IPB University’s Student Received Silver Medal for Oil Palm Fruit Harvesting Tool Invention
Childhood experiences and complaints from workers on the oil palm plantations motivated Tegar Nur Hidayat to innovate. Hidayat is a Department Mechanical Engineering and Biosystem student from IPB University’s Faculty of Agricultural Engineering and Technology. He invented a tool to support and help workers in harvesting oil palm fruits which increases harvest results while reducing the load of work. The device was named “Erbron-C” or egronomic “brondolan” collector.
Erbron-C which Hidayat and his team created managed to gain a Silver Medal at the ASEAN-India Grassroot Innovation Forum held by the Department of Science and Technology, Republic of Phillippines, 20th-21st November 2019. The tool seems simple, but the impact it has on the Indonesian oil palm plantation workers is massive. According to data from the Indonesian Ministry of National Development Planning in 2018, the oil palm industry works over 16,2 million laborers with 4,2 million direct laborers and 12 million indirect laborers. Among those numbers, Hidayat mentioned that many complained about multiple issues when harvesting oil palm fruits. He will never forget the time his father was under service of the government at one palm plantation in South Kalimantan. Back then, his father often took him on rounds around the plantation to control and oversee the harvest. Through that memory he conducts further research. When his team was involved in field work in one plantation, he discovered the sad reality. He discovered the harvesting of oil palm fruits to be manually done, being both ineffective and inefficient. The manually done harvest was causing a high rate of exhaustion and low harvest results. From seeing the field condition, he and his team created two simple machines. He states that tools to harvest oil palm fruits have been created before, although with a different set of machinery and design and never once been used by the oil palm industry. He claims his device to be totally new in design and mechanism. He created the tool in two different types of mechanisms.
The trial results of this tool are highly positive. Through measuring the index of Increased Ratio of Heart Rate (IRHR) (a measurement of heart rate at rest and work used to determine workload) it is found that the use of Erbron-C decreases work load to a value of 1.34 (low workload), compared to manual harvest which values at 1.79 (heavy workload). Besides that, field capacity also increased. In an effective work time of 3 hours, manual harvest results in only 144 kg per day, while after using Erbron-C, the results sky-rocketed to 595 kg per day. Automatically, the potential of business profit increased as well, and incomes of workers would be upgraded from an estimate of IDR 720.000 per month to IDR 2.970.000 per month.
The machinery of Erbron-C which also won a Gold Medal in the 32nd National Student Scientific Week (Pimnas) has been designed for over a year. The proses of making this device began with a technical design, optimization of design and dimension, ergonomics analyses, selection of technical material suitable for characteristics of oil palm fruits, and finally production. Until now, Hidayat and his team continues to develop their device in order to provide real benefits to people and create the right technological help urgently needed to solve important problems in Indonesia. The good news is, some of Hidayat’s works have been registered as trademark, and is in the process of development for mass production.
Published Date : 03-Dec-2019
Resource Person : Tegar Nur Hidayat
Keyword : IPB University Student, Erbron-C