Design and Application of Agricultural Equipment in Tillage System

A special issue of Agriculture (ISSN 2077-0472). This special issue belongs to the section "Agricultural Technology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 December 2022) | Viewed by 76499

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Faculty of Science and Engineering, Southern Cross University, Lismore, NSW 2480, Australia
Interests: discrete element method (DEM); agricultural machinery design; tillage; soil mechanics
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Guest Editor
Department of Biomechatronics Engineering, National Pingtung University of Science and Technology, Pingtung County 91201, Taiwan
Interests: artificial intelligence; mechatronics; internet of things; edge computing; signal processing
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues, 
 
The population of the world is increasing dramatically, but the required land and water resources to produce a sufficient amount of food are limited. To meet the growing food demand, productivity in agriculture should be increased. Tillage is defined as the mechanical manipulation of agricultural soil, and it is an extremely vital part of crop production, particularly for seedbed preparation and weed control. Tillage operations are carried out using mechanical force, commonly by using a tractor-drawn tool to achieve cutting, inversion, pulverization, and disturbance of the soil. A significant part of the energy (from fossil fuels) used in crop production is expended in tillage. This energy use increases greenhouse gas emissions. It is essential that we reduce energy use (hence reducing greenhouse gas emissions) to achieve sustainable farming practice, and that we improve crop production and design new tillage tools or optimize existing tools. 
 
Although the design and evaluation of tillage tools are generally carried out using analytical methods and field experiments, with the recent technological improvements, computer and software technology have gained a great deal of interest from researchers for the design and evaluation of tillage tools. Additionally, sensor technology has also been adopted to improve the efficiency of tillage tools.       
 
This Special Issue aims to collate innovative papers that make a significant contribution to the design and application of agricultural equipment in tillage systems. It welcomes original research and review papers from different research fields, including but not limited to agricultural engineering, engineering simulation, and precision agriculture. 

Dr. Mustafa Ucgul
Prof. Dr. Chung-Liang Chang
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • primary tillage tools
  • secondary tillage tools
  • discrete element method (DEM)
  • finite element method (FEM)
  • agricultural machinery design
  • optimization
  • automation
  • sensor technology

Published Papers (30 papers)

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Editorial

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3 pages, 173 KiB  
Editorial
Design and Application of Agricultural Equipment in Tillage Systems
by Mustafa Ucgul and Chung-Liang Chang
Agriculture 2023, 13(4), 790; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture13040790 - 30 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1530
Abstract
Due to the rapid increase in world population, the demand for food has increased dramatically [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design and Application of Agricultural Equipment in Tillage System)

Research

Jump to: Editorial, Review

14 pages, 4809 KiB  
Article
Simulating Soil–Disc Plough Interaction Using Discrete Element Method–Multi-Body Dynamic Coupling
by Mustafa Ucgul
Agriculture 2023, 13(2), 305; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture13020305 - 27 Jan 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2241
Abstract
Due to their (a) lower draught force requirements and (b) ability to work at deeper operation depths and faster operation speeds, disc ploughs have gained interest in Australia. A modified version of the disc plough that involves removing every second disc and fitting [...] Read more.
Due to their (a) lower draught force requirements and (b) ability to work at deeper operation depths and faster operation speeds, disc ploughs have gained interest in Australia. A modified version of the disc plough that involves removing every second disc and fitting larger and often more concave discs has become popular. However, the development of the one-way modified disc plough is in its infancy, and a detailed analysis is required, particularly on soil movement. Historically, the soil movement analysis of the soil–tool interactions is conducted using empirical methods. However, the experimental tests are resource and labour intensive. When the soil and tool interaction can be accurately modelled, more efficient tools can be designed without performing expensive field tests, which may only be undertaken at certain times of the year. This study modelled the interaction between soil and a one-way modified disc plough using the discrete element method (DEM). As the disc plough is a passive-driven tool, the rotational speed of the disc plough was modelled using DEM-MBD (multi-body dynamic) coupling. The results of the study show that DEM-MBD coupling can predict the rotational speed of the disc plough with a maximum relative error of 6.9%, and a good correlation was obtained between the DEM-predicted and actual soil movement (R2 = 0.68). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design and Application of Agricultural Equipment in Tillage System)
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15 pages, 28696 KiB  
Article
Determination of Performance of No-Till Seeder and Stubble Cutting Prototype
by Mehmet Emin Bilgili, Yasemin Vurarak and Ali Aybek
Agriculture 2023, 13(2), 289; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture13020289 - 25 Jan 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1958
Abstract
One of the most common problems in maize production is the management of plant residues. Small agricultural enterprises, which cannot allocate capital for acquiring stalk cutting machines for their operation, face many technical problems in preparing the sowing bed for the products that [...] Read more.
One of the most common problems in maize production is the management of plant residues. Small agricultural enterprises, which cannot allocate capital for acquiring stalk cutting machines for their operation, face many technical problems in preparing the sowing bed for the products that will be planted after maize. Stalks of maize that cannot be shredded adequately and on time cause machinery to clog, prevent the preparation of a proper sowing bed, increase fuel consumption and increase costs. The aim of this study is to compare the no-till sowing machine prototype and stalk cutting machine prototype with the classical stalk cutter in terms of some management values. The prototype stubble cutting machine used in the study was manufactured with a cylindrical structure and equipped with 24 cutting blades 1 cm thick and 8 cm wide. İn addition, the prototype stubble cutting machine used in the study was manufactured with a cylindrical structure and equipped with 24 cutting blades 1 cm thick and 8 cm wide. İn addition, the no-till seeder prototype was manufactured as a bucket-type seed hopper equipped with granular fertilizer capable of sowing four rows. It was concluded that the stubble cutting machine prototypes resulted in less fuel consumption with lower penetration resistance when compared with the classical stalk shredder. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design and Application of Agricultural Equipment in Tillage System)
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18 pages, 2735 KiB  
Article
Prediction of Single Disc Seeding System Forces, Using a Semi-Analytical and Discrete Element Method (DEM)
by Ali Khosravani, Jacky M. A. Desbiolles, John M. Fielke, Mustafa Ucgul and Chris Saunders
Agriculture 2023, 13(1), 206; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture13010206 - 13 Jan 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1804
Abstract
There is a rising interest amongst Australian farmers to use disc seeders due to their ability to operate in high residue conditions and at higher speeds, commonly in the range of 12 to 15 km h−1. This paper reports on developing [...] Read more.
