of objects, processes, services and their systems in whole life cycles. Therefore, design is the central factor of innovative humanization of technologies and the crucial factor of cultural and economic exchange. Design can include a wide range of activities
aimed at planning and designing procedures, technical specifications and other user and functional characteristics for new products and processes. The current financial crisis and economic slowdown have made the need to find complementary innovation drivers and models even more acute. As external funding becomes more difficult to obtain for companies, it is important that innovation does not come to a halt. R&D should be encouraged, as should innovation activities that are close to the market and have low capital requirements. Existing knowledge must be used in new ways to bring about innovation, incremental or radical, and products and services that are better adapted to user. The palm bears its fruit in bunches varying in weight from 10 to 40 kg. The individual fruit, ranging from 6 to 20gm, are made up of an outer skin (the exocarp), a pulp (mesocarp) containing the palm oil in a fibrous matrix? a central nut consisting of a shell (endocarp)? and the kernel, which itself contains an oil, quite different to palm oil, resembling coconut oil. The fresh fruit bunch consists of fruit embedded in spikelets growing on a main stem. Manual threshing is achieved by cutting the fruit-laden spikelets from the bunch stem with an axe or machete and then separating the fruit from the spikelets by hand. Children and the elderly in the village earn income as casual labourers performing this activity at the factory site. In a mechanized system a rotating drum or fixed drum equipped with rotary beater bars detach the fruit from the bunch, leaving the spikelet‘s on the stem Modern methods of stripping have greatly improved production rates and reduced stripping time. The machine consists of stripping unit, gear system frame, and discharge outlets for stripped fruitlets The Brower and empty bunches. The results of the improvements carried out on the design of this stripping machine shows that maintenance cost and stripping time are reduced, operation of the machine does not require special skill, the machine is easy and safe to operate, it is noise and vibration free, the energy required for loading and unloading have reduced since stripping chamber and discharge outlet are enlarged. Environmentally sustainable design (also referred to as ?green design‘ or ?eco-design‘) aims to ensure that products, services and systems are produced and provided in a way that reduces the use of non-renewable resources and minimizes environmental impact The scope of this research are to design, model ,simulate: optimize and sustain the analysis of Palm Fruit Stripper.