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Design & Simulation of Automatic Control and Operation of Agricultural Wide-Span Implement Carrier (WSIC)

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Paper number  131586740,  2013 Kansas City, Missouri, July 21 - July 24, 2013. (doi: @2013
Authors:   Ahmad Mohsenimanesh, Claude Laguë, Chengming Luo
Keywords:   Wide-Span Implement Carrier automatic control electro-hydraulic simulation PLC PID Automation Studio software cranberry production.

Abstract. Automatic control of an Agricultural Wide-Span Implement Carrier (WSIC) used for cranberry harvesting includes the implement vertical positioning and rotation, and the displacement and rotation of the mobile carriage. These operations currently rely on a human operator and they involve several sequential steps that would benefit from automation. Moreover, adjusting the harvester head position relative to the crop can be a demanding task for the operator. An electro-hydraulic simulation of the WSIC was developed using Automation Studio Software with the following objectives: (1) To develop and implement a programmable logic controller (PLC) which is used to regulate the sequence; (2); To design an electrohydraulic automatic control of header height and the rotation of harvester using proportional-integral-derivative (PID) control and (3) To avoid mistakes of direct design and implementation in the industrial and production processes before fabrication. The simulation process is based on the hydraulic pump characteristics obtained through the existing hydraulic system analysis. Hydraulic and electric components such as proportional hydraulic value and sensor for adjusting the harvester height and speed in proportion; and PLC were chosen based on Automation Studio™ libraries components structured with international standards. The designed system is reliable and meets the design expectations. Furthermore, the simulation results show good performance for positioning of cylinders with a very small error relative to the set point and also for hydraulic motor speed response with different predefined resistance load applied on the hydraulic motor. The results indicated that the proposed approach has great potential to improve the design and operation of the WSIC.

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