There is a rising interest amongst Australian farmers to use disc seeders due to their ability to operate in high residue conditions and at higher speeds, commonly in the range of 12 to 15 km h−1. This paper reports on developing an analytical and discrete element method (DEM) force prediction model suited to a rotating flat disc blade operating at different sweep and tilt angles. To validate the models, field experiments were carried out with a flat disc blade at two tilt angles of 0 and 20° and four sweep angles of 6, 26, 45 and 90° in sandy soil. An analytical approach was developed following an experimental investigation that showed that only the forward portion of the disc blade is actively involved in generating soil failure, while the magnitude of this active portion of the soil-disc interface varied with sweep angle. The predicted active proportions correlated well with the experimental observations. As applying different sweep angles affects the direction of soil movement relative to the disc face, the directions of the friction and resultant forces at different sweep and tilt angles were determined. The equation of soil acceleration force was adapted to account for different sweep angles. Results showed that the predicted force fits relatively well with the measured data at 90, 45 and 26° sweep angle, while the low correlation between predicted and measured force at 6° sweep angle was due to the scrubbing reaction force not accounted for in the model. Results also showed that a better coefficient of determination (R2 = 0.93) was obtained between DEM vs. test results compared to the analytical model predictions (R2 = 0.86), particularly for predicting side forces. It was found from the study that both the developed analytical approach and DEM model enabled the prediction of soil forces at different sweep and tilt angles acting on a flat disc blade, which can assist in optimising disc design to lower the specific resistance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design and Application of Agricultural Equipment in Tillage System)
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17 pages, 3431 KiB  
Article
Prediction of Single Disc Seeding System Forces, Using a Semi-Analytical and Discrete Element Method (DEM) Considering Rotation Effects
by Ali Khosravani, Jacky M. A. Desbiolles, Chris Saunders, Mustafa Ucgul and John M. Fielke
Agriculture 2023, 13(1), 202; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture13010202 - 13 Jan 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1457
Abstract
Disc seeders are commonly used in no-till farming systems, and their performance evaluation generally rely on expensive and time-consuming field experiments. Mathematical models can help speed up force-related evaluations and improve the understanding of soil-disc interactions, to assist the performance optimisation processes. Previous [...] Read more.
Disc seeders are commonly used in no-till farming systems, and their performance evaluation generally rely on expensive and time-consuming field experiments. Mathematical models can help speed up force-related evaluations and improve the understanding of soil-disc interactions, to assist the performance optimisation processes. Previous analytical force prediction models of disc blades have not accounted for the free rotation aspect of the disc blade. This paper develops an analytical force prediction model from the wide blade failure theory adapted to suit rotating flat disc blades operating at different sweep and tilt angles and compares predictions with Discrete Element Method (DEM) simulations. To validate the two models, experiments were performed on a remoulded sandy soil condition using a rotating flat disc set at two tilt angles of 0° and 20°, and four sweep angles of 6, 26, 45 and 90° the 3-dimensional force components of draught, vertical and side forces were measured. Results showed a higher coefficient of determination (R2 = 0.95) was obtained with analytical model predictions compared to DEM predictions (R2 = 0.85) for their agreement with the test results. It was found that both the developed analytical approach and the DEM model can be used to predict tillage forces at different sweep and tilt angles acting on a rotating flat disc blade. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design and Application of Agricultural Equipment in Tillage System)
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15 pages, 3308 KiB  
Article
Optimal Design and Analysis of Cavitating Law for Well-Cellar Cavitating Mechanism Based on MBD-DEM Bidirectional Coupling Model
by Gaowei Xu, Huimin Fang, Yumin Song and Wensheng Du
Agriculture 2023, 13(1), 142; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture13010142 - 5 Jan 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1292
Abstract
A variable velocity parallel four-bar cavitating mechanism for well-cellar can form the well-cellar cavitation which suits for well-cellar transplanting under a continuous operation. In order to improve the cavitating quality, this paper analyzed the structural composition and working principle of the cavitating mechanism [...] Read more.
A variable velocity parallel four-bar cavitating mechanism for well-cellar can form the well-cellar cavitation which suits for well-cellar transplanting under a continuous operation. In order to improve the cavitating quality, this paper analyzed the structural composition and working principle of the cavitating mechanism and established the bidirectional coupling model of multi-body dynamics and the discrete element between the cavitating mechanism and soil through Recurdyn and EDEM software. Based on the model, a three-factor, five-level quadratic orthogonal rotational combination design test was conducted with the parameters of the cavitating mechanism as the experimental factors and the parameters of the cavitation as the response index to obtain the optimal parameter combination, and a virtual simulation test was conducted for the optimal parameter combination in order to study the cavitating law of the cavitating mechanism and soil. The test results showed that the depth of the cavitation was 188.6 mm, the vertical angle of the cavitation was 90.4°, the maximum diameter of the cavitation was 76.1 mm, the minimum diameter of the cavitation was 68.5 mm, and the variance in the diameters for the cavitation was 5.42 mm2. The cavitating mechanism with optimal parameters based on the Recurdyn–EDEM bidirectional coupling mode could further improve the cavitating quality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design and Application of Agricultural Equipment in Tillage System)
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21 pages, 4809 KiB  
Article
Tillage-Depth Verification Based on Machine Learning Algorithms
by Jing Pang, Xuwen Zhang, Xiaojun Lin, Jianghui Liu, Xinwu Du and Jiangang Han
Agriculture 2023, 13(1), 130; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture13010130 - 4 Jan 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1593
Abstract
In an analysis of the penetration resistance and tillage depth of post-tillage soil, four surface-layer discrimination methods, specifically, three machine learning algorithms—Kmeans, DBSCAN, and GMM—and a curve-fitting method, were used to analyze data collected from the cultivated and uncultivated layers. Among them, the [...] Read more.
In an analysis of the penetration resistance and tillage depth of post-tillage soil, four surface-layer discrimination methods, specifically, three machine learning algorithms—Kmeans, DBSCAN, and GMM—and a curve-fitting method, were used to analyze data collected from the cultivated and uncultivated layers. Among them, the three machine learning algorithms found the boundary between the tilled and untilled layers by analyzing which data points belonged to which layer to determine the depth of the soil in the tilled layer. The curve-fitting method interpreted the intersection among data from the fitted curves of the ploughed layer and the un-ploughed layer as the tillage depth. The three machine learning algorithms were used to process a standard data set for model evaluation. DBSCAN’s discrimination accuracy of this data set reached 0.9890 and its F1 score reached 0.9934, which were superior to those of the other two algorithms. Under standard experimental conditions, the ability of DBSCAN clustering to determine the soil depth was the best among the four discrimination methods, and the discrimination accuracy reached 90.63% when the error was 15 mm. During field-test verification, the discriminative effect of DBSCAN clustering was still the best among the four methods. However, the soil blocks encountered in the field test affected the test data, resulting in large errors in the processing results. Therefore, the combined RANSCA robust regression and DBSCAN clustering algorithm, which can eliminate interference from soil blocks in the cultivated layer and can solve the problem of large depth errors caused by soil blocks in the field, was used to process the data. After testing, when the RANSCA and DBSCAN combined method was used to process all samples in the field and the error was less than 20mm, the accuracy rate reached 82.69%. This combined method improves the applicability of discrimination methods and provides a new method of determining soil depth. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design and Application of Agricultural Equipment in Tillage System)
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12 pages, 634 KiB  
Article
Tyre Configuration and Axle Load of Front-Wheel Assist and Four-Wheel Drive Tractors Effects on Soil Compaction and Rolling Resistance under No-Tillage
by David Rivero, Guido F. Botta, Diogenes L. Antille, Alejandra Ezquerra-Canalejo, Fernando Bienvenido and Mustafa Ucgul
Agriculture 2022, 12(11), 1961; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12111961 - 20 Nov 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1991
Abstract
Selecting the appropriate tyre configuration and settings for heavy farm vehicles is important to ensure that soil compaction and power loss in rolling resistance are minimised and traction is optimised. This study investigated the effect of front-wheel assist (FWA, ≈75 kN) and four-wheel [...] Read more.
