Submitted to: AgriEngineering
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/1/2021
Publication Date: 7/8/2021
Citation: Pelletier, M.G., Holt, G.A., Wanjura, J.D. 2021. Cotton gin stand machine-vision inspection and removal system for plastic contamination: software design. AgriEngineering. 3(3):494-518. https://doi.org/10.3390/agriengineering3030033.
Interpretive Summary: Plastic contamination costs the cotton industry millions of dollars a year in lost premiums, that the industry previously enjoyed for having a reputation as one of the cleanest cotton sources in the world. In an effort to regain this lost reputation, the removal of plastic contamination from cotton is a high priority for the U.S. cotton industry. To help reduce plastic contamination in cotton-gins, a robotic removal system was developed to remove plastic from the cotton flow during processing. This paper presents the software design of this system. The system was tested throughout the entire 2019 cotton ginning season at two commercial cotton gins and at one gin in the 2018 ginning season.
Technical Abstract: The removal of plastic contamination from cotton lint is an issue of top priority to the U.S. cotton industry. One of the main sources of plastic contamination showing up in marketable cotton bales is plastic used to wrap cotton modules produced by John Deere round module harvesters. Despite diligent efforts by cotton ginning personnel to remove all plastic encountered during module unwrapping, plastic still finds a way into the cotton gin’s processing system. To help mitigate plastic contamination at the gin, a machine-vision detection and removal system was developed that utilizes low-cost color cameras to see plastic coming down the gin-stand feeder apron, which upon detection, blows plastic out of the cotton stream to prevent contamination. This paper presents the software design of this inspection and removal system. The system was tested throughout the entire 2019 cotton ginning season at two commercial cotton gins and at one gin in the 2018 ginning season. The focus of this report is to describe the software design and discuss relevant issues that influenced the design of the software.