1. State your problem

| September 3, 2019

Video Contents
1. State your problem
Copra is the dried flesh of a coconut used to extract oil and its production is an essential occupational sector required within the communities of East Santos way of living. In regards, the main source of income produced for the island and its community is their copra production (Live & Learn Vanuatu, 2017a). For the copra product to be created the coconuts first need to be split in half and then dried before exporting it to their buyer. This process is conducted by the people of East Santos and has become a part of their culture. Their current methods of production, specifically their technique of splitting coconuts involves workers using a large axe and conducting a full swing from overhead to ground where the coconut lays. This is problematic as it lacks efficiency and requires a strenuous amount of physical labour which has the potential cause back injuries.
2. State and explain your final design
Copra cutter: 2a. What is it? Where was it inspired from? How was this idea developed? Online Kinetic log splitters online
2b. What is it made of? How was it constructed?
2c. Brief state what it does
2d. What is the design meant to achieve? Increase efficiency, reduce hard manual labour in comparison to current method
The final design chosen throughout this project is a spring assisted coconut splitter. This idea was inspired by a kinetic log splitter found online. This idea was then adapted to be more appropriate for the needs of the East Santo people.
The design uses potential kinetic energy stored in the springs to assist the user in cutting coconuts. This allows the user to split coconuts with much less physical exertion than manual methods. This design also is of a much higher efficiency than manual coconut splitting methods, potentially increasing profits yielded. The splitter can be mounted essentially wherever the user chooses, this flexibility allows the users to move the design if they need it elsewhere
This design could be shared among households and used by a number of people. This would allow for a higher copra production efficiency while also saving on costs. The design is made from galvanised steel, this is to ensure no rusting or deterioration occur, as Vanuatu experiences high humidity frequently.
3. Show/Explain your prototype 3a. How does it work and what does it do? + Visual Demonstration Spring operated weighted axe mechanism to increase the force applied
(Facts/Statistics/Numbers) In order to make the prototype more portable for demonstration, a scaled down version was built to test function. The operation involves shutting the stopper on the auto-feed ramp and loading a number of coconuts onto it. The operator will then open and close the stopper to allow one coconut to roll down onto the striking surface. Unfortunately our prototype showed nuts rolling out too fast and unpredictably, especially when steep angles were used. However this was made from PVC pipe, where bamboo should provide more friction. Once the coconut is in position, they can use the handle to apply a downwards force and strike the coconut, splitting it in half. Much of the coconut water should drain down into a bucket while the operator throws the nut halves off the strike surface into a container where the copra can be scraped out. The system can be quickly repeated until all loaded coconuts are processed. Operators would be encouraged to wear gloves to provide some protection from splinters and the sharp blade.
4. Analyse prototype by showing what you learned. What was good about your design? What do you have to change? What failed?
Relate to 1 or more of 4’s questions:
4a. it is safe to say that this design is much safer than the current manual methods used in Vanuatu. As it can be seen, a handle bar is welded to the blade which points vertically towards the cutting platform this means there will be no necessity to swing the blade overhead for cutting. However, for further safety a blade guard can be used similar to one used in radial arm saws, to cover blade when device is not in use.
4b. Efficiency: The structure of this splitter allows the worker to use minimal energy when splitting the coconut. This means, the worker can focus using this device for a longer duration before hitting fatigue state. Several features that make this tool efficient is the surface height along with the coconut feeder & water catchment mechanism.
adjustabe Surface height is a simple yet effective implementation that grants the user to raise the striking surface higher, reducing back strain from bending over to add or remove nuts. The coconut feeder is a gravity fed ramp feature made from bamboo where several coconuts can be placed so that when one is split, the next feeds under the axe. This allows a single operator to slice multiple nuts without having to lean over and pick up another one. A wooden pin is attached to the ramp that prevents the coconut from over-flowing the striking surface. However, putting this into test, we’ve used several nuts to replicate the coconuts. As seen, it was a difficulty to operate this feature and will need further improvement.
The water catchment implementation features a carved-out area of the striking surface which allows coconut water to be captured during the process of splitting
4c. Ease of use: This design covers multiple key aspects that benefit the community of Vanuatu. First is the ease of use. To use the coconut splitter, it requires minimal labour work that assists in removing copra from coconut shells before drying. This is all done by the swing of an axe controlled by a simple car spring that allows the user to pull down on the handle for the splitting action before releasing pressure to return to its starting position.
4d. Simple concept easy to make yet time consuming:4e. The re-creation of this concept is compact, however requires welding and cutting knowledge to proceed. It will also require some weight adjustments to get the balance right. Overall, creating each section of this concept will take time and precision in order the outcome to be successful.
4f, The continuous striking to the platform will most likely make the axe head dull. Fortunately, the axe head can be easily sharpened and used again. Bump stop is also used on the swing arm to keep the axe head from regularly impacting the striking surface, thereby decreasing blade wear.
Just thought it might be useful to write down the process of construction in case it’s helpful for you guys, especially when writing the rest of the report or doing our presentation.
1. Find appropriate second hand metal, spring and piece of wood (or purchase if required)
Mount Section
2. Measure and cut out pieces for mount
3. Use bench or angle grinder to remove sharp edges and bevel for stronger welds (especially important to grind back welding surface if using galvanised metal as specified)
4. Clamp backboard pieces together and weld
5. Drill hole through side for attaching swing arm and four holes in face for bolting to base
6. Weld RHS pieces for front of mount and sheet metal plate
Swing Arm
7. Measure and cut pieces for swing arm
8. Grind down edges and bevel for welding
9. Weld vertical and horizontal parts together
10. Sharpen an old axe head and weld to the end of swing arm
11. Drill hole through far end of swing arm for pivot shaft
12. Grind back top and bottom corners next to hole to prevent binding when assembled to mount
Base (Prototype only, for portability. Real thing likely a post driven into ground)
13. Cut redgum sleeper in half
14. Drill holes to attach mount
15. Tech screw old survey pegs to both pieces to hold apart
16. Chisel out drainage for coconut water
17. Find good size pvc pipe (will be bamboo for vanuatu)
18. Cut in half
19. Drill hole in a corner and insert bolt as a stopper
20. Use 4 bolts to attach mount to base
21. Bolt swing arm to mount
22. Insert spring under swing arm and check for best position
23. Use tech screw and washers in best position to prevent spring from slipping.
24. Spray paint cause everything looks better in CAT yellow

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