Selecting the appropriate tyre configuration and settings for heavy farm vehicles is important to ensure that soil compaction and power loss in rolling resistance are minimised and traction is optimised. This study investigated the effect of front-wheel assist (FWA, ≈75 kN) and four-wheel drive (4 WD, ≈100 kN) tractors fitted with different tyre configurations (single, dual), tyre sizes and inflation pressures on soil strength (a proxy for soil compaction), and rolling resistance. Single-pass tests were performed on a Typic Argiudoll (≈23% clay, bulk density: 1305 kg m−3) managed under permanent no-tillage. Results showed that average power losses in rolling resistance were 7.5 kN and 5 kN for the 4 WD and FWA tractors, respectively. The average rut depth increased by approximately 1.4 times after a pass of the 4 WD compared with the FWA tractor. The soil cone index (0–600 mm depth) increased from 2023 kPa (before traffic) to 2188 and 2435 kPa after single passes of the FWA and 4WD tractors, respectively (p < 0.05). At the centreline of the tyre rut, dual tyres reduced the soil cone index a little compared with single tyres, but they significantly increased the volume of soil over which soil strength, and therefore soil compaction, was increased. For both tractors (regardless of tyre configuration or settings), soil strength increased to the full measured depth (600 mm), but relative changes before vs. after traffic became progressively smaller with increased soil depth. The power loss in rolling resistance was consistently greater with the heavier tractor, and rut depth was directly related to tyre inflation pressure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design and Application of Agricultural Equipment in Tillage System)
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18 pages, 10711 KiB  
Article
A Seedbed Clearing and Shaping Device for Dry Direct-Seeded Rice
by Hui Li, Longyu Fang, Pingping Yuan, Wei Lu and Wenwu Yang
Agriculture 2022, 12(10), 1740; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12101740 - 21 Oct 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1382
Abstract
The soil in some areas of northern China is heavy owing to the presence of clay and stones, which significantly affects the normal operation of a planter as well as the growth of rice. In this regard, this study proposes a seedbed clearing [...] Read more.
The soil in some areas of northern China is heavy owing to the presence of clay and stones, which significantly affects the normal operation of a planter as well as the growth of rice. In this regard, this study proposes a seedbed clearing and shaping device for dry direct-seeded rice, which can be used to remove stones in the seeding area, break soil blocks, for soil leveling, and groove forming. The overall structure and roller of the proposed device was developed based on theoretical calculations, discrete element modeling (DEM) simulations, and field tests. The soil-mixing tooth was distributed on the roller based on the double-helix rule, and the two sides of the helix were configured according to the right-hand and left-hand. Subsequently, DEM was used to develop a 33 box-bench design. According to the agronomic requirements and operating speed ratio, the forward speed was set to 0.5 m/s. Furthermore, the optimization parameters combination of the device obtained by simulation experiments was: forward speed 0.5 m/s, soil depth 61 mm, and rotation speed 110 r/min, which obtained a stone removal rate of 85.65%, stone removal efficiency of 35.47 pieces/m, operating resistance of 719.23 N, and torque of 174.89 Nm. The field verification test results indicated that the stone removal rate was 77.23% under the optimization parameters combination, and the mean relative error of the simulated experiments value was 8.42%, which showed that the performance of the proposed device functioned stably and reliably, thereby providing a high-quality seedbed for sowing and rice growth. The developed device represents a useful solution for the seedbed clearing and shaping. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design and Application of Agricultural Equipment in Tillage System)
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21 pages, 5042 KiB  
Article
Design and Operating Parameters Optimization of the Hook-and-Tooth Chain Rail Type Residual Film Picking Device
by Silin Cao, Jianhua Xie, Hezheng Wang, Yuxin Yang, Yanhong Zhang, Jinbao Zhou and Shihua Wu
Agriculture 2022, 12(10), 1717; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12101717 - 18 Oct 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1570
Abstract
We attempt to solve the current problems of high impurity content and the poor reliability of chain harrow type residual film recovery machines when picking up residual film. This study makes a device for picking up residual film with a hook-and-tooth chain rail. [...] Read more.
We attempt to solve the current problems of high impurity content and the poor reliability of chain harrow type residual film recovery machines when picking up residual film. This study makes a device for picking up residual film with a hook-and-tooth chain rail. First, we conducted an analysis of the trajectory of the tip movement of the hooked teeth in the designed picking device, with the condition that the residual mulch does not miss the picking, and the force conditions of the residual mulch in the conveying process and the collection process are presented. Secondly, to determine the optimal working parameters of the picking device, a three-factor, three-level response surface optimization test was conducted with the machine forward speed, hook tooth entry depth, and chain harrow input speed as the test factors and the residual film picking rate and the impurity rate of residual film as the test indexes. In addition, a response surface regression model was developed to analyze the effects of the selected factors on the picking device. When the forward speed of the machine was 1.62 m/s, the hook tooth entry depth was 38.51 mm, and the input speed of the chain harrow was 241.42 rpm, the pickup rate and the impurity rate of the residual film were 88.27% and 9.96%, respectively. Finally, the simulation test was carried out under optimal working conditions, with the maximum force of the hook teeth being 60.7 N, the maximum deformation being 31.42 mm, and the maximum stress being 215.33 Mpa. This study can be used as a guide to further improve the design of the residual film recovery machine. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design and Application of Agricultural Equipment in Tillage System)
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14 pages, 1111 KiB  
Article
Measurement Method of Collision Restitution Coefficient between Corn Seed and Soil Based on the Collision Dynamics Theory of Mass Point and Fixed Surface
by Zhen Gao, Caiyun Lu, Hongwen Li, Jin He, Qingjie Wang, Shenghai Huang, Yunxiang Li and Huimin Zhan
Agriculture 2022, 12(10), 1611; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12101611 - 4 Oct 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1680
Abstract
The collision restitution coefficient (CRC) is the essential parameter of the discrete element method (DEM) to study the interaction mechanism between corn seed and soil. The accuracy of its measurement results is the criticalness to ensuring simulation accuracy. In the current study, the [...] Read more.
