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Agritechnica 2017 | Sensor Solutions für Precision Farming

The world is losing ground. Industry 4.0 is therefore also seen as the next development step in agriculture. New solutions are needed to maintain or even increase the per capita area available for agricultural use in a growing world population, while at the same time stopping the ongoing deforestation of valuable primeval forests.

According to the latest United Nations survey, in 2020, approximately 9 billion people will only have 0.25 ha of usable area per capita available. If you want to curb the overexploitation of nature, you will have to look for solutions to increase the efficiency of the bottom-head area, i. e. higher yields and less loss in production, or by optimising the necessary logistics, for example through modern agricultural machinery that reduces resource consumption by collecting, storing and evaluating large amounts of data.
As a result, the mechatronic systems of advanced machines require ever more comprehensive, accurate and secure data. The systems based on the magnetic measuring principle of ELGO Electronic, a specialist in measuring technology, provide the necessary reliable data for position, displacement, angle/angle of rotation and inclination monitoring. The product portfolio includes a wide range of contactless and therefore wear-free, robust magnetic measuring systems and sensors that also meet the tough demands of agricultural technology.
For example, intelligent systems help to make the use of fertilizers and pesticides more targeted and efficient. For this purpose, it is important to take into account the interaction between the sensors for absolute distance and position monitoring, for example on the mast, as well as the sensors for monitoring the inclination of the sprayer booms during operation. The magnetic-translatory measuring system (MTM) developed by ELGO Electronic, consisting of a magnetically coded piston rod and sensor, is ideal for position and distance monitoring in hydraulic cylinders. A major advantage of this system is that the standard kinematics do not have to be changed. It is therefore also very well suited for retrofitting, as the cylinders do not need to be modified in design. The system does not require a core hole hole in the piston rod, as the piston rod becomes a linear scale. Both a single track and a circumferential coding are possible. As the compact, space-saving reading head is applied to the front of the cylinder, no additional space in the cylinder is required. The system is very robust and easy to install and features the advantages of the robust, non-contact and wear-free magnetic measuring technology.
The inclination angle of the dosing tower is monitored by means of the inclination sensors from the INAX series. The product range includes series for single and multi-axis tilt monitoring. While the single-axis variant covers a measuring range from zero to +/-90°, the multi-axis variant can be used to detect inclinations of +/- 180° (Z-axis) and +/-90° (X and Y-axis). The underlying measuring principle (MEMS technology) is highly resistant to vibration and shock. The resolution is up to 0.025°.
In order to know how the mower of a harvester is currently working, permanent absolute measurement signals are required, for example to monitor the position and travel of the reel arm on the cutterbar of a combine harvester. Here, an absolute measuring sensor MAX1 is used in combination with an absolutely encoded 10 mm wide magnetic tape, which is installed in a groove on the reel arm protected.
In order to guarantee the safe operation of a wood harvester, the rotation angle position of the hydraulic swivel drive is necessary for tracking the driver's cab. Magnetic tape measuring systems such as the LMIX22 in combination with an adapted 10 mm magnetic tape are the solution. The magnetic tape is integrated into a groove in the back of the respective drive rack. In order to ensure the safety of operation under harsh and extreme environmental conditions, the applied measuring technology was designed with the highest protection class IP69K and the sensor itself was additionally installed in a hole in the cast iron body of the mechanical drive. This eliminates the need for costly and time-consuming implication of displacement and position sensors into the hydraulic cylinders.
In general, larger and larger agricultural machines and the trend towards self-propelled systems require permanent interaction between actuators and sensors for path, position, inclination and stability monitoring in the vehicle's working area, including its attachments. In order to optimise the efficiency, safety and comfort of the operator, ELGO Electronic from Rielasingen on Lake Constance, a leading manufacturer of electronic measuring, control and display components for 40 years, supplies a broad portfolio of standard-compliant sensors based on magnetic measuring technology, which has proven itself in many fields of application in mechanical engineering and the industrial automation industry. The product range is supplemented by application-oriented system solutions. The company has made a name for itself worldwide as a leading supplier of safe (SIL3) shaft copying and actuator systems in the lift sector. With this comprehensive range of sensors, ELGO offers solutions for greater efficiency, safety and comfort in mobile machines.

Article published in Mobile Maschinen 6/2017

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