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Seeding without calibration test

Mueller-Elektronik (Germany) has introduced the Airidium. The measurement system enables seed-precise recording of the most various seeds in pneumatic seeders.

This illustration only shows a simplified model of the measurement system (Photo: Mueller-Elektronik)

IN THE PNEUMATIC SEEDER TECHNOLOGY sector, the measurement system’s recorded sensor data can be used for several applications. The term Airidium describes a measurement system that consists of a central and cascadable electronics system (ECU) and a given number of hose sensors (depending on the number of rows on the seeder). These components and the desired applications have been adapted to specific customer and OEM requirements. For this reason, the illustration only shows a simplified model.

The Airidium ECU communicates with the job computer via a CAN interface. Desired applications can be selected through input in the terminal and an overview of the corresponding information is displayed.

The layout of the sensors forms the basis for the system's performance. The patent- ed sensor concept enables the recording of several thousand seeds per second. Although much less than a thousand seeds per second are spread on a row in practice, because of the lacking singulation, the system must be capable of detecting several seeds per millisecond. In addition to large seeds such as corn and peas, all types of cereals such as wheat, rye, barley, oats etc. can be counted. Even fine seeds such as rapeseed are also counted under difficult conditions such as high dust and strong vibrations. Due to the integrated self-cleaning effect, the sensors are dirt-resistant. According to the company, the sensors are also wear-resistant and therefore maintenance-free. The typical basic application consists of monitoring of the seed flow and detection of reduced rates due to clogging or partial blockage.

Due to the counting of the spread seeds, it is possible to regulate the metering unit speed according to the specification (number of seeds/area). This represents a big step towards precision farming, since a known number of seeds are pread per rotation of the metering unit or per unit area instead of a certain weight. The thousand grain weight (TGW) is no longer required for the calibration factor (seeds/rotation). The notorious calibration test is therefore no longer required.

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