Development and performance evaluation of a liquid soap production machine for local soap industry in Nigeria
A liquid Soap production Machine was developed and evaluated to facilitate local production of liquid soap in Nigeria. A Preliminary study of the liquid soap production process was carried out within the local soap industry to collect necessary information and establish the appropriate production procedure. This was translated into the design concept of the machine. Detailed design of the components of the machine was done followed by its fabrication. The developed machine which was powered by a 1 Hp (0.746 kW) variable speed electric motor comprises a main mixer, two pre mixers, machine frame, V-belt drive and geared drive systems. All materials used in the fabrication of the machine were sourced locally. Result of machine evaluation revealed that the machine run smoothly in operation. Also, it was established that drudgery and fatigue associated with local production of liquid soap had been substantially reduced according to the responses from the users of the developed machine. The viscosity and turbidity of the liquid soap produced using the developed machine was found to be higher than that of the manually produced one while its viscosity was found satisfactorily at par with that of the liquid soap produced using one of the commercially available mixing machines (MMs). However, the cost of production of the machine developed herein and its subsequent maintenance cost is cheaper than that of the MMs.
Keywords: Design, development, evaluation, liquid soap production, mixing machine