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1.         Product Description:  Small weights are essential items for selling many types of products in merchandize stores such as shops, kiosks, etc.   Items like sugar, coffee, flour, fruits and vegetables and many others are sold by using weights to measure their weights or mass.  You find weights in every shop and kiosk selling different types of merchandize and also in jewelry houses.  The standard weights in shops and kiosks are of 5 kgs, one kg, 500gms, 100gms, and 50gms.


2.         Rationale:  If one visualizes the number of shops and kiosks in the country, it is easy to imagine the number of weights under use in the country.  All these weights are imported.  Weights are made from ferrous or non-ferrous metals either by casting, forging or machining.  These are simple operations but still we do not produce the weights we use.  Like so many other products, it is time we start producing these simple objects and stop importing them.  Investors in the Amhara region can take this opportunity and produce weights not only to the Region but also to the other parts of the country.


3.         Market Potential:  If strict control is undertaken by the Standards Agency, probably more than 50 percent of weights being used in the country would be disqualified for incorrect (usually for being under weight) measurement.  A casual observation of weights in any shop reveals that most of the weights are chiseled to reduce their weights.  So a weight which weighs 1kg originally when it was produced now weighs probably 800 or 700 gms.  When this widespread problem is considered, it is safe to assume that at least 50 percent of the existing weights need replacement which generates a large demand for weights for replacement.  In addition, other weights will be needed for new shops and kiosks to be opened throughout the country.  This indicates that the demand for weights will be large enough to absorb the production volume of a medium size plant.


4.         Raw Material:  The ferrous or non-ferrous metals from which weights are made will be imported.


5.         Process and Technology:  The non-ferrous weights are of the cast bronze.  The bronze may be either of phosphorous bronze, copper and its alloys.  The construction of the weights is solid type, having normally pentagon, and hexagonal shapes, flattened at the top and bottom faces.  Weights can be manufactured with either of the following processes by casting, forging or machining.  In the casting process, the weights are cast by the usual casting procedure to give the weights some symmetrical and definite shapes.  Normally cast weights do not require machining, but they are cleaned on the surfaces and painted black.  The forging process is simpler and cheaper than the casting process but the initial cost of machining is high.  This requires power and steam hammers and their accessories.  Small weights, particularly non-ferrous and below 200gms can be obtained from bright hexagonal or pentagon shaped bars, duly cut into pieces.  Machinery needed include small cupola, small alloying furnace, moulding boxes and tools, patterns, power press.



6.         Estimated Investment:  For a plant that will produce different types of weights whose total weight will be 100 tons/year, estimated investment will be:

§        Building/Shade 200m2 at Birr 1500/m2  = Birr 300,000

§        Machinery                                                   = Birr 200,000

§        Working Capital                                          = Birr 100,000



7.         Benefits:  Saves foreign exchange and regional financial resources, brings in financial resources to the Region, introduces new skills and technology to the Region, promotes self-sufficiency in industrial products.


8.         Location:  Combolcha, Bahir Dar, Debre Birhan.