The collision restitution coefficient (CRC) is the essential parameter of the discrete element method (DEM) to study the interaction mechanism between corn seed and soil. The accuracy of its measurement results is the criticalness to ensuring simulation accuracy. In the current study, the CRC between corn seed and soil is mainly measured by the method of corn seed colliding with soil. However, since the soil is a granular body, the essence of the collision of corn seed with soil is the collision between one corn seed and a quantity of soil particles, resulting in inaccurate measurement results soil particles. Therefore, based on the collision dynamics theory of mass point and fixed surface, this paper proposed a measurement method of CRC to study the interaction mechanism between corn seed and soil. This paper analyzed the influence of mass point selection on the measurement results of CRC in the collision process. The measurement method was determined by taking soil particle as mass point and corn seed as fixed surface. To verify the feasibility of this method, a CRC measurement system was established based on high-speed camera technology. The soil particle was dropped at the heights of 10, 15, 20, and 25 cm to collide with the corn seed. The separation velocity and approaching velocity of the soil particle was measured to obtain the CRC between the corn seed and soil. Taking the CRC as the essential parameter of discrete element simulation, the discrete element simulation experiment (DESE) and the soil bin experiment (SBE)of corn seed free fall impact on soil were carried out, and the experiment results were compared and analyzed. In the experiment, the falling height (40, 50, 60, 70 cm) of corn seed and the touching position of the corn seed (positions a, b, c, d) were taken as the influencing factors. The movement state of corn seed and the separation approaching velocity ratio (SAVR) ξ during the collision were taken as the indexes. The results showed that when the positions of corn seed touched the soil was the same, with the increase of the falling height, the SAVR ξ obtained from the DESE and the SBE showed a downward trend. When the falling height was the same, and the corn seed touched the soil at positions b, c, and d, the motion state in the DESE was basically the same as that in the SBE. The relative error of the SAVR between the DESE and the SBE was less than 10%, which proves the feasibility of the method proposed in this paper. The measurement method of the CRC between corn seed and soil proposed in this study provided a theoretical research basis for clarifying the interaction mechanism between corn seed and soil and solving the seed bouncing in high-speed precision sowing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design and Application of Agricultural Equipment in Tillage System)
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14 pages, 3666 KiB  
Article
Test and Simulation Analysis of the Working Process of Soybean Seeding Monomer
by Dongxu Yan, Tianyue Xu, Jianqun Yu, Yang Wang, Wei Guan, Ye Tian and Na Zhang
Agriculture 2022, 12(9), 1464; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12091464 - 14 Sep 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1483
Abstract
Soybean seeding monomers can realize the process of opening, seed throwing, covering, and compacting when they work. Due to the complexity of their working process, the relevant process cannot be analyzed by the discrete element method (DEM) alone. The DEM coupled with the [...] Read more.
Soybean seeding monomers can realize the process of opening, seed throwing, covering, and compacting when they work. Due to the complexity of their working process, the relevant process cannot be analyzed by the discrete element method (DEM) alone. The DEM coupled with the multi-rigid body dynamics method (MBD) can solve the above problem, and the simulation analysis of the above process is realized by coupling the EDEM software with RecurDyn software. The changes in the position of soybean seed particles before and after covering and compacting are analyzed. The results show that when the working speed of the seeding monomer increases, the distance along the vertical direction of the soybean seed particles after covering gradually increases, and the distance along the horizontal direction gradually decreases. The effect of different working speeds of seeding monomer on the opening situation and the variation in seed particle positions is studied. The results show that the ditch angle gradually decreases as the working speed of the seeding monomer increases. The distribution of seed particle spacing is also analyzed. The above tests are simulated, and the results show a high agreement between the simulation and test results, proving the accuracy of the coupling method. This paper applies the coupling method for the first time to the simulation of the seeding monomer. This method can be applied not only to the analysis of the sowing process of soybean seeding monomers, but also be applied to the analysis of other machinery working processes, such as the tillage process, the sieving process, the planting and harvesting processes of crops, etc. It also deepens the application of the discrete element method in the field of agriculture. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design and Application of Agricultural Equipment in Tillage System)
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17 pages, 4795 KiB  
Article
Design of Cotton Recovery Device and Operation Parameters Optimization
by Hezheng Wang, Silin Cao, Yongrui Liu, Yuxin Yang, Xiangyu Meng and Peng Ji
Agriculture 2022, 12(9), 1296; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12091296 - 24 Aug 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1822
Abstract
This research aims to optimize the working parameters of the sawtooth-type recovery device for cotton fallen on the ground to enhance cotton’s recovery effect. Firstly, the cotton-picking mechanism and cotton unloading mechanism of the cotton recovery device were designed. The movement trajectory of [...] Read more.
This research aims to optimize the working parameters of the sawtooth-type recovery device for cotton fallen on the ground to enhance cotton’s recovery effect. Firstly, the cotton-picking mechanism and cotton unloading mechanism of the cotton recovery device were designed. The movement trajectory of the serrated tooth end of the designed device, the cotton non-missing picking condition, and the cotton unloading condition were noted. Secondly, virtual simulation technology developed a model of the interaction process between the picking equipment and the soil. To determine the optimal combination of operating parameters for the recovery device, a three-factor, three-level response surface optimization test was conducted using Box–Behnken’s central combination method with operating machine speed, spacing between serrated discs, and serrated disc speed as the test factors, and the picking and impurity rate as the test indexes. In addition, a response surface regression model was developed to analyze the effects of the selected factors on the recovery unit, and each factor was optimized. When the picking and impurity rates were 79.09% and 35.12%, respectively, the optimal operating speed of the machine was 0.96 m/s, the spacing of the serrated discs was 40 mm, and the speed of the serrated discs was 68 rpm. The relative error between the experimental findings and the theoretical optimized values was less than 5%, and the optimized working parameters were reliable. This study can provide a reference for the device used to recover cotton that has fallen to the ground. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design and Application of Agricultural Equipment in Tillage System)
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20 pages, 5733 KiB  
Article
Improvement of Straw Throwing Performance of Harvester Based on Matching Header Width
by Jiang Wang, Xiaoyan Wang, Hongwen Li, Caiyun Lu, Jin He, Qingjie Wang, Di Liu, Bo Deng and Meiyu Zhang
Agriculture 2022, 12(9), 1291; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12091291 - 23 Aug 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1481
Abstract
Aiming at the problem wherein a straw crushing and throwing device (SCTD) installed in a rice combine harvester (RCH) has a small throwing width and does not match the harvesting width, this paper proposes an improved plan for installing wind blades (WB) and [...] Read more.
Aiming at the problem wherein a straw crushing and throwing device (SCTD) installed in a rice combine harvester (RCH) has a small throwing width and does not match the harvesting width, this paper proposes an improved plan for installing wind blades (WB) and optimizing the parameters of the deflector. The structural parameters of the WB were determined, and static analysis was carried out. The influence of the number of WB on the airflow field of the crushing chamber (CC) was studied by CFD simulation. The movement of the straw after entering the throwing device (TD) was analyzed. It was determined that the factors affecting the throwing width under the condition of a certain straw speed were the installation angle of the deflector (IAD), and the arc length of the deflector (ALD) through the bench test. The optimal combination of deflectors parameters was determined to match the width of the harvester header. When the straw feeding speed was 4 kg/s, and the straw moisture content was 33.80%, the optimal parameters are that the ALD was 400 mm and the IAD was 9°. The matching degree with the header width (4.50 m) is 98.44%. This study can effectively increase the straw throwing width and create conditions for the smooth implementation of straw returning to the field. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design and Application of Agricultural Equipment in Tillage System)
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20 pages, 9270 KiB  
Article
Design and Optimization of a Soil-Covering Device for a Corn No-Till Planter
by Yuanle Geng, Xianliang Wang, Xiaokang Zhong, Xiangcai Zhang, Kun Chen, Zhongcai Wei, Qingxin Lu, Xiupei Cheng and Mingtao Wei
Agriculture 2022, 12(8), 1218; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12081218 - 13 Aug 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1949
Abstract
Aiming to solve the problems of easy generation of clods, poor soil fluidity and poor soil-covering effect in the no-tillage seeding operation mode, this study has designed a soil-covering device with a soil-closing function for the chisel-type furrow opener of a corn no-tillage [...] Read more.
