design and testing of horizontal type of mechanical rhizome chopper1


Design and Journal Indonesian testing ofof horizontal Agriculture type 3(1), of mechanical 2010: 39-44rhizome chopper

DESIGN AND TESTING OF HORIZONTAL TYPE OF MECHANICAL RHIZOME CHOPPER1) Raffi Paramawati, Mardison, Sigit Triwahyudi, and Reni Yuliana Gultom Indonesian Center for Agricultural Engineering Research and Development Situgadung, Legok, Tangerang, PO Box 2, Serpong 15310, Banten Phone: (021) 5376787, 70936787, Facs.: (021) 5376784, 70936784, Email: [email protected]

ABSTRACT There are many constraints faced by farmers or producers in production of simplicia (dried sliced rhizomes) to meet the market demands. Commonly, farmers produced the simplicia by washing, chopping (slicing), and drying the rhizomes; everything was done manually and traditionally. The absence of the mechanical chopper (slicer) affects productivity of the processing as well as quality and price of the products. The purpose of this research was to develop machines that will suit the need of farmers. The method used consisted of several stages, namely technical analysis, manufacturing design, fabrication, and technical testing. Results of functional testing using ginger, white turmeric, and galangal rhizomes indicated that the mechanical chopper functioned properly. Technical testing showed that the simplicia met the Indonesian standard quality, such as in its volatile oil and ash contents. The capacity of the mechanical chopper ranged from 133 to 137 kg input/hour or 125 to 135 kg output/hour, depending on the species and varieties of the rhizomes. This production capacity is much larger than that of the manual processing using a knife (4 kg output/hour) or a manual chopper (5.53-7.19 kg output/hour). [Keywords: Rhizomes, choppers, mechanical engineering]

INTRODUCTION Indonesia occupies the third position in terms of biodiversity after Brazil and Zaire. Among the 40,000 flora, 30,000 species of them had been identified (Direktorat Jenderal Hortikultura 2006). In relation with medicinal for example, the wealth gives potential of economic empowerment for the people welfare, as reflected by the rapid growth of traditional medicine industry, either on a large-scale or smal scale industries. There are not less than 1166 companies consisting of 129 traditional medicine industries with investments of more than IDR 600 million and 1037 small-scale traditional medicine industries with investments of around IDR 600 million (Rostiana 2006). The total biopharmaceutical trade in international markets is 500 million tons per year with growth of 8.5%/year (Sumarno 2004). 1)

Article in bahasa Indonesia has been published in Jurnal Enjiniring Pertanian Vol. V No. 2, 2007, p. 107-114.

Rhizomes are false roots of herb plants which are useful for storage of food reserves of the plants. Besides containing starch, rhizomes also contain various types of essential oils and oleoresin that are useful for food products and traditional medicines. Some common types of rhizomes that have been cultivated and traded are ginger, turmeric, galingale, and galangal. A variety of products, such as those for traditional medicines, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, as well as for foods and beverages can be made from ginger. Yuliani et al. (2002) had examined the processing of ginger into new products of effervescent granule extracts, while Syukur (2003) studied the anti-cancer effects of white turmeric (Curcuma zedoaria). Factors driving the increased use of herbal medicines in the developed countries are the longer life expectancy ages in line with increase in the prevalences of chronic diseases, the failure of the use of modern medicines for certain diseases such as cancer, and the expansion of access to information about herbs in the world (Sukandar 2004). Intermediate products from the rhizomes that are traded for the traditional medicines, both for the domestic markets and for exports are in the form of crude drugs or simplicia. In the codification of legislation traditional medicine, simplicia is natural ingredient that is used as a drug that has not experienced any kind of processing, in the form of dried materials (Ditjen POM 1982 in Direktorat Jenderal Hortikultura 2006). The process of making simplicia in principle covers washing, slicing (chopping), and drying. In ginger, early stage of the processing is washing the rhizomes. At this stage, water contents of the materials are estimated at about 85-90%. The materials were then chopped at a thickness of 7-8 mm. After drying, the thickness of the ginger slices becomes 5-6 mm (the Indonesian National Standard or SNI requirement was 5-7 mm) with a weight loss of 60-70%. Good quality ginger simplicia has a moisture content of no more than 10% (wet weigh, w/w), while the low quality of about 25% (w/w) (Ketaren 1985). The process of rhizome chopping is generally done traditionally by using a knife, so it has a low productivity and requires a lot of labor. This has caused chopping cost relatively high. According Mulyono et al. (1993), the


Raffi Paramawati et al.

