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< prev - next > Manufacturing handicraft process industries Metalworking KnO 100379_A wheel manufacturing technology for rural workshops (Printable PDF)
A wheel-manufacturing technology for rural workshops
Practical Action
Introduction of the technology
The wheel manufacturing
technology is currently being
used in workshops in a
number of countries,
including Ghana, India,
Kenya, Tanzania and
Zimbabwe. This experience
is demonstrating that
workshops readily adopt the
technology and are able to
use it to produce good
quality wheels which cost
less than alternative
Although most of the
equipment in use at present
has been supplied by IT
Transport, the primary aim is
to develop a wheel
manufacturing package
which will enable workshops
to construct and set-up their
own production facilities. A
project currently being
carried out in Zimbabwe
provides a good example of
this approach. Courses are
being run in the better
equipped workshops at
which technicians from other
rural workshops are being
trained to construct and
operate the wheel-
manufacturing equipment.
At the end of a course the
trainees take the equipment
they have made back to their
own workshops, thus
achieving an efficient
introduction of the
technology into a broad
Figure 3: A selection of wheels that can be produced using the
bending device.
spectrum of rural workshops.
The first course, which was
carried out recently, proved very successful and has resulted in the introduction of the
technology into seven additional workshops. It is anticipated that the Zimbabwe project will form
the model for similar courses in other countries.
In order to help in the promotion of the technology a technical manual is being prepared which
will present full details of the construction and operation of the equipment, and will be used in
training courses. The promotion and dissemination are being backed up by an extensive
programme of R & D aimed at developing a comprehensive package on wheel and bearing
manufacture which can be readily adapted to meet the wide range of needs and situations found
in the rural areas of developing countries.
The wheel manufacturing technology has already been proved successful and viable - it is
appropriate in that it is affordable, sustainable and enhances the technical capabilities and
productivity of rural manufacturing enterprises. It clearly has the potential to play a major role in