Performance Optimization of a Cassava Pelleting Machine
Cassava pelleting in most developing countries are usually done manually. This process is very laborious, time consuming and unhygienic. A pelleting machine has been recommended because of its low cost, high capacity of providing pelleted cassava as well as relative ease of operation and maintenance. The machine consists of a screw conveyor for conveying the cassava mash through the dies openings, electric motor, pulley drives and belts. A performance optimization of the system was carried out to maximize the solid product recovery, efficiency and throughput of the machine. The optimization results shows that the responses efficiency, throughput and power consumption of the machine were determined as 58%, 75.76kg/hr and 4106.36W respectively. Mathematical models were developed using dimensional analysis. The independent variables such as screw pitch, conveyor speed and bulk density were used to derive the dimensionless parameters used as input variables for the regression analysis. The dependent variables like the mass number, power number and the processing time number were measured and compared to computed values such as their standard errors, percentage errors and coefficient of determination.