Title
Automatic Spray and Re-seed Machine
More and better pasture using DSP
Technologies used

DSP (PC and microprocessor)

Industrial sector (PRODCOM code)
    29 Agricultural Machinery
Abstract

Belmont Plant & Equipment designs and manufactures pasture management equipment for the agricultural sector. The main customers are farmers. Belmont employs 10 people with an annual turnover of 1.1 million EUR. The Company’s current range is best described as towed equipment deriving motive and mechanical power from the towing vehicle, and includes grass toppers, slurry agitators, slurry spreaders and farmyard manure spreaders. This market is highly competitive with little opportunity for innovation within the existing product mix.

The objective of the application experiment was to develop a machine that complemented the existing pasture management range by addressing a major problem in the effective management of pasture through the use of advanced sensor technology. This machine was designed to employ image processing technology to selectively spray and re-seed areas in a pasture that were infested by weeds, while ignoring healthy pasture areas. This will result in improved pasture quality and an increase in the quantity of pasture available for grazing or silage.

The development of the machine will add a new product to the Company’s range and establish a market leader position for them. Belmont had no previous experience on microelectronics, DSP or microprocessors. This AE has provided the Company with an introduction to PC, microprocessor and image processing systems integration and the ability to manage the introduction of other complex systems in the future.

The total cost of the application experiment was 75 kEUR and it was completed in 15 months, the extended time period being necessary as a result of extremely wet weather in Ireland in 1998 (in excess of 20% increase in annual rainfall over the expected average). The experiment will have a payback period of less than 14 months and an ROI of 1500% (15 times) the initial investment for a 5-year product lifetime.

Company
Belmont Plant & Equipment Ltd.
Belmont, Co.
Offaly, Ireland.

Detailed information

You can also benefit from microelectronics

??? technology provided Belmont Plant & Equipment Ltd. with the means of improving its products and enhancing its market position. You can also achieve significant benefits by acquiring the right microelectronics technology and utilising it in your product or manufacturing process. You can get help from FUSE to realise this.

FUSE is a technology transfer programme, funded by the European Commission to stimulate the wider use of microelectronics technologies by European enterprises to increase their competitiveness and enhance their economic growth. The demonstrator described here is one of many examples in the public FUSE portfolio covering the whole spectrum of microelectronics technologies and spanning a wide range of applications and industry sectors.

FUSE provides you with:

  • Best practice in acquiring specific microelectronics technologies and conducting full development projects through the FUSE portfolio of real life demonstrator documents.
  • Local training and expert support to plan your innovation realistically and help you conduct your project successfully.

Further information and support relating to this and other demonstrators can be obtained from the addresses below.


Further information   Guiding Technology Transfer Node
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