An innovation by a team of lecturers from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering (FEE), Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) led by Ts. Dr Noorfadzli bin Abdul Razak have come up with a machine designed to bake the traditional Malaysian delicacy, Akok. He and his team comprising Ir. Ts. Dr Fadhlan Hafizhelmi Kamaru Zaman, Ts. Dr Mohd Faizol Idros, Ir. Ts. Dr Syahrul Afzal Che Abdullah and Associate Professor Ir. Ts. Dr Juliana Johari spent eight months to build the automated akok baking machine which expedites the baking process.
Akok, a traditional Kelantan delicacy made from eggs, sugar, coconut milk and flour is traditionally baked using a copper mold placed on a charcoal fire. This has evolved with times whereby now this traditional baking has been transformed and can be baked using an automated ‘oven’. Usually, one mold can bake only 10 ‘Akok’ and it will take 25 minutes. Thus, for sellers, especially Hazanna Trading, customers’ orders are difficult to fulfill because it takes time to bake the Akok. However, the machine is able to bake Akok within 5 minutes and is five-times faster compared to the conventional method. As a result, the machine can help Hazanna Trading boost the Akok production in order to fulfill customer demands. Also, it allows the company to venture and diversify into the frozen food business.
This machine which is medium-sized is made of mild steel, a type of steel that has a high resistance to breakage. Mild steel, as opposed to higher carbon steel, is quite malleable, even when cold. This means it has high tensile and impact strength. It is easily moveable, rust-proof and can operate for a long duration in high-temperature. The machine’s main components consist of a gas oven, a table rail, conveyor rollers and two mechanical pushers which are driven by motors. Several proximity sensors and limit switches are installed to the components so that they can be controlled automatically using a Programmable Logic Controller (PLC). It has been proven through this invention, the time to bake a mold of Akok only takes only 5 minutes compared to the traditional way of baking which takes 25 minutes.
Currently, Dr Noorfadzli and team members are working on a second prototype with several enhancements. The new machine will be integrated with several devices such as a high-speed controller with Artificial Intelligent (AI) technique, vision sensor, thermocouple, smart valves, and others. Applying these smart devices will increase the flexibility of the machine so that it can bake other traditional local goodies such as as bahulu, kuih bakar kemboja and even pizza. As the size of the machine is compact it can easily be fitted into a food truck. Hence, more business owners can own this machine to expand their food business. It is the hope of Dr Noorfadzli and team that with the invention of this machine, it will improve peoples’ livelihood and contribute to the growth of the nation’s economy.
Prepared by: Ts. Dr Noorfadzli bin Abdul Razak & Dr Najidah Hambali, UiTM
Edited by: Assoc. Prof. Dr. Geetha Subramaniam, InQKA, UiTM