Our new CNC Machine.
7th January 2019:
In 2005 we came to Malawi with the aim of enabling the poorest to access clean, safe drinking water by providing communities with a unique hand pump called “The Canzee Pump” all thanks to the ingenuity of an amazing and generous man, Richard Cansdale and his late wife Sue.
Since then we have manufactured and installed pumps to provide clean water to maybe three quarters of a million of the poorest
Villagers dig and build the wells, providing bricks, sand and all labour while we manufacture and donate the pump and some cement for the building process.
At the end of last year, Kevin Dalferth, from Germany came with girlfriend Cristina to volunteer theie time and unique talents. Kevin assessed our manufacturing process and came up with at least a million ideas.
With his genius and hard work (20 hour days!!) he made and enabled this CNC machine, with parts form everywhere
CNC means Computer Numerical Control. This means a computer converts the design produced by Computer Aided Design software (CAD), into numbers. The numbers can be considered to be the coordinates of a graph and they control the movement of the cutter, which cuts plastic valves in this case, into the desired shape.
So now we have a working CNC-machine in the factory in Mzuzu. What can we do with that?
We will produce the small and big valve, as well as the rubber discs from old car tubes fully automatic on this machine. That saves a lot of time, improves accuracy and as I changed the design of the pump we now use 6mm high discs, cut from the rod. Then you can add 8 valves into the machine and basically press a big green button that starts everything. After a while you take out the finished parts.
I hope that this machine will enable a faster production of high-quality parts. A great thing is also that I can now design any kind of new design, send the files from anywhere in the world to Harisen and he will be able to produce the parts. New Pump? New Design? Something completely different? Sure. No problem. Let’s cut it out…
Here, Christopher has cut some solid plastic disks on the chopsaw, has fitted them into the slots, pressed the GO button, and the machine gets on with its task.
The precision is amazing, we save on materials, there is less waste, and there is more time for installations and servicing.
We have 3 amazing lathes, manufactured in the UK from 1890, mechanically stunning and still in daily use.
Firstly you might consider how far our Malawian workers have progressed to be able to manage 1890’s technology and then consider the jump to current Leading Edge technology.
We are so grateful to Richard, Sue, Kevin and Cristina, but also so proud of our gang in the factory who just get on with the process without diplomas or degrees and without wondering at themselves.
Maybe the Universe has colluded once again?