When He Could Not Afford To Repair His Roof, He Invented A Foot Operated Tile Making Machine!

A lot of energy and time is spent in the tile-making process. What makes it worse is that the effort, energy and time consumed is far more than the outcome. Sukhranjan Mistry thought to solve this issue and invented a machine that could help tile makers prepare 300 tiles in a day. That too of various designs!

At first look, Sukhranjan Mistry comes across as just another farmer from Uttaranchal. However, this 32-year old man from Shakti farm, Udham Singh Nagar is credited with creating the Foot-Operated Roof Tile-Making Machine.

Traditionally tiles are made manually. It is a time consuming and less productive process, but small tile makers don’t have a choice as they cannot afford the costly machines.

Sukhranjan Mistry

Sukhranjan developed a pedal-operated tile-making machine, which works on the principle of conversion of mechanical energy from pedaling of wheel into vibration of tile on a wooden platform.


Sukharanjan’s father didn’t have enough resources to reconstruct the roof of their old house. Sukhranjan first tried to construct tiles with cement but due to insufficient and improper salting, the tiles did not have the requisite strength .

Then one day, during his visit to a nearby town he saw people working with a cold mixture for constructing roads and bridges.


He noticed that a device known as agitator played a central role in making all kinds of cement-based products. So, he thought about incorporating the agitator mechanism for constructing tiles.

Sukhranjan consulted his father and both of them worked hard to design an “agitation table”, having an agitation platform similar to the one used in constructing roads. They used an old cycle tyre rim and just two sticks for making this table.

The most essential part of this innovation was the frame used for making tiles. It took them about 15-20 days to finalize the design of the frame.



The device is a simple foot operated tile-making machine with ergonomic design. The machine is based on the principle of mechanical vibrations for making tiles. The tiles are made using a mixture of cement and river sandstone/sand. The tiles so manufactured can be used for the construction of roofs of buildings and other similar purposes.

The unit comprises of a bicycle wheel, crank, rope-link, pinion, oscillating striking link, polyethylene sheet and supporting frame. Power is supplied from two foot pedals to the crank via a bicycle wheel and rope-linkages. The crank connected with the bicycle wheel rotates as soon as the pedal is operated.


The wheel RPM is integrated to a pinion connected with the striking link which hits the worktable above, thereby constantly agitating the tile mixture. The polyethylene sheet containing the tile mixture is placed on the work platform, and is agitated by constant hitting of the striking link from below.

Continuous striking of the link on to the tile platform causes vibration in the agitator platform and removes air bubbles from the mixture while planning of the tile is done by hand.


Time taken for making each tile is 1 minute. It is possible to make 300 tiles per day having multiple designs. In addition to this, these tiles cost hardly Rs.3 as against the conventional clay tile that costs Rs.6. They also last for about 60 years as compared to the 20 years life of the clay tile.


The machine costs Rs.7500 at present and doesn’t require electricity or heating for baking the tile. The device can be made with locally sourced materials, and needs almost negligible repair and maintenance costs. It has a huge potential for employment generation in the rural parts of the country.

Additionally, women can also operate this machine without any difficulty. Foot-operated tile-making machine is an innovation which, if diffused properly and utilized to it’s optimum potential, can generate employment for thousands of individuals in small villages of our country.

Sukharanjan was awarded by NIF-India for his innovation in 2005. For Technology Licensing, Technology Transfers or Collaborations, please write [email protected]

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About the Author: Rahul Anand is interested in social innovation, enterprise and social impact. He is co-founder of Bloodaid

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