Submitted to: Transactions of the ASABE
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/22/2006
Publication Date: 9/10/2006
Citation: Le, S. 2006. A Mass Flow Totalizer for Lint Cleaner Waste. Transactions of the ASABE. Vol. 49(4): 883-890.
Interpretive Summary: Process control and automation have become more common in the cotton ginning industry today. As a result, online measurement of process variables has become necessary. Accurate mass flow measurements of various fiber streams in a ginning process provide valuable information for the underlying ginning process control and optimization. An electronic hopper with integrated hardware and software was developed to continuously capture and weigh material flow in batches. Experiments were carried out to assess the performance and accuracy of the electronic hopper. Results of the experiments show that the design more than met its measurement target accuracy of +/- 5%. The development provides vital information for the ginning process optimization and increases ginning efficiency and profit for producers.
Technical Abstract: As more modern ginning plants become receptive to process control and automation technology, online measurements of process variables are becoming more prevalent and important to the optimization of a ginning process. In this report, an electronic hopper weight scale was designed and built to measure and record the mass flow of lint cleaner waste. The measurement could be incorporated into a ginning process control system for process improvement and optimization. The electronic hopper scale included a 35.6 x 35.6 x 35.6 cm hopper with pneumatically controlled bottom doors to collect and dispose of the cleaner waste, two strain gages and associated signal conditioning circuitry, an A/D converter, a laptop PC, and an in-house developed data acquisition and control application. Five separate tests were conducted on the electronic hopper to verify its functionality and performance. Benefiting from experience of each test, the electronic hopper design and its control software were modified and eventually achieved a target accuracy of +/- 5%.