Aiming to solve the problems of easy generation of clods, poor soil fluidity and poor soil-covering effect in the no-tillage seeding operation mode, this study has designed a soil-covering device with a soil-closing function for the chisel-type furrow opener of a corn no-tillage planter. Theoretical analysis and design of the soil dividing plate and the soil-covering disc were carried out, and the key parameters were determined. Then, the soil-covering device with soil-closing function and the soil movement model was constructed in Altair EDEM, and the spatial soil particle mobility was analyzed. The numerical simulation method was combined with the center plane composite response test scheme to carry out the simulation test, and the optimal working parameter combination was obtained. The operating speed was 6.35 km·h−1, the inclination angle of the soil-covering disc was 60°, the opening angle of the soil-covering disc was 70°, and the inclination angle of the soil dividing plate was 40°. A comparative test of the soil-covering effect and performance was carried out, and the results showed that the designed device was better than the traditional soil-covering device in terms of the consistency of soil-covering thickness and the stability of seed position deviation. The relative errors of the soil bin experiment results and the simulation optimization results for the cover soil thickness and seed position deviation were 5.7% and 11.1%, respectively. The operation effect of the designed soil-covering device with soil-closing function meets the requirements of soil covering under no-tillage conditions and provides a basis for the research and development of soil-covering suppression technology and devices under no-tillage seeding mode. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design and Application of Agricultural Equipment in Tillage System)
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16 pages, 3598 KiB  
Article
Research on Wet Clutch Switching Quality in the Shifting Stage of an Agricultural Tractor Transmission System
by Yuting Chen, Zhun Cheng and Yu Qian
Agriculture 2022, 12(8), 1174; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12081174 - 7 Aug 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1927
Abstract
In order to improve the working quality of wet clutch switching in an agricultural tractor, in this paper, we took a power shift system composed of multiple wet clutches as the research object for full-factorial performance measurement, multi-factor analysis of the degree of [...] Read more.
In order to improve the working quality of wet clutch switching in an agricultural tractor, in this paper, we took a power shift system composed of multiple wet clutches as the research object for full-factorial performance measurement, multi-factor analysis of the degree of influence, establishment of a single evaluation index model, formation of a comprehensive evaluation index, and formulation of adjustable factor control strategies. We studied the simulation test platform of an agricultural tractor power transmission system based on the SimulationX software and obtained 225 sets of sample data under a full-use condition. Partial least squares and range analysis were applied to comprehensively analyze the influence of multiple factors on the working quality of wet clutches. In this paper, we proposed a modeling method for a single evaluation index of the wet clutch (combined with polynomial regression and tentative method, the goal is determined in the form of a model with the maximum coefficient of determination) and two control strategy optimization methods for the wet clutch adjustable factors, i.e., Method 1 (integrated optimization) and Method 2 (step-by-step optimization), both methods were based on an improved genetic algorithm. The results showed that oil pressure, flow rate, and load had significant effects on the dynamic load characteristics (the degrees were 0.38, −0.44, and −0.63, respectively, with a negative sign representing an inverse correlation); rate of flow and load had significant effects on speed drop characteristics (the degrees were −0.56 and 0.73, respectively). A multivariate first-order linear model accurately described the dynamic load characteristics (R2 = 0.9371). The accuracy of the dynamic load characteristic model was improved by 5.5037% after adding the second-order term and interaction term of oil pressure. The polynomial model containing the first-order oil pressure, first-order flow rate, second-order flow rate, and interaction terms could explain the speed drop characteristics, with an R2 of 0.9927. If agricultural tractors operate under medium and large loads, the oil pressure and flow rate in their definitional domains should be small and large values, respectively; if operating under small loads, both oil pressure and flow rate should be high. When the wet clutch dynamic load and speed drop characteristics were improved, the sliding friction energy loss also decreased synchronously (the reduction could reach 70.19%). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design and Application of Agricultural Equipment in Tillage System)
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15 pages, 3483 KiB  
Article
The Method of Calculating Ploughshares Durability in Agricultural Machines Verified on Plasma-Hardened Parts
by Alexandr Gulyarenko and Michał Bembenek
Agriculture 2022, 12(6), 841; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12060841 - 10 Jun 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2262
Abstract
Reliability consists of four components: failure-less operation, maintainability, durability, and preservation ability. For different machines and different conditions of operation, different combinations of these properties, and differences in how they are balanced and proportioned are essential. For tractors, the most important aspect of [...] Read more.
Reliability consists of four components: failure-less operation, maintainability, durability, and preservation ability. For different machines and different conditions of operation, different combinations of these properties, and differences in how they are balanced and proportioned are essential. For tractors, the most important aspect of reliability is maintainability, while for agricultural machines, durability is most important. Using the example of a ploughshare, the issue of increasing the durability has been studied; a method for calculating the durability of a ploughshare for various types of soils has been described. The use of plasma hardening of the surface of a 65G-steel ploughshare has been proposed; the effectiveness of plasma hardening of soil-cutting parts and its economic feasibility have been proved. Due to hardening to a depth of 1–1.8 mm, the service life of parts increases by 2–3 times; moreover the downtime of expensive machine-tractor units for replacing worn-out parts is reduced. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design and Application of Agricultural Equipment in Tillage System)
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13 pages, 5712 KiB  
Article
Optimization Design Based on I-GA and Simulation Test Verification of 5-Stage Hydraulic Mechanical Continuously Variable Transmission Used for Tractor
by Zhun Cheng, Yuting Chen, Wenjie Li, Pengfei Zhou, Junhao Liu, Li Li, Wenjuan Chang and Yu Qian
Agriculture 2022, 12(6), 807; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12060807 - 2 Jun 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1766
Abstract
To improve the characteristics of a tractor power transmission system, make the transmission system not only meet the geometric principle but also meet the working speed requirements of the tractor, realize the continuous adjustment of the speed ratio, and solve the power interruption [...] Read more.
To improve the characteristics of a tractor power transmission system, make the transmission system not only meet the geometric principle but also meet the working speed requirements of the tractor, realize the continuous adjustment of the speed ratio, and solve the power interruption caused by the change of speed ratio. This paper not only proposes a new type of five-stage hydraulic mechanical continuously variable transmission (HMCVT), but also proposes a geometric design method based on I-GA. In this paper, the intersection position of each working section is introduced in the optimization design process, and six wet clutches, one brake and two planetary rows are used to achieve a flexible geometric design. The results show that the HMCVT proposed in this paper can effectively match the required speed of the tractor. After optimization, the transmission ratio characteristics are consistent with the target characteristics (the average error is about 3.27% and the common ratio is about 1.81); the simulation results based on Simulation X are highly consistent with the theoretical design values (the MAPE of 36 simulation experiments is about 0.72%); and the maximum speed of the tractor is 41.62 km/h. The proposed HMCVT design scheme and optimization design method provide a direct basis for the research and development of the composite power transmission system of tractors or other vehicles and agricultural machinery. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design and Application of Agricultural Equipment in Tillage System)
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14 pages, 3774 KiB  
Article
Parameters Optimization and Test of an Arc-Shaped Nail-Tooth Roller-Type Recovery Machine for Sowing Layer Residual Film
by Zhiyuan Zhang, Jingbin Li, Xianfei Wang, Yongman Zhao, Shuaikang Xue and Zipeng Su
Agriculture 2022, 12(5), 660; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12050660 - 3 May 2022
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 2116
Abstract
The aim of this paper is to optimize the working parameters of the arc-shaped nail-tooth roller-type recovery machine for sowing layer residual film. Firstly, the tooth roller device of the residual film recovery machine is designed, and the main working parameters affecting the [...] Read more.
