Increasing the Efficiency Rate of Water Consumption in Agriculture

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United States, Agriculture accounts for 70% of all water consumption; however, the efficiency rate of that water consumption is very low. Most of the water drains off or is evaporated. Only a small percentage of that water consumption is actually used for plant growth.

What effect does this have on the Agriculture industry? A lower efficiency rate results in wasted resources and decreased productivity. As fresh water supply becomes increasingly limited as the years go on, it is imperative for the Agriculture industry to strategize ways to increase water consumption efficiency for sustainability.

A University measured plant performance based on efficient water consumption. Their goal is to secure future food production no matter what climate challenges are faced. Potted plants were monitored continuously for their water consumption during growth and weighed in ambient conditions.

The measurement system needed to be resistant to temperature noise to provide reliable and accurate results. Load cells that were specifically tailored to greenhouse conditions were used to track small increments in weight over a long period of time. These load cells withstood the temperature fluctuations and high humidity environmental conditions. This measurement system is expected to save costs by optimizing nutrient delivery and boosting crop yield, due to early detection of stress and reducing water and fertilizer use.

Though this was not a Solutions Project GRM was involved in, this goes to show how metrology is used to solve various problems. If you’d like to decrease wasted resources, increase productivity and efficiency, we’d love to help you strategize! Our Solutions Team specializes in process automation and custom measurement systems to meet your specific goals.

 

 

SOURCE:

“Load Cells Help Optimize Water Efficiency In Stressed Climate.” Weigh & Measure, Apr. 2019, pp. 10+.

[Video] In-Motion Checkweighers: The Perfect Accept-Reject Solution

[tbc_video_embed url=”null”]Checkweigher systems can accurately weigh 650 pieces of product per minute moving over an conveyor belt or assembly line! For production floors, that speed and certainty are of utmost importance. For operations that don’t employ in-motion checkweighers, how do you ensure the weight is correct and the speed is at its full potential?

Before we examine precisely what a checkweigher conveyor can provide, check out this quick demonstration video from our shop floor in Detroit:

This is an OCS Checkweigher system set into service by Grand Rapids Metrology. Now it’s obviously not sending widgets through at a speed 650 pieces per minute. This system is equip with the ability to customize features including the speed of the belt and the mechanical arm. As you can see, the system moves the widget along a conveyor belt where it is accurately weighed. An appropriate range of weight, or tolerance, can be set through the easy-to-use, touchscreen monitor. As the widget it weighed, the in-motion checkweigher will identify if it’s weight is in or out of that set tolerance.

In the video, we see that the first widget makes it successfully to the end of the conveyor. It’s was within tolerance, however the second widget was pushed off the conveyor by the mechanical arm. This widget had a weight that was either over or under the pre-set tolerance.

Now, the in-line checkweigher above was in Grand Rapids Metrology’s shop and not yet running at our customer’s site. To get an even better idea of how these systems work, watch this video of product being weighted and consequently accepted and rejected as it moves through the line at one of our customer’s facilities.

Did you catch some of the products flying off the line? The conveyor belt is working with the in-motion checkweigher at such an incredible speed that it was easy to miss. The system was able to accurately identify that those products weighted too much or too little and responded accordingly.

A checkweigher can add tremendous value to a production floor. The speed and accuracy these systems produce are unlike any human operated process. Companies who’ve employed checkweighers consequently free up manpower, improve efficiency, increase quality, and reduce costs of operations and lead times. This particular customer saw a return on investment within a few months and they’ve never been happier with their weighing process.

Looking for a solution of your own? Grand Rapids Metrology has an entire division devoted to solving problems and enhancing procedures. View our previously implemented solutions here or contact our Solutions Team Member, Terry Benjamin, at terry.benjamin@grmetrology.com, to start improving your process today!