Prototype for Poplar cut Optical Selection

L. Pari, A. Alberto, M. Salerno

Abstract


In order to decrease the production cost of poplar cuttings, CRA-ING developed, in collaboration with the company Agrimat of Tortona (AL) and Franco Alasia Vivai in Savigliano (AL), under Enama support, a prototype able to select mechanically the cuttings in relation to their diameter classes and to count the number of pieces for each class. Nesting cuttings of the same diameter is the first step to develop a totally automated transplanter (this activity is under developing). The prototype derives from a calibration machine normally used for the asparagus selection. The basic components of the machine are: a V-shaped conveyor belt of 500 cm, taking poplar cuttings from the cutter equipment; a V conveyor belt of 200 cm (variable speed) for aligning and distancing cuttings of about 4-5 cm; an optical electronic device to read the diameter and a pneumatic system to convey cuttings in the proper diameter class vessels. The system is managed by a dedicated software, and the not recognized or too thin cuttings are collected in a specific vessel. In order to evaluate the actual prototype performance, CRA-ING tested it surveying the operation performances. The equipment actually fails around the 3,5% of measurements. After the adjustment of the single components, the prototype will get lower error rates, improving the performances of the cuttings planting operation.

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