average cost of manual chopping of rhizomes in Wonogiri Regency, Central Java, 15 years ago, was IDR 118/kg fresh rhizomes. Galangal rhizomes have high fiber contents and hard texture, thus need more extra power for chopping. The use of a cassava chopper for chopping the rhizomes was less effective because the thickness of the simplicia produced was not uniform. Rhizome chopping can be divided into two forms, namely chopping crosswise (splits) and chopping along the fiber direction (slices) (Purseglove et al. 1981). To obtain a high percentage of essential oil, rhizome chooping following the fiber direction is better than the crosswise chopping. Chopping rhizomes into slices, however, is difficult to be done manually, especially if the type of rhizomes is fingers-like such as ginger and white turmeric. The mechanical rhizome chopper made by the Indonesian Medicinal and Aromatic Crops Research Institute has produced simplicia slices that meet the standard quality of trading, but it still leaves percentages of unintact slices ranging from 8.97% to 13.82% and percentages of unchopped rhizome from 2.65% to 3.05%. Basuki and Handoyo (2006) reported that the use of a motorized chopper disc with a vertical type double knives for chopping galingale, ginger, and turmeric had output capacities of 75.20 kg, 68.20 kg, and 76.90 kg/hour, respectively. The tool dimension (length x width x height) was 60 cm x 60 cm x 120 cm, with two feeder units and use a 3.5 HP gasoline engine. Due to the increase in the fuel price, a 2.0 HP electric motor was then used in engineering the chopper machine. It was expected that this machine can chop along the direction of rhizome fibers and affordable by the consumers from the aspect of price, quality, and ease of operational. The objective of this research was to develop a horizontal type of menchanical rhizome chopper.

MATERIALS AND METHODS Materials and Equipments Materials used in this study were engineering materials, test materials, and auxiliary materials. The engineering materials included iron plates, steel elbow, steel channel, pipe stall boxes, knives, V belts, pulley, contactors, electric motor, and reduction gear. The test materials were rhizomes of white turmeric, ginger cv. Gajah, and galangal, all bought fresh from the market. The three kinds of rhizomes have different textures, namely white turmeric with soft texture, ginger with medium texture, and galangal with hard texture (high fiber content). The auxiliary materials included welder, welding wire, paints, and grinding stones.

Functional testing and verification of the tool was done using measuring instruments as required, such as Tachometer (to measure rotation of the blade holder), a shove (to measure thickness of the chops), and an Infrared FD 240 (to measure water content of the chops). Testing of quality of the dried simplicia was done in the laboratory using a qualified analytical tool.

Methods Engineering standard method of the mechanical tool was started from pre-designing (sketch drawing), followed by designing (calculations of the designing technique), making the image technique (design), manufacturing (prototype construction) until testing the tool (functional and verification tests). During the tests, observations were done on the engine performances, parameters of the dried simplicia in the form of essential oil content (SNI 06-31931992), oleoresin content (AOAC Chapter 35 in 1984), ash content (SNI 01-3709-1995), acid insoluble ash content (SNI 01-3709-1995), and fiber content (SNI 01-2891-1992). Dry simplicia was obtained by drying the results of chopping in a drying machine to reach a moisture content of about 10%. Functional Design The machine designed is a horizontal type chopper with a four-position blades that can be regulated, so it can cut the rhizomes with a thickness variation of 3-12 mm. This machine does the cutting using the power from a 1 HP rotation torque engine at a rotation speed of 300 rpm. Working principle of the mechanical chopper is chopping (slicing) rhizomes using a blade. The materials to be chopped (rhizomes) are inserted into the hopper in a static state, while the blade is placed on a rotating disc positioned below the hopper. Blade rotation speed can be calculated using the following equation: φ2 np = nm x —— .................................................................. (1) φ1 where: φ 2 = blade rotation (rpm) φ 1 = diameter of pulley on the blade axis (inches) np = diameter of pulley on the engine axis (inches) nm = engine rotation (rpm) Using equation (1), speed of the blade rotation of the mechanical rhizome chopper can be calculated based on 1400 rpm engine rotation. There is a 2-inch diameter pulley


Design and testing of horizontal type of mechanical rhizome chopper

at its engine axis, and a 4-inch diameter pulley at the blade axis. The blade rotation was calculated as follows: φ2 np = nm x —— .................................................................. (1) φ1

The two equations above, equations (3) and (4), can be combined to determine the diameter of the transmission axis that was used in the design process (Khurmi and Gupta 1982). Hence, the equation for calculating the diameter of the transmission axis is as follows:

1 inchi np = 1400 rpm x ———— = 280 rpm 5 inchi


In accordance with the SNI requirement, the thickness of the wet rhizome chops (slices) is 5-7 mm. Sectional area of the hopper was 120 m x 80 mm, while the specific weight of the rhizomes, based on some of the test samples, was 0.3995 kg/liter. Hence, capacity of the chopper can be calculated theoretically using the following equation: Capacity = np x A x t x BJ x 6 x 10-5 ...................................... (2) where: Capacity np A t BJ

= chopping capacity (kg/hour) = blade rotation (rpm) = area of hopper section (mm2) = chop thickness (mm) = specific weight of the rhizome (kg/liter).

