Design, fabrication and testing of a sugarcane farm furrower
Field studies were carried out to evaluate the performance of two furrowers that were in use for furrowing at Mumias sugar company: a double mouldboard furrower and a flat-plate furrower, using an undamped spring dynamometer. The results were utilised for guidance towards the design of a prototype furrower for Mumias Sugar Company. The prototype furrower was designed for better operational and power performance and tested relative to the mouldboard furrower and the flat-plate furrower. The goal was to minimise power requirements and maximise furrower performance, while improving workmanship and standardising the fabrication process. Future local manufacture at Mumias Sugar Company was the goal, for increased availability and lower cost of sugarcane farm furrowers. A detailed standardised furrower manufacture process, with working drawings was developed. The furrower and its jigs were designed and fabricated. The furrower was tested for furrow formation and energy requirements. The tests were carried out against the Mumias sugar company mouldboard furrower and the Busia sugar company flat-plate furrower. The mean draft for the prototype furrower was 1135.60N, for the mouldboard 1202.13 N and for the flat-plate it was 1287.38 N. Thus the prototype had least mean draft and the flat-plate had the highest mean draft. The mean moment for the prototype was 126.69Nm, for the mouldboard 122.40Nm and the flat-plate 136.12Nm. The prototype had a mean vertical force of 869.9 N. The same parameter for the mouldboard was 825.26N and for the flat-plate it was 819.99 N. The unit power consumption for the prototype lied between 0.92Wcm-2 and 1.78 Wcm-:~. The same parameter for the flat-plate lied between 0.68 W/cm ' and 1.72 W/crrr' while for the mouldboard it lied between 0.77 W/cm2 and 1.41 W/cm2. The mean depth for the prototype in sand-bin ranged between 25.4cm and 25.8 ern, for the mouldboard the depth ranged between 27cm and 32.9cm and for the flat-plate it ranged between 31.5cm and 32.7 cm. Field studies mean depths were 25.8 cm for the prototype, 18.3cm for the mouldboard and 17.7 em for the flat-plate furrower. The prototype furrower showed qualities which made it better suited to resist bending even at increasing speed. Despite the increased power consumption quality of the prototype relative to the commonly used mouldboard furrower, the work quality recorded and the standardised design and manufacture process provided a real alternative to Mumias sugar company. The company had great desire to produce her own furrowers.