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For the Summer school of Innovation 2017, the first visit was in the village Pratapnagar of Gandhinagar District of Gujarat. It’s a small village but a stricking observation which one cannot miss are the various micro scale factories setup in almost all houses. These businesses provide multiple sources of income to the rural people in addition to earning from farming.

One of such business was operated by Nathu Bhai. He may be in 80’s with old and wrinkled skin but his energy and dedication to share knowledge about his workshop was immaculate. The old man owns a metal workshop, which primarily does repairing of submersible pumps. While new submersible pump costs about Rs 55,000-95,000, the repairing costs are about Rs 5000-10,000.Thus the small workshop receives submersible for repair quite often. In the backyard of the shop, the Nathu Bhai’s family also makes shovels.

He showed our team a ceiling fan fully, fabricated by him. As if this was not fascinating enough he also informed the team that it was powered directly by Diesel Engine which powered the Lathe Machine.

While observing the repairing process and also on enquiring about any hardship faced by him in the overall process, Nathu Bhai explained about how he has to employ 4 people to shift a submersible from tractor to shop interior on its arrival in tractor trolley. The shifting process is tricky as the pumps can be as heavy as 100kg, with no proper grip. Also, those 4 people have to climb 2 steps while carrying the pump, which makes the process dangerous. The team decided to work on this specific problem.

For solutions various ideas were discusses and discarded because of various constraints like cost, space requirement, complexity etc. After much brainstorming, the team agreed on two simple solutions.

The First solution is using pipe frame structure and chain block mechanism to lift and shift the submersible pump from the tractor trolley to the shop floor for disassembly and repair. The pipe frame has legs which are longer on the trolley side and shorter on the shop floor side to adjust for the height difference in ground. The frame is also fully detachable for easy storage when not in use.

The solution will be discussed with the Nathu Bhai and family for feedback on concept when we visit them for next field visit.

The second solution proposed by team involved a design inspired by human arm movement. It had three members connected by two hook joints. First member is embedded in wall on one end and other end is supported by pillar member to transfer load to the ground. The combined angular movement by the two arms is 180 degrees.

Day 2

The solutions were presented to Nathu bhai. He listened to both solutions very keenly and gave feedbacks about the designs. The first design was preferred by him and he readily helped the team to improve our design with his insights. The team felt inspired and motivated by his enthusiasm.

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