The theoretical chopping capacity based on the assumption that the engine runs continuously is: Capacity = np x A x t x BJ x 6 x 10-5 = 0.3995 x 280 x 120 x 80 x 7 x 6 x 10-5 = 451 kg/hour During the machine operation, loading and unloading system of the materials took almost 50% of the operating time. The theoretical chopping capacity of the machine is, therefore, only 225 kg/hour. In this calculation, however, rhizome hardness and crude fiber content in the rhizome, which will reduce the actual chopping capacity of the machine, have not been calculated. 2πNT P = ———— ...................................................................... (3) 60 where: P = power of motor (watt) N = nm = rotation speed of motor (rpm) T = torque (Nm)


Tmax = —— f s x d3 ............................................................ (4) 16 where: T = rotation speed of motor (rpm) d = diameter of transmission axis (cm) fs = shear strength (kg/cm2).

————— 960 x P ......................................................... (5) ————— 2 π2 x fs x N

Shear strength of ginger rhizome is the 14 kg/cm2. This and other supporting data can be used to calculate diameter of trasmission axis using the equation (5) theoretically as follows:



————— 960 x P ————— 2π2 x fs x N

————————— 960 x 1492 ————————— = 1.517 cm ~ 15 mm 2(3,14)2 x 14 x 1400

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION Structural Design Based on technical calculations using the formulas on the functional design, the overall dimensions of the mechanical rhizome chopper had a 600 mm long, 500 mm wide, and 800 mm high. The machine consisted of motor, frame, hopper, disc and chopper blade, units of the chopper outlet, and cover unit of the chopper. Explanation of each component is as follows (Figure 1): • Motors: electric motor with a 1 HP power, 1450 rpm. This engine is connected to an axis of the disc chopper by transmission belt and pulley unit. • Frame: frame and the engine cradle are made of mild steel pipes of 1.6 mm x 40 mm x 40 mm stal box. The overall dimension of the machine is 515 mm long, 450 mm wide, and 600 mm high. • Hopper: consisted of two 1.2 mm metal plate drawers, each has a size of 150 mm long, 100 mm high, and 280 mm high. These boxes are used to place raw materials of rhizomes and located parallel to the right and left side just above the chopper blades. Each of box-end is placed towards the chopper blades at a safe distance so that the blade does not touch the box end. The rhizomes to be chopped will be placed. The rhizomes in the box are fed to the chopper blades with a pressure mechanism (drivers) that are placed in each box.


Raffi Paramawati et al. Hopper


Cover unit of the hopper

Unit of knives

Disc and chopper blade


Unit of the hopper


Unit of the chopper outlet

Figure 2. Prototype of the horizontal type of mechanical chopper for rhizomes. Figure 1. Design of the horizontal type of a mechanical rhizome chopper.

• Chopper disc and the blades: the chopper disc is circular and made of steel plate with 400 mm diameter and 10 mm thick. There are four rectangular-shaped holes (100 mm x 15 mm) that are placed symmetrically, function as a seat for the chopper blade. The blades are made of rectangular steel plates with a size of 95 mm long, 50 mm wide, and 1 mm high. This blade is placed on the chopper disc at 45° angle and fastened with bolts. This blade can be adjusted in accordance with thickness of the slices or chops needed. • Outlet unit of the chopper: serves as an outlet channel of chop results from the chopper blade. The outlet channel is made of a 1.2-mm steel plate that is placed in oblique below the chopper disc. Results of the chopping will fall by gravity from the chopper blade through the outlet channel to a container outside the chopper engine. • Cover unit of the chopper: The cover is made of a 1.2mm thick metal plate to cover and protect the engine components that move so that the process of chopping is safe for the operator. A hinge is installed at the front of the cover so that part of the cover can be opened to facilitate cleaning and adjustment of the chopper blade.

