Research and Consultancy

TDAU conducts consultancies in the following areas:

- Prototype Development. TDAU can produce original designs or adapt existing equipment for manufacture or use.

- Training in Engineering Design and Manufacturing. We offer a wide range of skills training in the manufacturing sector, including production process design, materials selection, component design, proto-type development and adaptation and AutoCAD.

- Development of Water and Sanitation Systems. We develop designs for peri-urban and rural water supply and sanitation.

- Socio-Economic Feasibility Studies and Technology Needs Assessments.TDAU designs and implements market studies and carries out socio-economic feasibility studies and needs assessments surveys for specific technologies for those clients who want to introduce new or improved technologies.

- Information on Available Technologies and Documentation – We package information on available technologies for clients. We can also set up information centres and train the information centre staff.

TDAU takes pride in being able to offer expertise in a wide variety of areas. Below are examples of some key assignments from different sectors we have taken on since 2000.

Agriculture and Forestry
•        In conjunction with UNIDO and COMESA, manufactured a manual seed treating machine for rural areas without electricity.
•        Developed a portable hammer mill for cost-efficient production of agricultural lime in association with the British Geological Society.
•        Developed equipment: Fruit press which can be used for wild fruits
•        Designed a press for cracking Mungongo nuts
•        Modern bee hive – these bee hives will improve the quality of the honey that is produced
•        Solar drier – is an appliance used to collect solar radiation that is used to dry variety of products. Some of the products that can be dried using this dryer include leafy vegetables, fruits, grain and fish.
•        Wood / Charcoal drier
•        Wood lathe
•        Study on charcoal production and Marketing
•        Rural transport devices
•        Construction and testing of a Timber drying kiln and Charcoal Kiln
•        Adaptation, manufacture and testing of a deep well pump for domestic and irrigation water supply.

Food Processing:
•        Assessment and improvement of technical-biological systems used for processing maize, sorghum and millet in Zambia under the auspices of the UNDP, resulting in the production of equipment such as an oil press.
•        Other equipment produced includes: freezit packaging machine, solar drier, hot over, screw press, high energy protein supplements mixer.

Water and Sanitation:
•        Developed designs for peri-urban and rural water supply and sanitation for many organizations including Sanitation Health and Education (WASHE), CARE, UNICEF and Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA).
•        Contracted to design and supply Central Board of Health with sharp boxes for medical waste.
•        Designed and supplied carts for solid waste transportation.

Rural Transport and Farm Power:
•        Implemented the Ministry of Local Government and Housing’s Intermediate Means of Transport (IMT) project, financed by the World Bank.
•        The IMT project led to the development of simple transportation devices such as ox-carts, hand-carts, water barrows, bicycle trailers and motorcycles trailers.

Renewable and Alternative Energy:
•        Installed hydro turbines for water pumping, grain milling and electricity generation.
•        Examples include mini hydro projects in Mutanda and Solwezi, water turbines in Kamwambwa, a wind mill at Kasisi and solar drier manufacturing.

Alternative Building Materials
•        Developed block presses for fabrication of stabilized soil-cement blocks for housing construction, which reduce building costs by 35% to 65%, depending on structure size.
•        Manufacturing of concrete block making machine, interlocking block making machine and plain block making machine.

Major Consultancies
        Africare, USAID: The development of the manual oil press
        Agrotec/SIDA, UNDP: Assessment and improvement of technical-biological systems used for the processing of grains and pulses
        COMESA, UNDP: The Development of the seed treating machine
        MLGH, World Bank: Intermediate means of transport (IMT)
        British Geological Society, DFID: Research in small-scale agricultural lime production for Southern Africa,
        GTZ: Documentation of animal-powered technologies (for water lifting,  and post-harvest on-farm crop processing)
        Kasisi Training Centre, Department of Energy, Mutanda, St. Mary’s in Kawambwa: Renewable energy (wind and mini hydro power)
        EU/PSDP: Feasibility for a cargo airline – group of local entrepreneurs,
        IFC/KCM: New product development - Meltcast, TQM Training
        Chilanga Cement Ltd: Design of a dumping site
        Kansanshi Foundation (FQML): Micro-hydro resource assessment
        SNV: Training in Biochar briquetting Technology and Marketing

In January 2010, TDAU was granted funds to promote scientific research and technological innovations in Zambia by the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC).  The scientific projects funded are improvements on salt production and harvesting methods as well as a deep well hand pump.

The Youth Innovator Fund (YIF) provided monetary support to allow TDAU to work in conjunction with youths to improve certain prototypes for evenual commercial use.  The products that were selected and consequently developed were the Shimaingo 5 Rope Twisting Machine, an Environmentally Friendly Life Jacket, a Simple Solar Still Picture Projector and an Nshima Making Machine.  The various funds bestowed on these projects were intended to assist budding designers with conceptualization and prototype development as well as improvements to product performance, safety and quality.


Improving Salt Production and Harvesting Methods

Deep Well Hand Pump

Shimaingo 5 Rope Twisting Machine

Environmentally Friendly Life Jacket

Simple Solar Still Picture Projector

Nshima Making Machine

Past Consultancy Work

Improving Salt Production and Harvesting Methods

TDAU in conjunction with NSTC is conducting multi-disciplinary research involving experts in Geology, Food Science, Soil Science and Engineering.  The research aims at improving the traditional methods of salt production in Zambia.  The Kaimbwe salt pans in Kasempa and the Kabwe salt pans in Kaputa are both being researched for this project.

