Executive Summary

The rice mill manufacturing cluster of Sitalpur, Raxaul has close to 30 mills. The components manufactured in different units of Raxaul rice mill cluster are Paddy cleaner, De-husker, Separator, Polisher, Elevator, Components of stationary mills and Tractor top machines.

The present study identified the technological gaps in the operations and products of the Rice Mill Machinery Manufacturing Cluster in Sitalpur, Raxaul, Bihar. This study was initiated with a sensitization workshop on the site. Further a number of units under the cluster has been visited and surveyed. We have made sincere efforts in documentation of the status of the technologies used in the cluster in terms of energy, environment, and productivity. Status of the machines and their operational measures are surveyed in detail. Aspects like safety and ergonomics are also noted and unit owners are suggested for adopting better practices. Production plans and plant layouts are observed and reported here. We have also performed an energy audit of representative units and identified the overheads in terms of energy wastage, pollution, and inefficiency. Environmental aspects are also worked on. Further the statuses of the final products, i.e., the milling machineries are noted. Initiatives were taken for design documentation and drawing. First time, drawings are prepared for several components and products. Unit owners are communicated to the fact that this will be a most important step towards better design, productivity, and automated production. The potential market and scopes of expansion of the cluster are explored. Stakeholders at different stages including the consumers are interviewed. Suggestions are made for better marketability of the products. A SWOT analysis of the present industrial set-up is further presented.

At the analysis stage, gaps with products made by industries of international repute are identified and measures to fulfil the gaps are suggested. Several modules on design intervention, process automation, and rigorous training are suggested. An analysis of the economic viability of the modifications is carried out. Projected investments and payback times are calculated and presented. The remedial measures are discussed in detail for an overall growth of the industry. These include both soft and hard interventions. Possibilities of certifications at different stages (i.e., energy, quality, and product) are discussed. Also, a proposed common facility centre with modern automated facilities is demonstrated and suggestions are given on training modules to equip the entrepreneurs to successfully run the CFC.

An important aspect for this cluster is that this is the sole supplier of milling machineries to the small mill owners of the states of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh etc. It is important that they provide machineries at the same cheap cost while catering the demand of milling local variations of paddy. A nearby rice milling cluster in Lakhisarai is visited and the expectations from both sides are compared. At the final parts of this report, we have presented a comprehensive plan for mutual growth of both of the clusters focusing their interdependence. This model thrives on a holistic view of industrial development where the modifications at the upstream directly influence downstream industries. Design modifications at Raxaul can directly equip rice mill owners (e.g., at Lakhisarai) to produce better quality of rice grains more efficiently and can provide a better turnover for both the mills. The last chapter of this thesis discusses the detailed proposals for this and also presents the economic and technological roadmaps.

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