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Traditional grain and nut grinding is a laborious, time intensive process.


Improving Lives Without a reliable grinder, women


and girls in rural Africa often spend several hours each day using rudi- mentary tools to grind their crops into edible food. With the CTI machinery, they are able to spend more time farming, selling their crops and attending school. In addition to helping families


reduce drudgery and improve food production in the home, CTI’s grind- ers are used for microenterprises. Te Tikondane Support Group of people living with HIV/AIDS in Malawi uses CTI’s grinders to create peanut butter to eat and sell. “Because of CTI’s grinders, our


livelihoods have drastically changed for the better,” said Yonas Chonzi, who oversees the Tikondane Sup- port Group. “Since the grinders came, we can afford peanut butter, a source of much needed protein. Before, we couldn’t dream of eating peanut butter because of its high price. Now, with the hand cranked grinders in our hands, we buy groundnuts and do the grinding on our own. Our health has improved greatly, and we have a thriving, income generating activity.” Chonzi offers the example of one Tikondane Support Group member, Joyce, whose


health was deteriorating in 2012. Her weight decreased from 140 to 86 lbs. “[Antiretroviral drugs] were not making any difference to her until she began taking peanut but- ter,” he said. “She is now full of life and can do peace works and provide for her six children.” “CTI’s grinders are often placed in


communities in remote areas with few resources, so it is essential that they be reliable and low cost, which is a significant challenge,” said Alexandra Spieldoch, executive director, CTI. Te primary feature that sets


CTI grinders apart from other hand- operated mills is its burrs. Tese are the grinding plates that come in contact with the food being processed, and they must be not only food safe but extremely durable, because


replacement parts and maintenance might not be available. “We seek out fabricators and suppliers that can help us produce extremely high quality products at a rate that’s affordable,” Spieldoch said, “so we can impact more lives and provide tools to the families who need them most.”


Enabling Technology


Te first generation of the product used stainless steel burrs that were CNC machined from solid metal at a machine shop in St. Paul, Minn. “Not only was the product costly but the time consumed manufactur- ing it was expensive,” said Ewing. “So, a machinist and myself went over to Smith Foundry.” Smith Foundry, Minneapolis, is an ISO9001:2008 regis- tered green sand opera- tion. It specializes in low and medium volume gray, ductile and austempered ductile iron castings rang- ing from several ounces to 250 lbs.


The Tikondane Support Group uses CTI’s Ewing IV grinder.


“[Ewing] came in with a couple of old castings and discussed with our staff what he had and what he was looking for,” said Neil Ahlstrom, president, Smith Foundry. “We discussed how we could put this together for him, what kind of material specifications it


March 2014 MODERN CASTING | 27


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