Currently Zambia imports most of its salt, though there are many areas where salt is locally mined.  The salt produced locally is not iodated.  THrough this research, TDAU aspires to contribute to Zambia's realization of the Millenium Development Goals.  Specifically, this undertaking will contribute to the eradication of extreme poverty, and promote proper health and nutrional practices.  By empowering rural communties with suitable technologs for producing salt that meets food and drug standards, TDAU is playing a role in rural capacity building and helping to eliminate ailments such as goiters.

Deep Well Hand Pump

Deep Well Hand PumpTDAU has been developing a prototype of a Deep Well Hand Pump, whch will be adapted from the deep well pumps that are already available in Zambia.  The Zambian government, donors, NGOs and many indivduals have used these deep well hand umps in many water projects, providing clean and safe waer for people in rural areas.  Living standards in these areas are significantly improved by the availability of clean water as this provision improves hygiene practices and helps to reduce the incidence of diarrhoeal diseases.

The biggest challenge these water projects facesis the fact that all these pumps have to be imported from outside the country.  This is a drain on scarce foreign exchange resources and there is no value added to these pumps.  In certain situations, even he installation has to be done by foreign contractors.  TDAU's development of a Deep Well Hand Pump is a step towards domestic production and sustainability of water and sanitation initiatives.

Shimaingo 5 Rope Twisting Machine

This machine is designed for twisting a set of three strands of varying size.  The machine uses polytapes as raw material which can either be bought or salvaged from polybags.  Traditionally polytapes are twised by pressing and rolling them using he lower limb and palm.

The improved Shimaingo 5 Rope Twisting machine is 600mm x 400mm with a height of 600mm.  The operation of the machine stars by loading three ball bins which have two motions when in operation--rotational and translational.  The Shimaingo 5 Rope Twisting Machine s capable of producting a rope of a maximum diameter of 6mm and is powered by a 1.5HP single phase motor.  The machine has a total weigh of about 70kg.

Environmentally Friendly Life Jacket

The Environmentally Friendly Life Jacket is one of the projects that has revieved funding from the YIF and as a consequence TDAU was nominated to work with the inventor Sikalemba Muyansu to improve this innovation.

A life jacket is a devise that is worn around the neck and attached around the waist so that the wearer is made to float in a vertical position.  The purpose of a life jacket is to ensure the safety of the user during aquatic accidents.  Those who utilize water transportation and fishermen stand to benefit from this invention, as well as those learning how to swim.

There are several life jacket designs on the market with different shapes and sizes but all with the primary purpose of enabling a human being to float on water when the need arises.  This innovation meets this need.  It has also progressed a step further by utilizing disposable plastic bottles as a raw material, making the Environmentally Friendly Life Jacket not only effective in design, but also an "appropriate technology."  By recycling these bottles, TDAU and Sikalemba Muyansu have developed a product that effectively enables the user to float and contibutes to a cleaner Zambia.

Zambia has no locally produced life jackets.  All life jackets found in the country are imported.  As a result, those available are very expensive and cannot be afforded by many of the users who need them.  In addition, the life jackets are available only in big towns, putting the villagers who need them at a disadvantage. 

The prototype that has been designed is suitable to effectively make a person of 70kg buoyant.  In the future, different jacket sizes will be developed to accomodate for different sizes of people.  The materials used in the Environmentally Friendly Life Jacket are of major concern and therefore required to be properly selected and thoroughly tested should the product progress to commercialization.

Simple Solar Still Picture Projector

Simple Solar ProjectorThe Simple Solar Still Picture Projector is a type of visual aid which is still in development.  It is meant to assist rural communities which are not connected to the electrical grid.  The original concept attempted to do away with conventional power sources by using lenses and mirrors to capure and concentrate sunlight from outside into the projector.  The room itself needs to be dark, but not pitch dark; the better the lighting-concentrating lens, the more normal indoor light levels.

However due to the complexity of the light transporting system, a solar panel has been incorporated into the desgn.  The panel will accumulate and store energy in a battery during the day for projecting in the evening.  This tool is especially appropriate in cases where it is convenient to hold community activities and educational sessions in the evening due to the diurnal work schedules of participants.

The Simple Solar Still Picture Projector is an ongoing porject.  The main beneficiaries and market targets are community workers involved in adult literacy, HIV awareness, and other continuing-education classes.

Nshima Making Machine
Nshima Making Machine

TDAU is proud to be a part of the introduction of a Nshima Making Machne on the Zambian market.  The machine follows the conventional steps n making nshima; however, the preparation in this case is fully automated.  The aim is to cut down the time and energy it takes to cook nshima, enhance efficiency and improve the quality of the dish. 

This invention has tremendous potential in all of the mealie meal-based nations in southern Africa, not only Zambia.  The prototype of this machine is available, has been undergoing tests and is already patented.

Past Consultancy Work:

  • - In conjunction with UNIDO and COMESA, manufactured a manual seed treating machine for rural areas without electricity.

  • - Developed a portable hammer mill for cost-effective production of agricultural lime in association with the British Geological Society.

  • - Developed a fruit press which can be used to juice wild fruits.

  • - Produced a prototype for modern bee keeping, the new hive improved the quality of honey being produced.

  • - Implemented the Ministry of Local Government and Housing's Intermediate Means of Transport (IMT) project through the production of simple transportation devices such as oxcarts, hand-carts, water barrows, bicycle trailers and motorcycle trailers.

  • - Developed designs for peri-urban and rural water supply and sanitation for many organizatons including Sanitation Health and Education (WASHE), Care International, UNICEF and Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA).

  • - Contracted to design and supply the Central Board of Health with sharp boxes for medical waste disposal.  Designed and suppled carts for solid waste transporation as well.

  • *Several Made to Order Products are available due to the experience of our consulting team.