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Feeding cows in the 21st century

Livestock must be fed multiple times a day, 365 day a year. Mixer-feeders can support this process. They are designed for farms with a large number of animals. Sgariboldi (Italy) chose Epec (Finland) units for its added Titanium series.

The self-propelled mixer-feeders (Source: Tritecnica)

The complete article is published in the June issue of the CAN Newsletter magazine 2022. This is just an excerpt.

Heading south from Milan, the landscape shows farms, fields, and industries. In this setting Sgariboldi, one of the main mixer-feeders builders in Italy, placed its headquarters; from here its machines, always equipped with cutting-edge technology, are exported all over the world. Mixer-feeder operation, in principle, is very simple: the various ingredients for cows food are cut, optionally milled, and loaded by the front boom, then mixed in the rear tank and the mix is finally unloaded. Sgariboldi machines provide: loading capacity, processing speed without compromising on mixing quality, and economy. These benefits are obtained with patented algorithms that enhance the overall operation of the machine, relieving the operator from stressful duties at the same time: automatic selection of the best cutting speeds and milling for each ingredient (Intelliloader machine), advanced mixing strategies (Intellimixer machine), optimum distribution of the food (if coupled with an optional, intelligent transmission), active suspension control for maximum traction on every ground, no matter how uneven it is.

The EC44 has a 32-bit processor and large internal memory for application and parameters. It has 16 inputs and 16 outputs with high-side current measurement, two CAN networks, and a status LED. (Source: Epec)

Self-propelled mixer-feeders

Titanium is a new generation of vertical self-propelled mixers of big volume, designed for all farmers who need to manage mixes with a high specific weight, with a machine that also offers loading performance and great maneuverability. A series of ultra-light machines because they are built with special alloys that allow enormous loads to be handled with only two axles, and combine the typical efficiency and durability of Sgariboldi mixers. Also designed to optimize loading times, it features the largest loading drum on the market: 2 200 mm width and 210 horse power. Combined with a loading arm 35 % wider, this makes the series unique in its kind. The series is based on Epec’s CAN-featured products.

The backbone of Sgariboldi machines consists of two CAN high-speed networks. The first one, running J1939, connects the electronically managed engine, a Topcon display, an Elobau Multifunctional Armrest – to safely (programmable logic controller) interface human driver and machine - and the Epec EC44 compact control unit, to control engine speed. The second network uses the CANopen protocol as the vehicle backbone: the Epec EC44 control unit (commander) processes all the logic programmed with Codesys 3.5, extended by an Epec GL84 (responder) for the acquisition of all inputs, pressure, temperature, frequency and level sensors, and control of proportional valves. On the same network the display, CAN sensors for oil quality measurement, electronic suspension management and weighing system are also integrated, allowing a seamless interaction between all the elements of the machine.

The brain of the machine is the already-mentioned Epec EC44 control unit: due to its processor and Codesys 3.5, it is possible to implement complex control algorithms with ease and no fear of overloading. This is enabled even with a cycle time in the single-digit millisecond range, moving the boom and controlling the speed of all the hydraulic actuators with precision.

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Publish date

CAN Newsletter June 2022