Jubail Industrial College students' project entitled "Design, Fabrication and Automation of A Novel Multi-Compartment Mixing Hopper Prototype" won the second prize during the 'Fikra Rising Stars of Plastics Industry' competition held in Dubai, UAE. Students from regional universities and vocational institutes competed with each other to seize the opportunity to showcase their innovative product and process improvement ideas to the plastics business community.
The goal was to develop a prototype of a multi-compartment mixing hopper system that can combine the process of mixing, dosing and feeding polymer raw material along with other additives to polymer processing machines in one step, thereby reducing the total cycle time of the product as well as increasing the production rate of the processing machine. It is believed that this prototype can save the polymer processing companies a lot of space, time, energy and money. It is also worth mentioning that the novel hopper system can be an effective tool in research and development laboratories and quality control centers due to its small bench-top size and its ease of operation.
The students' project was completed in three semesters: from developing the first prototype with foam and wood, to improving the prototype with Plexiglass and steel, and finally, the project completion with full automation. The project was supervised the Department of Chemical and Process Engineering Technology, with the support of the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering Technology for automating the students' project.