Harnessing tech students for addressing industrial problems

Harnessing tech students for addressing industrial problems
When SRISTI started cooperation with many MSME through GTU in Gujarat, a lot of people were sceptics. Even the entrepreneurs were sceptic. Many of them felt that students used to come for training, how they can be expected to solve the problems. Some even put up a board that students were not welcome. But the hard work and sincerity of the purpose of teacher guides, college management, students have turned around the situation with in a year under the leadership of GTU supported by thetechpedia.in team.
Let me begin with an example of textile industry. It is a major consumer of water and the proper disposal of impure water is also a serious environmental challenge. A student team comprising Shreyasi Mehta, Jaysheel Pandya, Priyanka Jajal, Bhavesh Prajapati, and Mrinmoi Das from LD College of Engineering studied the problem of water use inefficiency and water pollution at textile units and suggested several solutions for the purpose. They conducted water efficiency tests during several stages of textile processes and found that Washing, Jigger Dyeing and Continuous Dyeing Processes had low Water Efficiency compared to Mercerizing process which was not that bad.
The team conducted the study at two plants and the names are not disclosed at the request of the unit concerned. . It found that Industry A consumed approx. 2.06 L of water /kg of cloth produced while Industry B consumed approx. 4.41L of water/kg of cloth. Such bench marking, we have argued for last three years, must be done in every sector, region and cluster. The team suggested that Recycling of Scouring Rinses for De-sizing and Recycling of Mercerizing or Bleach Wash Water for Scouring or De-sizing. Generally, caustic scoured cotton yarn packages were washed by a 10 minute hot running rinse followed by a 10 minute cold running rinse. Experiments showed that the same fabric quality could be obtained by a three minute hot running rinse followed by a three minute cold running rinse. Non-contact Cooling Water can be used as makeup water for the boiler and as processing water in some operations. It is also possible to reuse this water as non-contact cooling water after heat exchange. Use of Automatic Shut-Off and Flow Control Valves was also suggested where it was not in use.

Next example is about reduction of power consumption in Ultrasonic cleaning process at Rajkot base coating plant. Thummar, Shruti Ghetiya, Heema Dave, Abhishek Joshi (Students of V.V.P. Engg. College, Rajkot) interacted with Mr. Ramesh Garala, Vice President, Micro Ion Coating Pvt. Ltd., Rajkot during industrial shodhyatra. The company does electroplating of a variety of goods including components of time machines made by Timex and Maxima among others. A very important part of electroplating is the cleaning of the component to be electroplated prior to the electroplating. This cleaning through ultrasonic proves consumes a lot of energy.

The Students claim to have saved 3.2KW per hour besides saving in the amount of chemicals used. The student team improved the method by first reducing the size of ultrasonic cleaning tank much below the size of the conventional tank and reducing the number of piezo-crystals used from a high of 36 to just 2. This in turn reduces the power each crystal consumes and hence leads to the reduction in power consumption. Students also designed a sensor based switch which senses the temperature and switches the tank heater ON and OFF as required.

Picture of Mr Ramesh giving a certificate of appreciation to the student team, Rajkot

Just imagine what can be done by a million students every year all over the country if we decide to harness the power of tech youth. Karnataka government has taken a very deep interest in the matter. Both their Knowledge Commission and Innovation Councils are likely to meet along with VCs of all universities and a strategy will be developed not only to link the power of youth with the challenges in MSME sector but also agriculture, informal sector and other areas of public life. I don’t see why should there be so much inertia in public policy for supporting students to both file patents and put their knowledge in public domain. We take pride in the fact that without any monetary incentives, students have done what was considered impossible just a year ago. I will seek forgivance of those wise people in position of power if we have proved their doubts wrong and if hundreds of young teams of students have made us all proud in spite of their indifference. All power to youth and all appreciation for entrepreneurs like Ramesh and I will share more such stories in coming months. Hiranmay and his team at SRISTI also deserve appreciation for sustaining their spirit despite all the obstacles they faced, thanks to GTU’s undiluted commitment to this social linkage.\"\"\"\"