Raw Material and Component Supply Infrastructure in Ghana to Support Professional Engineering Design and Manufacturing

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The purpose of this thesis wor k is to assess the supply and availability of raw material and component infrastructure in Ghana to support professional engineering design and manufacturing. The ar eas cover ed by the research include: the range of engineering inputs available in the country; the sizes, ratings, as well as the condition of the available inputs; the criteria used by importers of those inputs; technical qualifications of the importers; the amount of engineering inputs produced locally as compared to those imported into the country and the effects of non-availability of the required material inputs on overall manufactur ing efficiency and effectiveness. In the study the availability of engineering inputs are investigated using a questionnaire administered on suppliers/dealers in engineer ing inputs, local engineering materials producers as well as machinery design and manufacturing firms in the country. In addition, some amount of data was generated through personal observation. The survey revealed that most of the engineer ing materials available in the country essentially comprise low and medium carbon steels which come in various forms. Engineering components such as bearings and their mountings, roller chains, washers, pins, retaining rings, „O rings, induction motors, motor starters, contactors, circuit breakers as well as main switches are readily available and can be obtained as both „new and „used components in various sizes. It further revealed that, almost all of these engineering inputs come from outside sources into the country. Again, most of the supplier s/dealers have very low technical qualifications with majority of them having no background at all in relevant technical areas. Also, occasional requests made by customers coupled with importer s own personal experiences from the import business form the criteria upon which the later order their engineering inputs, but healthier situation will result if qualified people such as graduates from the country s higher training institutions, particularly the universities and polytechnics, are encouraged to go into the design and manufacture of machiner y as well as the supply of engineering inputs. This will ensure availability and cor rect specification of the inputs.
A Thesis submitted to the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, in Partial Fulfillment for the Degree of MASTER OF SCIENCE, Department of Mechanical Engineering.