Optimization of Design and Operational Parameters of a Soil-Dispensing Machine for Preparing Seedling Tray
The conventional method of soil filling into nursery trays before seeding is known to be the most inexpensive approach prior to planting vegetables. However, this activity is very labourious and time-consuming if the operation is meant for high volume seeding. This study is done to develop soil-dispensing machine, evaluate its performance and to compare with traditional practice of soil filling into the nursery tray. The optimization of each parameter is also evaluated to obtain the exact volume of soil to fill the nursery tray to the fullest. A low-cost soil dispensing machine is developed in MARDI and it is using locally materials available in the market. The structure of the machine is fabricated using mild-steel and stainless-steel at the less cost. The machine consists of a conveyor, nursery tray holder, soil dispenser, scrapper, soil compactor, wiper motors, gears, microcontroller and sensors. There are three factors with two levels involve in this test; hopper angle, conveyor speed and auger speed. The hopper angles are evaluated at 45° and 65° while conveyor speeds are tested at 19 cm/s and 21 cm/s. The minimum and maximum speed of auger selected is 3.5 cm/s and 4.5 cm/s, respectively. Manual filling of soil into seedling tray was compared with filling soil using semi-automatic operated soil-dispenser. The results indicated that the model is significant with p-value <0.0001. Conveyor speed, auger speed and hopper angle were significant on the volume of soil dispensed with both speeds shows a p-value <0.0001, while hopper angle shows p-value equal to 0.00112. The combination of both speeds greatly affected the response with p-value <0.0001. There is no interaction between each speed and the hopper angle. From the optimization analysis, the operating conveyor speed, auger speed and angle of hopper should be set at 19.0 cm/s, 4.5 cm/s and 65° to discharge 2912 cm3 soil. In order to dispense 1190 cm3 of soil, conveyor speed, auger speed and hopper angle should be set at 21 cm/s, 4.3 cm/s and 50°. The result indicated that the machine can complete the seeding and soil filling process within 1 min per tray, while manual process took five minutes to complete the whole seeding process.
DOA (2016). Pelan Strategik Jabatan Pertanian 2016-2020, Jabatan Pertanian Malaysia. Retrived on 15 December 2019 from http://www.doa.gov.my/index.php/pages/view/401
DOA (2019). Booklet Statistik Tanaman 2019 (Sub-Sektor Tanaman Makanan), Jabatan Pertanian Malaysia. Retrived on 15 December 2019 from http://www.doa.gov.my/index/resources/aktiviti_sumber/sumber_awam/maklumat_pertanian/perangkaan_tanaman/booklet_statistik_tanaman_2019.pdf
Hafidha A., Mohd Fazly M., Mohd Taufik A., et al. (2020). Performance Evaluation of a Seed Dispenser for Sowing Seed into Nursery Tray, ASM Science Journal, 13(Special Issue 4, 2020 for NCAFM2018), 27-35.
Jabatan Pertanian (2016). Pelan Strategik Jabatan Pertanian 2016-2020. Retrieved on 10 January 2020 from http://www.doa.gov.my/index/resources/aktiviti_sumber/sumber_awam/penerbitan/pelan_strategik_doa_ 2016_2020.pdf
Jarimopas B. & Rattanadat N. (2007). Development of A Young Coconut Fruit Trimming Machine. Journal of Food Engineering, 79(3), 752-757. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jfoodeng.2006.01.082
Kementerian Perdagangan Antarabangsa dan Industri. (2015). Laporan Kementerian Perdagangan Antarabangsa dan Industri (MITI). Retrived on 15 December 2019 from http://www.miti.gov.my/miti/resources/MITI_Report_2015- 5.pdf
L. Louis (2018). Working Principle of Arduino and Using It as A Tool for Study and Research. International Journal of Control, Automation, Communication and Systems.1(2), 21-29. doi: https://doi.org/10.5121/ijcacs.2016.1203
M. Muthamil, C.K. Thankamani, S.J.K. Annamalai, et al. (2015). Design and Development of Power-Operated Continuous-Run Potting Machine for Seedling-Nursery. Indian Journal of Agricultural Sciences, 85(6), 817-820.
Pandiyaraj P., Yadav Rajeev Kumar, Vijayakumar S., et al. (2017). Modern Nursery Raising Systems in Vegetables. International Journal of Agriculture Sciences, 9(52), 4889 – 4892
Parmenter J., Jensen A.N., Chiu S. (2014). Smart Irrigation Controller. Electro/Information Technology (EIT), 2014 IEEE International Conference, 394-398. doi: https://doi.org/10.1109/EIT.2014.6871796
Prajakta Hambir, Nimish Joshi, Pranav Karande et al. (2015). Automatic Weighing and Packaging Machine, International Research Journal of Engineering and Technology, 6(5), 2129-2138. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.isatra.2013.05.006
Space, J.C. & Balmer,W.E. (1977). Minimum cost calculation for container planting. USDA Forest Service. South Eastern Area State and Private Forestry. Retrieved on 12 March 2020 from https://www.fs.fed.us/psw/publications/documents/psw_gtr200/psw_gtr200guide.pdf
Tara Luna; Wilkinson, Kim; Dumroese & R. Kasten. (2009). Seed Germination and Sowing Options; Nursery Manual for Native Plants: A Guide for Tribal Nurseries: Nursery management. Agriculture Handbook, U.S. Department of Agriculture. 1, 133-151.
Thomas Szirtes, & Pal Rozsa (2007). Forms of Dimensionless Relations: Applied Dimensional Analysis and Modeling, Chapter 13 (2nd ed.). Elsevier Inc., 377.
Yeoh K.C. (1988). Mechanical Transplanting of Vegetable. Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute, Teknologi Sayur-sayuran Jilid 4, 33 – 38
Copyright (c) 2020 Hafidha Azmon, Mohd Fazly Mail, Mohd Shukry Hassan Basri, Norahshekin Abdul Rahman, Siti Ashah Ab Rahim
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
Author(s) shall retain the copyright of their work and grant the Journal/Publisher right for the first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under:
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0). This license allows for the copying, distribution and transmission of the work, provided the correct attribution of the original creator is stated. Adaptation and remixing are also permitted.
This broad license intends to facilitate free access to, as well as the unrestricted reuse of, original works of all types for non-commercial purposes.
The author(s) permits HH Publisher to publish this article that has not been submitted elsewhere.