Visit to Loadstar at Midigama

Loadstar is a manufacturing organization carrying out its operations based on several plants scattered around Western and Southern parts of Sri Lanka. It was started in 1984 as a joint venture of Jinasena Group of Companies of Sri Lanka and Solideal International of Belgium. Its production is mainly based on rubber, one of the three main export crops of Sri Lanka. It was started as a BOI project and now acts as one of the world’s leading Tyre manufacture in Industrial Tyres.

As an individual entity it contributes to 3% percent of country’s total foreign income and it purchases over 70% of the total rubber production in Sri Lanka. Currently all of its manufacturing requirements are fulfilled by its own chain of companies. It has around 8200 employee base contributing at various stages of its manufacturing effort and they recognized each and every employee as a member of the company. Its main production is aligned under four main product lines:

  • Air Tyres
  • Solid Tyres
  • Rubber Tracks
  • Rims & Wheels

Their productions are exported to over 90 countries, distributed among Europe, North & South America and Africa using more than 150 sales centers. The manufacturing is purely handled in Sri Lanka under the authority of Jinasena Group of Companies and the sales are handled by the Solideal International through their sales centers in USA, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, UK, Sweden, Poland, Australia, etc… Their target customer segment is the original equipment manufacturers(OEM’s) in the world(26 altogether), such as Toyota, Nissan, FIAT, TCM, Mitsubushi, Lugli, Atlet, Komatsu, JCB, Simba to name a few.

They maintain nine rubber collecting centers scattered around the country and they have the South Asia’a biggest rubber mixing plant at Kotugoda. It carries out the initial preparation for the collected rubber sheets before releasing them to the plants (at Midigama, Ekala, etc..) to carry out the actual manufacturing of the Tyres. They have a plant called Kiyotho at Ekala equipped with fully automated robotic technology to carry out the manufacturing of the Rims and the Wheels.

At Midigam, Loadstar has one of its main Tyre manufacturing plant that operates 24 hours a day and 365 days a year. According to them the plant stops its normal operations only during Sinhala & Tamil New Year and this April it was for only seven days. The entire facility is equipped with the modern equipments and technologies and most of the mechanical machinery has been designed and built by the engineers in the company to efficiently utilize the energy, materials, workforce and the space. Every production line is properly managed and well looked after. To maintain the quality aspects they have recently introduced the S5 methodology at the facility. Through that they have managed to greatly reduce the cost and increased the productivity by identifying the inefficient processes and excess utilization of human labor. They have achieved several ISO standards, to name them:- ISO:9001:2000 & ISO:14001:2004. All the Loadstar members always try to cultivate and maintains five values among them.

  • Make the customer delight
  • Respect each other
  • Honesty
  • Dedication, collective responsibility and ownership
  • Respect the values and virtues of culture and environment

We were warmly welcomed by the management at the Midigama plant and given an introduction and insight of the company by the officials at the Human Resource department. Later we were introduced to the engineers at the plant, the brains behind its operations and machinery. Where ever you look you only see is huge machinery carrying out specific task of the tyre manufacturing process. There were Tyres that are so huge even I felt that I’m too short(5′ 10″) compared to them. There were some Tyres that used several dozens of iron bar for a single Tyre other than the use of strips of rubber coated copper wires. For a single Tyre they used several layers of rubber compounds of varying proportions, for me it was a totally new experience because previously I have only heard about it form others but this gave me a chance to experienced it by my own eyes, on how really each activity is taking place at the each stage of the process. They were always experimenting on new ways and methodologies to improve the quality and increase the efficiency of the Tyres, I’m telling this because I even got a chance to see how they experiment on new things at the plant.

In front of Loadstar

In front of Loadstar

At the Training Center

At the Training Center

They joined us with lunch

They joined us with lunch

Time for lunch

Time for lunch

Unfortunately we were not allowed to take any sort of cameras into the plant. So I did not have the chance to capture some of its memorable moments into pictures, but I’m grateful to the management and everybody at Loadstar for giving us this wonderful opportunity despite their busy schedules. Especially I would like to give my special thank to Dr. J. C. Balasuriya for arranging this field visit to Midigama Loadstar manufacturing plant as a part of our Robotics lectures at the Faculty.

Although it was a field trip, we had an enjoyable time throughout the two days. The quest to Midigama started on Wednesday afternoon, stopped at Galle to have some snacks. Then we decided to visit Rumassala (since it was only few kilometers away),  to one of the richest bio-diversed coral sanctuary in the world, but unfortunately it has lost most of its richness due to the Asian Tsunami devastation in 2004. We had an adventurous walk along the beach towards the Temple thanks to Deneth’s love of exploring the natural beauty. Next we head to our resting place. There we met one of our lab assistance, Lalith who was there at the Faculty last year before joining the non-academic staff of University of Ruhuna recently. He took us to a marvelous nearby beach for us to have swim in the sea; it was around 7 o’clock in the night. Although we could hardly see each other I stayed in the sea playing with each other and there was a small island that was there within our reach towards the sea about 100 meters. After the nice sea bath everybody headed to explore the island in the dark. It was picturesque to watch the sea form the top where the sun is setting down and the sea waves splashing against the rock beds scattering water all over. It was next the day we visited Loadstar at Midigama and spend the entire day at the manufacturing plant. While returning back our lecturer invited us to his place for a tea. We reached the lecturer’s place by 7 0’clock and it was a fabulous thing at that moment because everybody is so tired and hungry. We stop at Nadeesha’s place at Ambalangoda for dinner around 10 0’clock and reached our destination by mid-night.








