Please Share The Story About The Initiation Of Rhino Machines Manufacturing?
We started as a foundry project engineering & consulting firm in 1983, started by Mr. R C Kothari – a 1st Gen Entrepreneur. In 1991 after Manish Kothari joined business Rhino Machines was formed, and full-fledged manufacturing started in 1996 after they collaborated with Fondarc, France for Green Sand Moulding Technologies. Rhino has since then been producing turnkey foundry projects in molding, sand and sand reclamation as its prime focus.
How Did The Idea Come About To Manufacture Unique And Eco-Friendly Bricks, To You?
During its implementation of the green sand reclamation in 2016, Rhino found a lot of waste dust being left behind after the sand was recycled. While 70 to 80% of the problem of the sand disposal was getting addressed, the dust was difficult to dispose of. On the request of one of the foundries to find a solution in 2017, Rhino started exploring different alternatives on use of the dust that led us to try out combinations. In late 2018, after a lot of trials, the use of plastic with bricks experiment by Rhino’s young R&D Team led by Rajnikant Paghadar became successful. Once the process got established it took about a year to improvise the process to make it economically viable and efficient.
Whom Did You Partner Up With To Understand The Advantages Of These Bricks?
After our initial trials, we took the assistance and guidance of R+D Studio Shridhar Rao – our architect who saw these products and found it very strong, during his visit to our site for our shed and office expansion review. The architect firm then got the initial testing on the strength, water absorption and efflorescence done, helped us understand the advantages of the bricks.
How Come Rhino Bricks Are Stronger Than The Traditional Clay Brick And Still They Are Reasonably Priced?
The strength is a process parameter coming from the properties of plastic as the bonding agent and which not only gives strength but brings the property of plasticity unlike the brittle nature of the traditional clay bricks. When we started with the project in 2019, the cost of the process was high, but the innovative team of Rhino combined its knowledge & experience of machine building, thermal engineering to bring down the energy cost, and mechanized the system to work with minimum manpower. The next step was to work on the design of the brick-making it hollow, interlocking and thus reducing the weight and as-built cost. Besides, we are now working with IIT-Guwahati to further reduce energy consumption, to make the bricks even more competitive. There has been a continuous focus on 3 Key elements: Better, Faster & Cheaper coming together which we call as Innovation – be it technology or business modelling, which has gone into making the bricks market-ready.
Water Is A Precious Resource That Must Be Conserved, How Is Rhino Machines Contributing To It?
When we started with the bricks project, we were using fly ash, cement, etc, which needed water for production & curing. Normally there is a 25-35% water (by weight) used in the making and curing of the bricks. The Rhino SPB made out of the 2 wastes uses hardly 1% or 2% of water which is mainly for cooling of the die & brick after producing and wet scrubbing of fumes (red clay bricks allow the fumes to go in the air). The second saving of water comes from the plastering. Since the bricks do not essentially need plaster as we have seen for 2 years there has been no deterioration – the plaster consuming another 35% of water by weight got reduced. The third area, where water will get saved is with the self-interlocking bricks. We shall be eliminating the mortar used in bonding during layering, and also will be using larger size blocks which further reduce the water consumption, natural resources and also the water needed for curing the walls for about 8-10 days. We are in the process of quantifying this saving with the help of civil engineers/architects.
Bringing A Sustainable Solution Must Have Encountered Many Hurdles How Did You Overcome Them?
To build any solution and to make it into a sustainable solution, of course, there are several hurdles. There are 2 kinds of challenges or obstacles here. The first is the technical part – of making the product viable and competitive. It was by using our engineering knowledge of thermal calculations, empirical calculations and finding areas where energy could be optimized, which is what we did, and continue to do so. The second was the input waste plastic – collecting plastic (which seems to be a big issue today) was the biggest hurdle and remains. We tied up with Social Organisations in Sep 2019 such as AFS Anand, Hospitals for their non-medical plastic waste, Industries for their plastic packing materials, and on 5th Aug 2020, we signed an MoU with our industrial estate VUIA for collecting the plastic from the industry. Also, we are getting ourselves registered as a recycler to be able to provide the industries that have contributed to the certification. The third problem was a business model and positioning of the product against those in the present market, this is a work in progress.
What’s Your Advice To Corporates In Terms Of Adopting Sustainable Practices?
Corporates already have their practices in place, probably I cannot give them advice, but rather they could advise us. However, I do see a possibility for Corporates to set up measurable matrices and monitoring mechanisms on the final impact. Many times initiatives are taken from what they think is right, but it may soon happen that the recipient or the beneficiary may not need it, which ultimately does not make the initiative self-sustained. The second element which I could advise is to look at the exit strategy when making the entry strategy into any intervention, and all the stakeholders should be aware of the entry & exit, this could again have a great role to play in sustainability.
Share A Quote About Your Initiative.
SPB is the convergence of character, consciousness and community thinking towards sustainable living.
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