The aim of this paper is to optimize the working parameters of the arc-shaped nail-tooth roller-type recovery machine for sowing layer residual film. Firstly, the tooth roller device of the residual film recovery machine is designed, and the main working parameters affecting the operation of the machine and the value range of each parameter are determined through the analysis of the operation process. Secondly, virtual simulation technology is used to establish a virtual simulation model of the interaction process between the tooth roller device and soil. At the same time, taking the soil-hilling quantity as the index, we build a quadratic regression mathematical model with three factors—the forward speed, rotation speed, and working depth—using the Box–Behnken method. Consequently, the analysis of the simulation results show that the order of the most significant factors is working depth, rotation speed, and forward speed. The optimal combination of working parameters are as follows: a forward speed of 4.5 km/h, a rotation speed of 43.2 r/min, and a working depth of 100.0 mm. Meanwhile, the predicted value of the soil-hilling quantity is 23.1 kg. Finally, we carried out field tests using the optimal combination parameters; the results show that the normal residual film collection rate is 66.8%, the soil-hilling quantity is 24.2 kg, and the relative error between the test value and the predicted value is 4.8%. This indicates that the devised DEM simulation model can be used to predict the operational performance of the tooth roller device in the working process. This study provides a reference that can be used in the planning and boundary enhancement of agricultural machinery and equipment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design and Application of Agricultural Equipment in Tillage System)
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18 pages, 3577 KiB  
Article
Regression-Based Correction and I-PSO-Based Optimization of HMCVT’s Speed Regulating Characteristics for Agricultural Machinery
by Zhun Cheng and Zhixiong Lu
Agriculture 2022, 12(5), 580; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12050580 - 21 Apr 2022
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 1623
Abstract
To improve the speed regulating characteristics of continuously variable transmission for agricultural machinery, in order to meet the engineering and technical requirements of precision agriculture and intelligent agriculture, the paper researches and proposes a method combining the analysis of speed regulating characteristics, regression-based [...] Read more.
To improve the speed regulating characteristics of continuously variable transmission for agricultural machinery, in order to meet the engineering and technical requirements of precision agriculture and intelligent agriculture, the paper researches and proposes a method combining the analysis of speed regulating characteristics, regression-based correction, and the improved particle swarm optimization (I-PSO) algorithm. First, the paper analyzes the degree of deviation between the linearization degree and the theoretical value of the speed regulating characteristics of the variable-pump constant-motor system of agricultural machinery according to the measurement results of the bench test. Next, the paper corrects the speed regulating characteristics and compares the regression results based on four models. Finally, the paper proposes a design method for the expected speed regulating characteristics of agricultural machinery and it completes the optimization of speed regulating characteristics and the matching of transmission parameters with the I-PSO algorithm. Results indicate that the speed regulating characteristics of the variable-pump constant-motor system show high linearization (with a coefficient of determination of 0.9775). The theoretical and measured values of the speed regulating characteristics have a certain deviation (with a coefficient of determination of 0.8934). Therefore, correcting the speed regulating characteristics of the variable-pimp constant-motor system is highly necessary. In addition, the second reciprocal function model proposed has the highest correction precision (with a coefficient of determination of 0.9978). The I-PSO algorithm is applicable to the design and application of hydro-mechanical continuously variable transmission (HMCVT) for agricultural machinery. The new method proposed can improve the HMCVT’s speed regulating characteristics efficiently and quickly. It also ensures that the speed regulating characteristics are highly consistent with the expected design characteristics (with a mean error of 1.73%). Thus, the research offers a theoretical direction and design basis for the research and development of continuously variable transmission units in agricultural machinery. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design and Application of Agricultural Equipment in Tillage System)
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15 pages, 10221 KiB  
Article
Simulation and Experiment of Spiral Soil Separation Mechanism of Compound Planter Based on Discrete Element Method (DEM)
by Lianjie Han, Wei Yuan, Jinjin Yu, Jiajun Jin, Dongshen Xie, Xiaobo Xi, Yifu Zhang and Ruihong Zhang
Agriculture 2022, 12(4), 511; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12040511 - 4 Apr 2022
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2359
Abstract
In order to solve the problems of blocking the drainage ditch and reducing the soil flatness caused by soil accumulation when using compound planter with plowshare to ditch, a spiral soil separation mechanism (SSSM) is designed. The SSSM is analyzed. In order to [...] Read more.
In order to solve the problems of blocking the drainage ditch and reducing the soil flatness caused by soil accumulation when using compound planter with plowshare to ditch, a spiral soil separation mechanism (SSSM) is designed. The SSSM is analyzed. In order to obtain the optimal parameters of the SSSM, based on the discrete element method, the multifactor test is carried out with the embedded depth, pitch, and rotation speed of the spiral blade as the test factors and the soil separation distance and uniformity as the evaluation index. The optimal parameters are the embedded depth 49 mm, pitch 331 mm, and rotation speed of the spiral blade 318 r min−1. The field experiment is carried out with these parameters, with soil separation distance 900 mm and standard deviation of soil height 7.8 mm, which is consistent with the simulation results. No blockage of drainage ditch was found, which shows that this device can effectively solve the problem. This study can provide a reference for the design of soil separation equipment using spiral soil separation device. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design and Application of Agricultural Equipment in Tillage System)
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18 pages, 5965 KiB  
Article
Design and Experiment of Spiral Discharge Anti-Blocking and Row-Sorting Device of Wheat No-Till Planter
by Yunxiang Li, Caiyun Lu, Hongwen Li, Jin He, Qingjie Wang, Shenghai Huang, Zhen Gao, Panpan Yuan, Xuyang Wei and Huimin Zhan
Agriculture 2022, 12(4), 468; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12040468 - 25 Mar 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2484
Abstract
Aiming at the problems of the poor passing capacity of machines and low cleaning rate of seed strip during wheat no-tillage sowing in annual double cropping areas of North China, a spiral discharge anti-blocking and row-sorting device (SDARD) was designed and is reported [...] Read more.