Sri Lanka reunited under one flag

In the current era Sri Lanka is the only country that had the courage and determination to wipe out the terrorism and I hope rest of the world will take this as an example and act wisely to have a world free form brutal terrorism.

My grate country

My grate country

18th May 2009 is a historical day for all the Sri Lankans because it marked the end to the brutal barbarism carried out by the LTTE terrorists, putting my motherland to hell. I’m extremely happy to say that we’re so fortunate to have a grate leader with true and unbiased determination that leads our country to peace and prosperity and equally brave security forces(Army, Air Force & Navy) that made it a reality. It was a war that lasted for past 3 decades causing grate misery to all the Sri Lankans ruining our country’s glory and prosperity. We are a free nation reunited under one flag, long live Sri Lanka.

Sahana @ Unlocking Young Minds ~ 2009

Last Thursday was a very busy day for me specially because it was the starting day of our exhibition. I was responsible for designing the brochure and getting the content finalized and few other designs which needed to handed over to Sanjaya to get them printed on previous day (Wednesday).

The FOSS lovers of my batch got together and decided to do something valuable of what we know during the exhibition by having a section called “Open Source Software” to educate the public about the importance and the benefits they can gain for their daily life. Glimpse into what Sri Lankans have given to the world community. We planned to have the section as follows:

  • Free Operating Systems and their usage
  • FOSS tool for our daily work
  • Sahana Project

In the Free OS section we demonstrated Minix, Free BSD, Sun Solaris, Fedora and Ubuntu by Kalana and Yoshan. In most cases majority of them were surprised about the functionality and the capabilities inherited in them because they had only experienced and exposed to the Windows XP. In the next section people got the chance to get to know and experienced the FOSS alternatives for Office Productivity(OpenOffice Suite ), Image and Video Manipulation(GIMP, Inkscape, Blender, etc..), Internet (Mozilla Firefox, Thunderbird, Pidgin, etc..), Entertainment(VLC, Amarock, Mplayer, etc..), Education, Emulation Engines(Wine), etc.. to name a few, it was conducted by Uthpala.

I took myself the opportunity of explaining and demonstrating the Sahana, which came as a result of Asian Tsunami devastation that took quarter a million of human life away. With the help of the documents received from Chamindra I prepared a poster highlighting its special milestones and its functionality.

Sahana Poster :1

Sahana Poster : Part 1

Sahana Poster :2

Sahana Poster : Part 2

To make the session more interesting I took the OLPC running Sahana on it, and Sahana running from an USB to show them and make them feel how the system can be used in real life situations. I’m happy to say that out of the people I spoke to most showed their interest towards joining the community, especially by students. I’m happy to say that I got an invitation from a school at Rathnapura to do a demonstration of the Sahana project at their exhibition which will be held on 22nd of June, I’m looking forward to it.

During the three days I got the chance to get to know various people and majority of them haven’t even knew that such a project exist and it had done so much of service to the world. So I’m very happy that I got a chance to convey the importance and the services it had given to the world community. I got the chance to talk with Mr. Wasantha Deshapriya the Director, Re-engineering Government Programme Information & Communication Technology Agency(ICTA). He appreciate the effort rendered by the Sahana community to make it a globally acclaimed project.

I had to run to Motorola (Pvt) Ltd Sri Lanka. to collect some of their equipments(various kinds of Bar-code Scanners, Wearable Computers and several other hand-held devices – happy to say that most of them are designed and developed here at Motorola Sir Lanka) during Wednesday. I must especially thank Mr. Ruwan Jayanetthi(who teaches us Embedded Systems) and Mr. Damith Jayawickrama at Motorola (Pvt) Ltd for the support given to me despite their busy schedule.

Memorable moments







Sahana used in world largest Humanitarian Rescue Mission

During the last couple of months group form LSF and Ministry of Resettlement and Disaster Relief Services got together to deploy Sahana to facilitate the operations of world largest humanitarian rescue mission carrying out by the Sri Lankan Security Forces and the government of Sri Lanka to rescue the innocent civilians from the brutal and barbarian LTTE carders who keep them as a human shield with the fight against the Sri Lankan Security forces.


I’m so fortunate to help in this humanitarian rescue mission by being part of the development team which was lead by Ravith.

Unlocking Young Minds 2009

To mark the end of the event series of the 7th Anniversary Celebrations of Faculty of IT, an IT exhibition is planned to be held on the 14th, 15th and the 16th of May 2009. This is the successor to “Unlocking Young Minds”: the Fifth Anniversary Celebrations Exhibition held in July 2006. The objectives of this exhibition are:

  • Encourage student innovations, expectations and demonstrate their talents to the general public
  • Create a better understanding among the general public on student capabilities and the latest technologies
  • Provide an opportunity for the students to learn the implementations of fundamentals
  • Promote the faculty within the nation

The exhibition will demonstrate a selected number of undergraduate projects, award winning projects at various competitions and invited projects from other universities and institutions. Separate stalls will be allocated to demonstrate key technologies and for the sponsoring companies. Certificates will be awarded to the exhibitors.

Under the FOSS category we have planned to demonstrate a wide verity of FOSS alternatives that can be used to fulfill our daily computing needs ranging from OS platforms, educational applications, entertainment applications, graphic applications, games, etc… Among them you’ll be able to get to know more about the Sahana project, which was started in Sri Lanka just after Tsunami devastation to help coordinate relief services. Today the Sahana has evolved into the defacto application used in the world for post disaster relief coordination services. There will be a demonstration of Sahana system on a OLPC and a USB drive. Looking forward to meet you there.