Table 1. The chop thickness and percentages of intact and nonintact rhizomes of ginger cv. Gajah. Replicate (sample no.) 1 2 Average/mean

Thickness (mm)

Intact chops (%)

Non-intact chops (%)

6.2-8.0 6.0-7.9 7.16

85.00 90.00 87.50

15.00 10.00 12.50

the form of non-intact slices (flakes) (Table 1). The higher the fiber content of the rhizomes, the harder the rhizome texture, hence the percentage of non-intact slices is bigger. On the contrary, the softer the rhizomes texture, the percentage of non-intact slices is smaller. According to Suhardiman (2008), the thickness of the wet simplicia of ginger cv. Gajah decreased from 7-8 mm to 5.13-5.57 mm when dried, while the thicknes reduced from 5-6 mm to 3.43-3.57 mm and those with thickness for 3-4 mm to 1.43-1.80 mm. In this study, therefore, the blade position was set so as to produce wet slices with 7-8 mm thickness.

Results of Performance Test Results of Functional Test Prototype of the horizontal type of mechanical chopper for rhizomes is shown in Figure 2. Technically, the mechanical chopper had functioned well, able to chop the rhizome quickly. When the chopper blade was set at 7-8 mm thickness to chop rhizomes of ginger Gajah, the chopper produced slices with an average thickness of 7.16 mm, with 85-90% in the form of intact slices and 10-15% in

Data on performances of the mechanical rhizome chopper indicated that the hardness texture of the rhizome affected the chopping speed; the harder the rhizome texture, the slower chopping speed (Table 2). A rough calculation showed that the chops of white turmeric produced per hour (135.37 kg/hour) was higher than that of the ginger cv. Gajah (128.82 kg/hour) and galangal (125.08 kg/hour). Results from analysis of fiber content of the rhizomes showed that galangal rhizomes have a total crude fiber


Design and testing of horizontal type of mechanical rhizome chopper

content much higher (12.17%) than that of the white turmeric (5.88%) and ginger cv. Gajah (6.77%). Based on its input and output, the mechanical rhizome chopper had a processing capacity of 133-137 kg rhizomes/ hour (input) or 125-135 kg of slices/hour (output), depending on the type of rhizomes. This capacity is much larger than that with the manual chopping process using knives, which is only about 4 kg rhizomes/hour or 5.537.19 kg rhizomes/hour using a manual rhizome chopper. When compared with the rhizome chopper of the upright disc with double blade type that has a capacity equal to 68-75 kg rhizomes/hour (Basuki and Handoyo 2006), the processing capacity of the horizontal type mechanical rhizome chopper is also higher. However, based on calculations using the rotation equations as described in the functional design, this capacity is only about a half of the theoretical capacity. Drying of rhizome slices of white turmeric, ginger, and galangal using a drying machine produced values of chemical components as shown in Table 3. The use of the mechanical chopper and the drying machine produced slices (simplicia) that have better quality than those produced by manual chopping and sun drying that was obtained from the herbal traders.

The National Standardization Agency requires the quality of simplicia as follows: a minimum of 1.5% essential oil content for ginger, maximum of 5% ash content for ginger and 7% for white turmeric, and maximum of 2% acid insoluble ash content for ginger and 1% for white turmeric. Ginger simplicia produced using the mechanical chopper met the SNI requirements, in either its essential oil content, ash content, or acid insoluble ash content. The white turmeric and galangal simplicia, however, did not meet the standard levels of the essential oil content required. Meanwhile, the ash content in the simplicia produced and dried using the mechanical tools met the SNI. The acid insoluble ash, however, did not meet the SNI (1%). The acid insoluble ash or the so called sand content is a foreign matrials that are found in the simplicia. These foreign materials can be in the form of soil and gravel, which might be carried from the lifted rhizomes from the ground. Rhizome washing in the early stage of processing was intended to eliminate the foreign substances. Currently, almost all simplicia from the traders contained the foreign substances. This indicates that the washing process at farmer level has not eliminated all contaminants. In general, the simplicia of ginger, white turmeric, and galangal produced by horizontal type mechanical chopper

Table 2. Data on performances of the horizontal hype of mechanical chopper when used to chop rhizomes of white turmeric, ginger cv. Gajah, and galangal.


Intact weight of rhizome (kg)

Chopping time (second)

Amount of simplicia chops (kg)

Input per hour (kg)

Output per hour (kg)

White turmeric Ginger cv. Gajah Galangal

2.0 ± 0.56 1.0 ± 0.53 1.01 ± 0.70

37.39 ± 9.83 11.27 ± 0.01 12.17 ± 0.05

1.97 ± 0.52 0.94 ± 0.07 9.44 ± 0.65

137.43 137.04 133.82

135.37 128.82 125.08

The time of loading rhizomes into the hopper was 15 seconds/load.