Aiming at the problems of the poor passing capacity of machines and low cleaning rate of seed strip during wheat no-tillage sowing in annual double cropping areas of North China, a spiral discharge anti-blocking and row-sorting device (SDARD) was designed and is reported in this paper. After the straw was cut and chopped by the high-velocity rotating no-till anti-blocking knife group (NAKG), the straw was thrown into the spiral discharging mechanism (SDM) behind the NAKG. The chopped straw was discharged to the non-sowing area to reach the effect of seed strip cleaning through the interaction between the SDM and the row-sorting of straw mechanism (RSM). Based on a theoretical analysis for determining the parameters of crucial components, the quadratic rotation orthogonal combination test method was adopted, and the operating velocity of machines (OVM), the rotary velocity of the spiral shaft (RVSS), and the height of the holding hopper from the ground (HHHG) were selected as the test factors. The straw cleaning rate (SCR) was taken as the test index. The discrete element simulation test was carried out, the regression model of the SCR was established, and parameters optimization and field test were carried out. The results show that the significant order of the three influencing factors on the SCR was HHHG > OVM > RVSS. The optimal combination of operating parameters was that OVM was 5 km/h, RVSS was 80 r/min, and HHHG was 10 mm. Under the optimal parameter combination, the average SCR was 84.49%, which was 15.5% higher than the no-till planter without the device, and the passing capacity of machines was great, which met the agronomic requirements of no-tillage sowing of wheat in annual double cropping areas. This study could provide a reference for the design of no-tillage machines. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design and Application of Agricultural Equipment in Tillage System)
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18 pages, 5170 KiB  
Article
Drip-Tape-Following Approach Based on Machine Vision for a Two-Wheeled Robot Trailer in Strip Farming
by Chung-Liang Chang, Hung-Wen Chen, Yung-Hsiang Chen and Chang-Chen Yu
Agriculture 2022, 12(3), 428; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12030428 - 18 Mar 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3208
Abstract
Due to the complex environment in the field, using machine vision technology to enable the robot to travel autonomously was a challenging task. This study investigates a method based on mathematical morphology and Hough transformation for drip tape following by a two-wheeled robot [...] Read more.
Due to the complex environment in the field, using machine vision technology to enable the robot to travel autonomously was a challenging task. This study investigates a method based on mathematical morphology and Hough transformation for drip tape following by a two-wheeled robot trailer. First, an image processing technique was utilized to extract the drip tape in the image, including the selection of the region of interest (ROI), Red-Green-Blue (RGB) to Hue-Saturation-Value (HSV) color space conversion, color channel selection, Otsu’s binarization, and morphological operations. The line segments were obtained from the extracted drip tapes image by a Hough line transform operation. Next, the deviation angle between the line segment and the vertical line in the center of the image was estimated through the two-dimensional law of cosines. The steering control system could adjust the rotation speed of the left and right wheels of the robot to reduce the deviation angle, so that the robot could stably travel along the drip tape, including turning. The guiding performance was evaluated on the test path formed by a drip tape in the field. The experimental results show that the proposed method could achieve an average line detection rate of 97.3% and an average lateral error of 2.6 ± 1.1 cm, which was superior to other drip-tape-following methods combined with edge detection, such as Canny and Laplacian. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design and Application of Agricultural Equipment in Tillage System)
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20 pages, 2992 KiB  
Article
A Novel 10-Parameter Motor Efficiency Model Based on I-SA and Its Comparative Application of Energy Utilization Efficiency in Different Driving Modes for Electric Tractor
by Zhun Cheng, Huadong Zhou and Zhixiong Lu
Agriculture 2022, 12(3), 362; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12030362 - 3 Mar 2022
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 2593
Abstract
To build a more accurate motor efficiency model with a strong generalization ability in order to evaluate and improve the efficiency characteristics of electric vehicles, this paper researches motor efficiency modeling based on the bench tests of two motor efficiencies with differently rated [...] Read more.
To build a more accurate motor efficiency model with a strong generalization ability in order to evaluate and improve the efficiency characteristics of electric vehicles, this paper researches motor efficiency modeling based on the bench tests of two motor efficiencies with differently rated powers. This paper compares and analyzes three motor efficiency modeling methods and finds that, when the measured values in motor efficiency tests are insufficient, the bilinear interpolation method and radial basis kernel function neural networks have poor generalization abilities in full working conditions, and the precision of polynomial regression is limited. On this basis, this paper proposes a new modeling method combining correlation analysis, polynomial regression, and an improved simulated annealing (I-SA) algorithm. Using the mean and the standard deviation of the mean absolute percentage error of the 5-fold Cross Validation (CV) of 100 random tests as the evaluation indices of the precision of the motor efficiency model, and based on the motor efficiency models with verified precision, this paper makes a comparative analysis on the full vehicle efficiency of electric tractors of three types of drive in five working conditions. Research results show that the proposed novel method has a high modeling precision of motor efficiency; tractors with a dual motor coupling drive system have optimal economic performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design and Application of Agricultural Equipment in Tillage System)
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22 pages, 5263 KiB  
Article
Design and Testing of Reverse-Rotating Soil-Taking-Type Hole-Forming Device of Pot Seedling Transplanting Machine for Rapeseed
by Wei Quan, Mingliang Wu, Zhenwei Dai, Haifeng Luo and Fanggang Shi
Agriculture 2022, 12(3), 319; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12030319 - 22 Feb 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2188
Abstract
To address the problem whereby the size of the hole formed by the existing hole-forming device of hole-punching transplanters is significantly inconsistent with the theoretical size as it is impacted by the inserting and lifting methods, a scheme for eliminating the forward speed [...] Read more.
To address the problem whereby the size of the hole formed by the existing hole-forming device of hole-punching transplanters is significantly inconsistent with the theoretical size as it is impacted by the inserting and lifting methods, a scheme for eliminating the forward speed of the whole machine by the horizontal linear velocity of reverse rotation of the hole-forming mechanism is proposed to vertically insert and lift the hole-forming device in accordance with the working characteristics of hole-punching transplanting and the agronomic requirements of rapeseed transplanting. In addition, a novel type of reverse-rotating soil-taking-type hole-forming device for the pot seedling transplanting machine for rapeseed was developed. A test bench for the hole-forming device was set and its effectiveness was verified in the soil bin. It was found, from the test results, that, when the forward speed of the hole-forming device was between 0.25 m/s and 0.45 m/s, the average qualified rates of hole forming of the device were 95.2%, 94.0% and 93.3%, respectively; the average change rates of the hole size were 2.3%, 2.9% and 5.5%, respectively; and the average error between the theoretical value of effective depth and the experimental value was between 2.0% and 5.6%. The average angle between the hole-forming stage trajectory of the hole opener and the horizontal direction at different forward speeds was higher than 88.0°; the coefficient of variation was between 0.16% and 0.64%; the perpendicularity of the hole-forming operation was high; the change rates of soil porosity of the hole wall were between 8.2% and 9.3%; and the average soil heave degrees at the hole mouth after the completion of the hole-forming operation were 3.9%, 4.1% and 4.2%, respectively. The average soil stability rates of the hole wall were 91.9%, 91.2% and 91.0%, respectively. The different performances of the hole-forming device were confirmed to meet the requirements of rapeseed pot seedling transplanting. This study can provide a reference for the structural improvement and optimization of the hole-punching transplanter for rapeseed pot seedlings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design and Application of Agricultural Equipment in Tillage System)
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13 pages, 4513 KiB  
Article
Soil Compaction from Wheel Traffic under Three Tillage Systems
by Kobby Acquah and Ying Chen
Agriculture 2022, 12(2), 219; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12020219 - 3 Feb 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2708
Abstract
Agricultural fields are usually subjected to high amounts of traffic from field operations. The influence of traffic on sandy loam soil in three tillage systems were investigated in a field experiment. The field was located in a Canadian prairie region. In the experiment, [...] Read more.
