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Wednesday, 04 December 2013

Innovative farming tools

INVENTORS: Mechanical Engineering Students, Ruan Hunlun, James Genis and Ruan Coetzee are using their skills to improve farming methods in the Western Cape INVENTORS: Mechanical Engineering Students, Ruan Hunlun, James Genis and Ruan Coetzee are using their skills to improve farming methods in the Western Cape

A group of BTech Mechanical Engineering students are using their skills to manufacture an innovative product that will positively impact farming in the Western Cape.

Ruan Coetzee, James Genis and Ruan Hunlun spent the past few months designing a high-tech beetroot topper as part of their year-long BTech project.

Coetzee says when their lecturer, Victoria Cain, tasked them with devising an innovative project, they decided to take a look at the farming community in Ceres, who identified the need for a more effective way of dealing with beetroot during the harvesting process.

“Currently farmers are cutting the foliage by hand, which is a time consuming method,” he says.

img-Innovative-farming-tools-2TECHNOLOGY: The beetroot topper

Coetzee says the beetroot topper, which measures 1.8x2x2 metres, is designed to remove foliage from beetroot as it is being harvested.

Hunlun says they spent several months working on the project, which involved intricate design work.

With no other similar machine on the marker, the team also spent hours researching suitable parts and materials for the manufacturing of the device.

Genis says thanks to funding from a Ceres based farmer, they will now build a prototype and put it into operation at the Laastedrift Farm.

Written by Candes Keating

Tel: +27 21 959 6311
Email: keatingc@cput.ac.za

Provides coverage for the Engineering and Applied Sciences Faculties; the Bellville and Wellington Campuses, and research and innovation news.