Open Challenges

REWARD - RS 1,00,000
Ferous Oxide

Raw Tea being an agricultural product and the primary input for blending & packaging of tea may contain unwanted extraneous materials like stones, wood chips or pieces, threads, plastics and paper pieces etc. in various sizes, dimensions and densities ( higher or lower than the density of Tea). Currently we remove all such extraneous materials using different machines/ equipments. We are looking for a single standalone equipment/machine/system which will detect and subsequently remove all extraneous materials automatically versus the current system of multiple sets of equipments to remove different kind extraneous materials.
Currently we have following equipments/systems to detect and remove extraneous materials:

  • IFR Machine (figure 1): The Iron Filing Remover (IFR) machine is used for removal of only iron filings and any other ferrous contamination from Tea
  • Sifters (figure 1) with stainless steel mesh to remove larger & heavier particles prior to blending
  • The current mesh sizes used are:
    • Number 4 Mesh to remove extraneous materials in leaf grade teas
    • Number 8 Mesh to remove extraneous materials in dust grade teas
  • Destoners to remove heavier extraneous materials like stones.
  • Winnowing tunnels / fluidization and cyclone fans/separators to remove lighter extraneous materials and organic material.

Destoners, winnowing tunnels, meshes, sifters are all independent equipments capable of handling extraneous materials of particular specifications and no integrated technology is available to handle the complete range of extraneous materials.

We have explored integrated X-ray machine. However, it could only detect and remove only extraneous materials with density higher than that of Tea. Moreover, X-ray machine was not effective post packaging as our primary packaging material has a metalized layer. 

We are looking for process control with an integrated equipment / machine / system which is capable of detecting and removing all types of unwanted extraneous materials from Raw or Blended Tea.
The technology offered should  

  • have a reasonable footprint
  • should not damage the tea
  • have a low rejection rate
  • be low on power consumption
  • be an integrated system to detect extraneous materials 
  • have capability to handle 3 to 4 MT of teas with volume (300 cc/113 gm)/hour which is the average requirement of teas for packaging
  • not have rejections of more than 0.5 %
  • be able to detect the extraneous materials primarily from loose teas while in motion on bed /conveyor with product spread thickness of about 24 mm on the belt
  • be able to detect and remove extraneous materials pre and/or post packaging.

We are not interested in a machine/equipment that detects only Ferrous and Non-ferrous extraneous materials.

 

Have any query or need more clarification about this challenge?

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