Design and development of fluted pumpkin (Telfairia occidentalis) leaves slicing machine
A motorized fluted pumpkin leaves slicer was designed, fabricated and tested. The machine comprises a conveyor system made from a rubber belt, two pairs of bearings and two hollow metal rods, a frame made from metal sheets for support. The slicing unit comprising the cutting blades and a drive (transmission) shaft, and finally a 746 W (1 hp) power drive mechanism (electric motor). Tests carried out on the machine involved placing 1 kg of fluted pumpkin leaves on the conveyor belt, which was then conveyed to the slicing unit, where it was chopped to desired size. It took an average of 9 minutes to process 1kg of the fluted pumpkin leaves during the test. Series of tests were carried out on the machine, which showed that it had an efficiency of 73.2% and is much faster than hand/manual slicing method.
Keywords: design, development, fluted pumpkin, slicing machine