Bandung: ITB (Institut Teknologi Bandung), through the Faculties of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (FTMD) and School of Electrical Engineering and Informatics (STEI), in collaboration with P.T. Charoen Pokphand Indonesia (PT CPI) has made significant strides in developing the Mobile Corn Dryer (MCD), a cutting-edge corn drying machine. The Mobile Corn Dryer project partnership was formalized by signing a memorandum of understanding on December 17, 2019. Since then, the joint teams have successfully developed different versions of the MCD. There are lite, medium, and jumbo versions. After several testing phases, the lite version of the corn dryer, with a capacity of 1 ton per hour, is now declared ready for operation.
The lite version of the MCD prototype was developed from October 2022 to June 2023. The primary objective behind creating the lite version was to enable its use in smaller-scale fields or areas with limited infrastructure, such as Class III roads. Firstly, the lite version of MCD underwent partial testing, then it was retested after assembly. Subsequently, it was tested with varying operating conditions for the drying process. Finally, an endurance test was performed twice.
In the latest endurance testing conducted on April 15-16, 2023, the 1-ton-per-hour corn dryer functioned flawlessly for ten continuous hours daily, from 8:00 AM until 6:00 PM, over two consecutive days. Before this, during the first endurance test on April 1-2, 2023, the machine demonstrated its capacity to operate efficiently for 10 hours daily.
The endurance tests were carried out at P.T. Charoen Pokphand’s Semarang factory, resulting in an impressive 10 percent reduction in corn moisture content. The core team responsible for the testing included Dr. Ir. Toto Hardianto and Dr. Ir. Nathanael Panagung Tandian, M.Sc., both faculty members of the Energy Conversion Research Group at FTMD, along with Dr. Pranoto Hidaya Rusmin, S.T., M.T., a lecturer from the Control and Computer Systems Research Group at STEI, and Sapto Adi Nugroho, S.T., an alumnus of Mechanical Engineering at ITB, who were all directly involved in the field tests.
Moving forward, the team will create the blueprints detailing the technical specifications, materials, and manufacturing processes for the MCD prototype. Simultaneously, they will initiate the patent application process to safeguard the development of the Mobile Corn Dryer. Upon completion of these tasks, the machine will enter the production phase, with ITB and P.T. Charoen Pokphand Indonesia formalizing agreements to bring the MCD to market.