Design and development of a compact and highly efficient small-scale rice mill machine: A case study
Keywords:agricultural machinery, machine design, rice mill machine, rural development, sufficiency economy, technology transfer, Thailand
Small-scale farming with different varieties of rice is common in the rural areas in Thailand. This can complicate the milling process and affect the production yield. In addition, a high logistic cost to the commercial mill is another barrier. To cope with the problems and to support self-reliance, a compact and highly efficient small-scale rice mill machine has been developed and evaluated at Ban Samkha village in Thailand. This user-friendly machine with low maintenance was suitable for rice milling in the rural areas. It consisted of five main units: a double-layer oscillating sieve cleaner, a rubber-roller husker and aspirator, a compartment-type paddy separator, two horizontal friction-type rice whiteners, and oscillating grading sieves. The design offered unique aspects as follows: 1) a compact and efficient small-scale rice mill with multi stages comparable to a large commercial mill, 2) a new design of a rubber-roller husker and aspirator to increase the husking efficiency and product yield, 3) a new and compact design of the friction-type whitener to increase the whitening efficiency. It ran on single-phase motors with a capacity of 200 kg paddy/hr. The average milling recovery was remarkable about 65% when applied with various varieties of local Thai rice. The production yield was 50-70% of brown head rice and 50-60% of white head rice. At least 25 machines have been used by Thai farmers nationwide. The design and development of this machine as well as lessons learned from the actual usage in the community level were discussed in the paper.
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