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Zajel , An-Najah University, Nablus, 1 June 2006
The Industrial Engineering Department of the University was lacking in some equipment for its laboratories. It had previously either bought the equipment from the Israeli market or imported it from abroad through the Israeli airport or ports. Such equipment and materials are essential for experiments and teaching, but since the beginning of the Israeli aggressions against the Palestinian people from October 2000, the university has been banned from buying and importing some equipment and materials. The imposition of the siege around the city of Nablus and the imposing of more roadblocks have made it very difficult for the university to obtain such materials and equipment. Moreover, the Israeli occupation policy prevented the department from obtaining the latest updated systems and equipment needed for teaching and the laboratories. This policy did not allow the department to upgrade and develop its techniques and equipment which is necessary to enhance the performance of staff and students in industrial experiments. The Israeli policy of road blocking and siege have also had an impact on the free movement of students and staff who ought to be able to visit the industrial zones in West Bank cities in order to see the implementations on the ground.
In order to resolve this problem, the Department of Industrial Engineering invented alternative equipment that offered the same results. The local students of the department, in consultation with their instructors, managed to develop the design and fabrication of a hydraulic deep drawing machine; experimental investigation of limiting draw ratio, design and fabrication of a model for automatic soap stamping line, design and fabrication of a computer controlled flame cutting machine, experimental study on pack carburizing, sheet metal spinning using a modified wood turning machine, design and manufacturing of a rotational molding machine, design and manufacturing of a pressure-die-casting machine, design and manufacturing of a liquid filling line controlled a Programming Language Controllers and Study the effect of roller burnishing process on wear resistance of materials.
This project has had a positive impact on the department and its students, not only affecting those students who produced the projects but also those who attended the department later and who found the infrastructure for their studies, experiments and teaching materials in place.
The total estimated sum of money of the equipment produced locally is $90,600. The production of these materials and equipment has saved this sum from the budget of the university. Even though the department staff admits that the quality is not the same as the imported ones, the implementation of this ‘home-made’ equipment satisfies the staff in particular in view of the hard conditions of the imposed siege.
For more information about the plight of students, staff and departments at An-Najah University, please visit the Right to Education page of the University’s Zajel website.