Milk collection in Egypt is highly fragmented, with 85% of milk production coming from small farmers who own less than three cows. This poses several challenges, including milk collection, maintaining milk quality, providing extension services to farmers, and availing finance to small farmers. To address these challenges, the Milcotech system was developed as a hub for financial inclusion, milk traceability, and modular design that takes into consideration the existing workflow and stakeholder needs.
What sets Milcotech apart is its innovative approach to point of sale systems. It not only includes milk quality analysis but also enables end-to-end traceability from the small farmer to the food processor. This comprehensive solution allows for data collection and analysis, facilitating effective farmer relationship management, targeted extension services, and derisking financing for small farmers.
The Milcotech system is realized through a combination of different technologies and components. The black parts are made of plain carbon steel using a laser cutter machine, while fillet corners are bent using a press brake machine. All parts are electrostatic painted. The silver parts, on the other hand, are made of aluminum using a CNC milling machine and painted using sandblasting. The system also incorporates ready-made products such as water tanks, a milk analyzer, a printer, an RFID reader, a screen, and faucets. The user interface and user experience are developed using Adobe XD, with the database powered by MySQL and the development environment utilizing .net.
With dimensions of 716 mm in width, 347.5 mm in depth, and 500 mm in height, the Milcotech system is designed to fit seamlessly into milk collection centers, optimizing space and functionality.
The Milcotech system operates through a simple yet efficient process. Farmers deliver their milk to the milk collection center and hand over their RFID card. The milk is then weighed, tested for quality, and logged into the Milcotech system. Based on the quality analysis, the milk is either accepted or rejected. Collectors then come to receive the milk in bulk, present their RFID card, and the milk collection center enters the milk quantity and the milk processor's name. The system stores all transactional, financial, quantity, and milk quality data, ensuring transparency and accountability throughout the value chain.
The Milcotech project started in April 2021 in Giza, Egypt, and involved extensive research conducted in different rural geographies. The concept was manufactured in May 2022 and is currently being piloted in the Tanta region. The research process included interviews, site visits, stakeholder observations, and stakeholder interviews, resulting in a comprehensive understanding of the challenges and requirements of the milk collection industry.
The development of the Milcotech system was not without its challenges. Integrating different products with varying design elements into one cohesive design was a major hurdle. However, the design team successfully created a system that features graceful, elegant sweeping curves, giving it a sophisticated and tidy appearance. Additionally, the concept was built on the idea of modularity, allowing users to rearrange the three parts on the desktop to fit their ergonomic preferences and workflow.
The Milcotech system has garnered recognition and acclaim in the design industry. It was awarded the Iron A' Design Award in 2023 in the Meta, Strategic, and Service Design category. This prestigious award is given to well-designed, practical, and innovative creations that meet professional and industrial requirements. Milcotech's integration of industry best practices, competent technical characteristics, and its contribution to a better world have earned it this esteemed accolade.
The Milcotech system represents a significant leap forward in the milk collection industry. By providing small farmers with access to financial services, ensuring milk quality, and enabling traceability, it empowers them to thrive in a competitive market. With its focus on data collection and analysis, effective farmer relationship management, and targeted extension services, Milcotech is revolutionizing the way milk is collected, benefiting both farmers and consumers alike.
Project Designers: I-D Tech of Nile University
Image Credits: I-D Tech of Nile University
Project Team Members: Project Champion: Heba Labib Product Manager: Ahmed Saleh Product Designer: Amira Yassin Product Designer: Gehad Ashraf UIUX Designer: Mohammed Medhat Mechanical Engineer: Ahmed Shahin Mechanical Engineer: Kamal El-Sayed Mechanical Engineer: Ahmed Saeed Embedded Engineer: Mazen Taha Software Engineer: Asem Younis Software Engineer: Merna Saleh Software Engineer: Mohammed Esam Systems Engineer: Mahmoud Saleh Manufacturing Engineer: Mahmoud Hamed Project manager: Nour Sameh Media Photographer: Karim Gordon Design Awards Researcher: Fatimah Younis
Project Name: Milcotech
Project Client: I-D Tech of Nile University