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Erasers (Rubber) Making Plant

 

1.       Product description: Rubber erasers are used (as the name implies) to erase pencil or other ink marks.  Made commonly from natural rubber, erasers are used by students, draughtsman, typists, bookkeeper and others to correct the mistakes of their works.


2.       Rationale: Only in elementary and secondary schools alone, there were (2004)10.5million students in our country.  All these students and other members be of the society use erasers.  Annual consumption of this product could in the tens of millions of pieces; and all these are imported by paying very scarce foreign exchange resources.  It is strange that this vital educational material has not been promoted in the past for domestic production either by the state or by the private sector.  It is time this product be produced in the country at least to meet part of the national demand of the country.  The Amhara Region can promote this project idea to be the first Region to produce this important product.


3.       Market Potential:  In 2004/2005, there were 12, 272, 430 students in the country.  If we assume that one student consumes at least three pieces of eraser in a year, total demand for erasers in the year was about 36.8 million pieces.  If we add another 20 percent of this demand to be that of other users of erasers, total demand could be about 44.2 million.  This is the magnitude of the national demand.  This clearly indicates that there is a captive market for a plant that could produce competitive erasers in the country.

 

4.       Source of Raw Material: When one looks at it, an eraser seems to be made from one raw material rubber.  But it is made from different raw materials where crepe rubber being the main raw material.  Some of the other inputs are starch, petrolatum, vulcanized waste rubber, factice, abrasive, lithopone and sulpher.  It is possible to find starch petrolatum and vulcanized waste rubber here at home.  The rest will be imported.  However, if the rubber tree plantation project becomes successful, rubber will also be obtained from domestic production.

 

5.       Production Process & Technology: Rubber eraser can be manufactured from different raw materials like natural rubber, synthetic rubber and other thermoplastics.  In this project idea, it is assumed that the eraser will be made from natural rubber.  Pale crepe (natural rubber) is first masticated with other chemicals except sulphur in a mixing double roll mill.  When the first mixing is almost complete, sulphur is also added and mixing continues for some time until a sheet of the substance is formed to the desired thickness.  It is then pressed and vulcanized in steam or electric heated hydraulic press, cut to desired size, finished on grinder and stamped.  Different types of erasers require different types of ingredients.  Main plant and machinery needed are rubber mixing roll mill, hydraulic press, cutter and grinder, boiler, stamping machine, and other accessories.


6.       Estimated Investment: A small plant which will produce 100,000 rubber erasers per year will require:

-- Building 200 m2 at Birr 1500/m2=   Birr 300,000

-- Plant and machinery                         Birr 100,000

                  -- Working capital                                  Birr  30,000

  Total                  430,000

 

7.     Benefits: foreign exchange saving, financial resource saving, new technology and new skills, possibility to export to other regions, some degree of self-sufficiency.

 

8.     Location: Combolcha, Bahir Dar.

 

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