Millennium Post

New women-friendly pneumatic coir loom to weave geotextiles

Workers in the coir sector could soon get a massively labour saving device in the form of a one-touch automatic pneumatic loom to weave geotextiles. The National Coir Research Management Institute (NCRMI) developed the women- friendly loom at its research facility in Thiruvanthapuram and has displayed it along with an array of other machinery at its stall at the Coir Kerala 2015 trade expo.

The institute believes the machine, which can easily be operated by a single person, will especially benefit women who account for more than 80 per cent of the workforce in the coir sector. the fully automatic loom machine physical stress on the user and has several advantages when compared to the looms currently in use.

Most existing machines are operated using foot pedals and have a capacity of eight metres per day. They are very labour-intensive and require at least two people to operate them. The new loom can weave up of 128 metres of two-metre wide geotextiles, according to NCRMI Director K R Anil. “It has a single touch operation and can be worked by one person without any assistance,” he said.

The machine was displayed at Coir Kerala 2015 at a special pavilion set up by the NCRMI, which is also the coordinating agency for the trade expo. The institute’s technicians are on hand to explain the workings of the loom. Visitors including a number of factories and businesses have expressed interest in buying the machine, which can also be used for weaving other natural fibres like cotton and jute.

NCRMI has not transferred the technology yet, but is exploring the possibilities of commercial production and marketing of the machine. The institute hopes to get the loom into the market soon.  Also displayed at the stall is a defibering machine which was developed by the institute and is now produced and distributed by the Alappuzha-based Kerala State Coir Machine Manufacturing Company (KSCMMC).

The portable machine can extract high-quality fibre from both dry and green coconut husk with minimal labour. Besides machinery, the NCRMI stall also features asoil erosion preventing system developed using coir geotextiles. It consists of a series of woven coir cells that can be laid on lopes with soil-binding shrubs and trees planted in them.
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