Design, building and testing of a transplanting mechanism for strawberry plants of bare root on mulched soil

C. Gutiérrez, R. Serwatowski, C. Gracia, J.M. Cabrera, N. Saldaña

Abstract


In order to reduce costs of hand-transplanting of strawberry crop, a transplanting mechanism (module) was designed, built and tested, as a main component of the transplanter for bare root plants on mulched soils, which design is carried on. The transplanter should be used with an existing irrigation system, that must be able to supply water by sections and allows to irrigate as soon as the transplanting operation finishes. The principle of operation of proposed machine is based on the transplanting module, which remains in a short contact with the ground and comprises mechanisms such as a cutter, a hook and a clamp to make automatically operations of cutting the plastic, hide the cut plastic and insert the plant in the ground. Relative movement between module and main frame of the transplanter is used as a sequential actuation source for its mechanisms. A prototype of the transplanting module and a testing device were built to evaluate the performance of the module main components in laboratory conditions. A 100% of plastic cuts made by the cutter were correct. Plastic hiding activity was satisfactory in 95% of repetitions. Placement of the plants by clamp, was satisfactory in 95% of the tests, that means a good plant insertion (crown covered by soil), and 85% of transplanted plants were correctly oriented. The module showed a satisfactory general performance, which allowed to prove the technical feasibility of the proposed concept as a principle of design of the transplanter for bare-root strawberry plants on mulch soil.

Keywords


TRANSPLANTERS; FRAGARIA VESCA; BARE ROOT PLANTING; PROTOTYPES; DESIGN; EQUIPMENT CHARACTERISTICS; EQUIPMENT TESTING; EQUIPMENT PERFORMANCE

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DOI: 10.5424/sjar/2009074-1093