Sensor applications in agricultural machinery

24-08-2020 | Variohm | Test & Measurement

Variohm EuroSensor has undertaken numerous applications with UK and European farm machinery manufacturers for position, load, pressure and temperature sensors with virtually all of them installed in harsh outdoor environments where wide temperature extremes and severe shock and vibration conditions exist - and upmost reliability is vital.

Applications range from angle sensors in sophisticated four-wheel steering systems allowing farm machinery to accurately manoeuvre in tight spaces for maximum crop yields to linear position and load sensors that are part of advanced mobile autonomous vehicles linked to the GNSS for vehicle guidance and load weight measurement.

These different types of sensors assist in numerous measurement tasks. Some are configured open loop with the position or load information just fed to a visual display to provide manual operation of a process. Other automated and autonomous machine tasks comprise the sensing component as part of closed-loop systems where often multiple functions are synchronised, such as with vision systems and linear motion positioners or rotary actuators for tasks including in-row weeding or selective crop harvesting.

The company's wide range of pressure sensors are employed in hydraulic systems as well as engine pressure measurement – from the sensor manufacturer’s extensive automotive industry offerings. Combined pressure and temperature sensors are utilised with process-related tasks in crop storage, farm fertiliser dispensing machinery and hydraulic control management. Load cells, from an expanded range of product types employed by the weighing industry and scale manufacturers, are in extensive use for bale weighing and load sensing for harvested crops in silos and mobile agricultural machinery.

Temperature sensors from the company are extensively utilised by manufacturers of instrumentation systems for measuring ground temperatures and as part of other environmental measurement equipment.

By Natasha Shek