Precision farming with LINAK
The Fritzmeier Umwelttechnik Company has, along with the Technical University of Munich/Weihenstephan, developed a system that both considers the sub-field specific harvest potential and analyses plant growth.
The soil date is collated by means of a GPS receiver. The growth status of the plants is determined with the aid of an optical sensor.
By using the ISARIA system, the farmer obtains the optimum yield and, at the same time, saves costs, as he applies only as much fertiliser as needed for plant growth.
Crucial building block for the system is an agricultural mechanism installed on the front hydraulics of the tractor.
The Fritzmeier engineers have deliberately not chosen a hydraulic system.
'Often there are no free hydraulic connections on the front of the tractors. For this reasons, we have implemented electric actuators'
, states Johan Janker, Development Engineer at Fritzmeier Umwelttechnik.
A power supply for the sensors is certainly always available. Janker identifies operational readiness as a further advantage of the electric system. 'The equipment is primarily employed on a seasonal basis, as a result of which longer downtimes may occur.'
Hydraulic systems do not always perform the best under seasonal conditions. The LINAK electrical actuators are practically maintenance free and always employable.
And they are directly operated from the electronics in the ISARIA system. This is cost-efficient and readily realisable in the construction.
|LINAK actuators belonging to the LA36 series are far from overtaxed. Power of 4,000 Newtons is required to smoothly swing the sensors in and out. The LA36 linear actuator can provide up to 10,000 Newtons.
For Fritzmeier engineers, the robustness of the actuator is even more important than the power requirement.
'During climate tests, we ascertain if our actuators function under extreme temperatures and stand up against rapid temperature changes. In some tests, actuators must repeatedly withstand ambient temperatures from +100 °C to -30 °C and remain functional. Actuators are also exposed to a variety of chemicals', explains Søren Hother Rasmussen, Managing Director of LINAK GmbH.
Two LINAK LA36 actuators fold out the sensors.
Besides all the advantages in the area of integration and robustness, Janker identifies a further advantages: the self-locking capacity. When extended, the electric actuator doesnot require any additional energy. Due to its self-locking capability, the spindle retains its position.
It is precisely with regard to integration in existing electronic systems where electric actuators shine. If, for example, feedback on position is required, this may be obtained in a hydraulic system only by introducing additional modules.
Johann Janker still sees great potential for the use of electric adjustment systems in the agricultural sector. 'Many hydraulic systems can already be replaced by electric systems. Control is simple, and integration is easy to implement. Electric systems are continuing to spread,'
forecasts Johann Janker.
The new ISARIA system from Fritzmeier Umwelttechnik not only requireds forward-looking engineering with regard to sensor technology and data processing, but also in the area of mechanical operation and adjustment.
Electric adjustment offers many options in agriculture, and can be simple integrated.
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