Agricultural fields are usually subjected to high amounts of traffic from field operations. The influence of traffic on sandy loam soil in three tillage systems were investigated in a field experiment. The field was located in a Canadian prairie region. In the experiment, the treatments were three tillage systems: no-tillage, disc tillage, and spring-tine tillage. Following tillage operations, field plots were trafficked with one pass of a sub-compact tractor. Soil properties were measured before and after the traffic to examine the effects of tillage systems and wheel traffic. For the effects of the tillage systems on the soil bulk density, soil shear strength, soil surface resistance, and soil cone index, the no-tillage system had higher values for all the soil properties when compared with the disc and spring-tine tillage systems. The plant (canola) population density ranged from 18.2 plants/m2 to 34.9 plants/m2, with the no-tillage having the lowest plant densities. For the effects of wheel traffic, one pass of the tractor in the disc and spring-tine tillage plots resulted in a 2.7% and 17.4% reduction in soil moisture content, respectively. After wheel traffic, the average soil shear strength for the disc and spring-tine systems were still significantly lower than the no-tilled system. Sinkages of 40 and 50 mm were observed for the spring-tine and disc tillage systems, respectively. The results of this study highlight the importance of preventing the demerits of soil compaction induced by wheel traffic after tillage operations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design and Application of Agricultural Equipment in Tillage System)
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19 pages, 8695 KiB  
Article
A Design of an Unmanned Electric Tractor Platform
by Yung-Chuan Chen, Li-Wen Chen and Ming-Yen Chang
Agriculture 2022, 12(1), 112; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12010112 - 14 Jan 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 7736
Abstract
The tractor is a vehicle often used in agriculture. It is mainly used to tow other unpowered agricultural machinery for farming, harvesting, and seeding. They consume a lot of fuel with emissions that often contain a large amount of toxic gases, which seriously [...] Read more.
The tractor is a vehicle often used in agriculture. It is mainly used to tow other unpowered agricultural machinery for farming, harvesting, and seeding. They consume a lot of fuel with emissions that often contain a large amount of toxic gases, which seriously jeopardize human health and the ecological environment. Therefore, the electrical tractor is bound to become a future trend. The objective of this study is to design and implement a lightweight, energy-saving, and less polluting electric tractor, which meets the requirements of existing smallholder farmers, equipped with unmanned technology and multi-functions to assist labor and to provide the potential for unmanned operation. We reduced the weight of the tractor body structure to 101 kg, and the bending rigidity and torsional rigidity reached 11,579 N/mm and 4923 Nm/deg, respectively. Two 7.5 kW induction motors driven by lithium batteries were applied, which allows at least 3.5 h of working time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design and Application of Agricultural Equipment in Tillage System)
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21 pages, 5250 KiB  
Article
Mechanical Control with a Deep Learning Method for Precise Weeding on a Farm
by Chung-Liang Chang, Bo-Xuan Xie and Sheng-Cheng Chung
Agriculture 2021, 11(11), 1049; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11111049 - 26 Oct 2021
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 6336
Abstract
This paper presents a mechanical control method for precise weeding based on deep learning. Deep convolutional neural network was used to identify and locate weeds. A special modular weeder was designed, which can be installed on the rear of a mobile platform. An [...] Read more.
This paper presents a mechanical control method for precise weeding based on deep learning. Deep convolutional neural network was used to identify and locate weeds. A special modular weeder was designed, which can be installed on the rear of a mobile platform. An inverted pyramid-shaped weeding tool equipped in the modular weeder can shovel out weeds without being contaminated by soil. The weed detection and control method was implemented on an embedded system with a high-speed graphics processing unit and integrated with the weeder. The experimental results showed that even if the speed of the mobile platform reaches 20 cm/s, the weeds can still be accurately detected and the position of the weeds can be located by the system. Moreover, the weeding mechanism can successfully shovel out the roots of the weeds. The proposed weeder has been tested in the field, and its performance and weed coverage have been verified to be precise for weeding. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design and Application of Agricultural Equipment in Tillage System)
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Jump to: Editorial, Research

29 pages, 5961 KiB  
Review
Review of Discrete Element Method Simulations of Soil Tillage and Furrow Opening
by Kojo Atta Aikins, Mustafa Ucgul, James B. Barr, Emmanuel Awuah, Diogenes L. Antille, Troy A. Jensen and Jacky M. A. Desbiolles
Agriculture 2023, 13(3), 541; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture13030541 - 23 Feb 2023
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 3432
Abstract
In agricultural machinery design and optimization, the discrete element method (DEM) has played a major role due to its ability to speed up the design and manufacturing process by reducing multiple prototyping, testing, and evaluation under experimental conditions. In the field of soil [...] Read more.
In agricultural machinery design and optimization, the discrete element method (DEM) has played a major role due to its ability to speed up the design and manufacturing process by reducing multiple prototyping, testing, and evaluation under experimental conditions. In the field of soil dynamics, DEM has been mainly applied in the design and optimization of soil-engaging tools, especially tillage tools and furrow openers. This numerical method is able to capture the dynamic and bulk behaviour of soils and soil–tool interactions. This review focused on the various aspects of the application of DEM in the simulation of tillage and furrow opening for tool design optimization. Different contact models, particle sizes and shapes, and calibration techniques for determining input parameters for tillage and furrow opening research have been reviewed. Discrete element method predictions of furrow profiles, disturbed soil surface profiles, soil failure, loosening, disturbance parameters, reaction forces, and the various types of soils modelled with DEM have also been highlighted. This pool of information consolidates existing working approaches used in prior studies and helps to identify knowledge gaps which, if addressed, will advance the current soil dynamics modelling capability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design and Application of Agricultural Equipment in Tillage System)
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39 pages, 2132 KiB  
Review
Application of Computational Intelligence Methods in Agricultural Soil–Machine Interaction: A Review
by Chetan Badgujar, Sanjoy Das, Dania Martinez Figueroa and Daniel Flippo
Agriculture 2023, 13(2), 357; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture13020357 - 31 Jan 2023
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2893
Abstract
Rapid advancements in technology, particularly in soil tools and agricultural machinery, have led to the proliferation of mechanized agriculture. The interaction between such tools/machines and soil is a complex, dynamic process. The modeling of this interactive process is essential for reducing energy requirements, [...] Read more.
Rapid advancements in technology, particularly in soil tools and agricultural machinery, have led to the proliferation of mechanized agriculture. The interaction between such tools/machines and soil is a complex, dynamic process. The modeling of this interactive process is essential for reducing energy requirements, excessive soil pulverization, and soil compaction, thereby leading to sustainable crop production. Traditional methods that rely on simplistic physics-based models are not often the best approach. Computational intelligence-based approaches are an attractive alternative to traditional methods. These methods are highly versatile, can handle various forms of data, and are adaptive in nature. Recent years have witnessed a surge in adapting such methods in all domains of engineering, including agriculture. These applications leverage not only classical computational intelligence methods, but also emergent ones, such as deep learning. Although classical methods have routinely been applied to the soil–machine interaction studies, the field is yet to harness the more recent developments in computational intelligence. The purpose of this review article is twofold. Firstly, it provides an in-depth description of classical computational intelligence methods, including their underlying theoretical basis, along with a survey of their use in soil–machine interaction research. Hence, it serves as a concise and systematic reference for practicing engineers as well as researchers in this field. Next, this article provides an outline of various emergent methods in computational intelligence, with the aim of introducing state-of-the-art methods to the interested reader and motivating their application in soil–machine interaction research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design and Application of Agricultural Equipment in Tillage System)
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