The final presentations were preceded by a poster session where the 8 teams had set up their demo models and pitched their ideas to the passersby. This was team Ideabag’s “booth”.
Vembanad Chemicals in Kottayam Industrial sector manufactures upto 36 tons of fertilizer everyday. They use manual labour to mix the raw materials and then bag the finished mixture. Loading and unloading onto trucks is also done by the same workers. The mixing process is a manual process using 2 shovels that erode because of the chemical content of the raw materials. Ventilation is a problem as well with all the particulates being suspended during the mixing process.
There are 5-6 basic raw materials that come in 50kg bags including Potash, Urea, Bone Dust etc. These bags are brought in by laborers carrying them on their heads.
1. Bags are emptied onto the floor in a specific order over the same pile in this pre mixing process.
2. 20 bags are emptied onto the floor. Each bag = 50kg. Therefore total output in every round is 1 ton. 36 such rounds are done daily.
3. Some of the raw material is required to be sieved. The sieve is corroded from the chemicals in the raw materials.
4. Mixing is done in two steps. The mixture is separated into two piles for the first round of mixing and then collected back together into a single pile in the second round.
5. The fertilizer is then bagged and weighed.
6. An electric sewing machine is used to seal the bags.