Table 3. Chemical composition of simplicia of white turmeric, ginger, and galangal processed using the horizontal hype of mechanical chopper.


White turmeric 1) White turmeric 2) Ginger 1) Ginger 2) Gelangal1) Gelangal2) 1) 2)

Essential oil content (%)

Oleoresin content (%)

Ash content (%)

Acid insoluble ash content (%)

Fiber content (%)

1.49 1.06 1.89 1.68 0.70 0.55

9.41 8.98 19.21 8.00 13.33 13.47

6.88 6.07 5.37 9.30 10.13 8.64

2.21 0.06 0 4.22 0 6.17

5.88 7.71 6.77 7.57 12.17 13.47

Chopping and drying using mechanical chopper and drier. Choping using knives followed with sun drying.


Raffi Paramawati et al.

had better quality, particularly on the essential oil and oleoresin contents than the same products sold in markets, which is produced manually by farmers.

CONCLUSION Horizontal type of rhizome mechanical chopper that has been engineered functioned properly and can be used to accelerate the process of chopping rhizomes and to produce dried simplicia that meet the standard quality of SNI. Capacity of the mechanical chopper ranged from 133-137 kg rhizomes/hour or 125-135 kg of slices/hour, depending on the type of rhizomes. This capacity is much larger than that of the manual processing using a knife, which is 4 kg rhizomes/hour or 5.53-7.19 kg rhizomes/hour using the manual chopper. The use of the mechanical chopper and dryer produced better quality of simplicia than that produced manually by farmers using the manual methods.

REFERENCES Basuki, S. dan J. Handoyo. 2006. Teknologi Pascapanen Tanaman Obat (Kencur, Jahe dan Kunyit) dengan Alat Perajang Bermotor. [20 Desember 2006]. Direktorat Jenderal Hortikultura. 2006. Kebijakan pengembangan tanaman biofarmaka. Makalah pada Lokakarya Penerapan

Mekanisasi Pengolahan Biofarmaka untuk Meningkatkan Mutu, Balai Besar Pengembangan Mekanisasi Pertanian, Serpong, 21 Desember 2006. Ketaren, S. 1985. Pengantar Teknologi Minyak Atsiri. Balai Pustaka, Jakarta. Khurmi, R.S. and J.K. Gupta. 1982. A Text Book of Machine Design. Eurasia Publishing House, Ram Nagar, New Delhi. Mulyono, E., U. Haris, R. Sumitro, dan B. Jaya. 1993. Paket Teknologi Industri Hulu Empon-empon. Badan Penelitian dan Pengembangan Pertanian, Jakarta. Purseglove, J.W., E.G. Brown, C.L. Green, and R.J. Robbins. 1981. Spices, Vol. 2. Longman, New York. Rostiana, O. 2006. Hasil-hasil penelitian tanaman obat. Makalah pada Lokakarya Penerapan Mekanisasi Pengolahan Biofarmaka untuk Meningkatkan Mutu, Balai Besar Pengembangan Mekanisasi Pertanian, Jakarta, 21 Desember 2006. Suhardiman, H. 2008. Pengaruh Ketebalan Irisan dan Metode Pengeringan terhadap Mutu Simplisia Kering Jahe (Zingiber officinale). Skripsi Fakultas Teknologi Industri, Universitas Pelita Harapan, Jakarta. Sukandar, E.Y. 2004. Tren dan Paradigma Dunia Farmasi. IndustriKlinik-Teknologi Kesehatan. Orasi Ilmiah pada Dies Natalis Institut Teknologi Bandung yang ke-45, Bandung. Sumarno. 2004. Potensi pengembangan tanaman biofarmaka sebagai pangan fungsional Indonesia. Prosiding Seminar Nasional Pangan Fungsional Indeigenous Indonesia: Potensi, regulasi, keamanan efikasi dan peluang pasar. Pusat Penelitian dan Pengembangan Sosial Ekonomi Pertanian, Bogor. Syukur, C. 2003. Temu Putih Tanaman Obat Antikanker. Penebar Swadaya, Jakarta. Yuliani, S., N. Purwanti, dan T. Indrawati. 2002. Formulasi granul ekstrak jahe berkarbonat. Buletin Tanaman Rempah dan Obat XIII(2): 13-24.


design and testing of horizontal type of mechanical rhizome chopper1

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