«Published Annually Vol. 6, No. 1 ISBN 978-0-979-7593-3-8 CONFERENCE PROCEEDINGS Sawyer School of Business, Suffolk University, Boston, Massachusetts ...»
Laser transmitter sub system creates 360 degree rotational plane, parallel to horizontal plane. Laser receiver and bucket scraper sub system intercepts/ interacts with 360 degree rotational plane. Based on position error, receiver provides error signal to controller. Controller controls hydraulic solenoids to modulate the flow in cylinder. As a result bucket scraper is raised or lowered to level the field.
The advantages of the Laser Leveler are as follows-
1- Reduction in time and water required to irrigate the field 2- Uniform distribution and less water consumption in land preparation 3- Uniform moisture environment for crops, less weed problems 4- Good germination and growth of crop, uniformity in crop maturity 5- Reduce seed rate, fertilizer, chemicals and fuel requirements.
6- Improved Operator and Field Performance In essence, the system comprises a laser transmitter, a laser receiver, an intelligent controller, a hydraulic control system and a laser surveying system. A laser transmitter mounted on a tripod transmits a rapidly rotating laser beam to create a uniform altitude reference plane over the entire field. This is intercepted by the laser receiver mounted on the mast of the leveling blade. The controller mounted on the tractor interprets signals from the receiver and either opens or closes the hydraulic control valve to raise or lower the blade.
Laser transmitter The laser transmitter is mounted on a tripod which allowed the beam to sweep above the tractor unobstructed. Ranges available are 300 meter to 600 meter radius. In India generally transmitters are placed outside of the field.
Laser Receiver In India mast and drag scraper is build by local manufactures. The laser receiver, acting as a bridge to connect the laser transmitter to the intelligent controller, detects the laser signals from the laser transmitter. The laser receiver detects the position of the laser reference plane and transmits these signals to the control box.
Signals from the laser receiver were accepted and interpreted by the intelligent controller which determined the state (open or closed) of the hydraulic control valve. The signals were also displayed to indicate the relative position between the laser receiver and the laser reference plane for automatic control.
Hydraulic Control System The hydraulic control system accepted signals from the intelligent controller and would supply oil to raise or lower the leveling blade automatically to maintain the laser receiver at the correct height.
Leveling Blade The leveling blade could be either 3-point linkage mounted or pulled by the tractor’s drawbar. A pull type system is prevalent in India as it is easier to connect the tractor’s hydraulic system to an external hydraulic ram than to the internal control system used by the 3-point-linkage system. This is done by local manufacturers.
Laser surveying It is always best to use the average elevation point as aReference point. So in most situations a topographic survey must be conducted to establish the high and low areas in the field before laser leveling.
Steps for Laser Land Leveling Laser leveling requires soil to be shifted from the high points of the field to the low points in the most cost effective way. In most situations fields will need to be ploughed and a topographic survey undertaken before leveling commences.
Step 1: Plowing the field Conference papers © Knowledge Globalization Institute, Pune, India, 2012 Primary tillage operation is very much required before Land leveling. Plow when the soil is moist, because if it is ploughed dry a significant increase in tractor power is required and large clod sizes may result. In India cultivator is used for loosening the soil.
It lefts lots of big clod.
Laser Land Leveller can’t work with these field conditions.
Step 2: Conducting a topographic survey Once the field is ploughed, a topographic survey should be conducted to record the high and low spots in the field. The mean height of the field can be calculated by taking the sum of all the readings and dividing by the number of readings taken. Then, using a field diagram and the mean height of the field, determine how to effectively move soil from the high to low areas
Step 3: Leveling the field
Presently in India many Laser leveler operation is carried out after 2 pass of cultivator or 2 pass disc harrow2. After 2 pass of cultivator, it is not enough to make the soil loose and soil is left very hard for laser leveler operation to follow. Laser leveler is meant to move the loose soil whereas in present case it spends lot of time first to crush/break the soil. The crushing takes place due tire weight and collision against the bucket/blade. To site a case, in a field of 3 bhiga (0.6 acre) initial 10-12 pass of tractor movement is only to crush the soil and make it loose to move. These unnecessary action increases wear and tear of the blade and tractor tire. In the same time consume more fuel and time.
Setting of receiver depends on operator skill. No scientific method is followed.
Conference papers © Knowledge Globalization Institute, Pune, India, 2012 Instrument Setting The two major part of the instrument is transmitter and receiver. The transmitter is stationary and kept on a tripod whereas the receiver installed on the laser Leveller which is tractor pulled. Before starting any operation the transmitter is kept on a tripod, the reference plane is auto established through the spirit level. The signal between the transmitter and receiver is supported through a 12V Alkaline battery. The hydraulic actuator and blade function with reference to the plane established in transmitter. For e.g. in case of a crest (ground level is high), the actuator would move down and bucket would collect extra soil and transport the same to a trough (lower ground level). The signals could be identified on receiver/Transmitter as Amber (ground is high), green (ground is level), Red (ground is low).
What is happening Presently
The operation on field is carried out not in scientific way but more on judgment and trial and error process. Wherever the operator feels the bucket need to be adjusted, tractor is stopped and actuator is manually adjusted (lifted or brought down by adjusting the receiver). Thus it leads to frequent stopping of the machine. The operation needs to be automatic rather than trial and error/Judgment. Since the major beam setting is not within ±3’’, there is frequent loss of signal between receiver and transmitter. It further leads to stoppage and manual adjustment of the hitch mounted blade.
What is proposed
The best practice is to start the operation with median setting which is to be done using a telescopic scale which is provided along with the instrument. It starts with selecting 10 random points on the plane which is to be leveled. Using the scale, height of these 10 points is measured and average value is noted. After finding the median value, the reading on scale is accordingly set. Then the area on the field where the median value exists is located through signal check, the tractor is brought to the same location.
Steps for Instrument Settings and Leveling–
• The laser‐controlled bucket should be positioned at a point that represents the mean height of the field.
• The cutting blade should be set slightly above ground level (1‐2 cm).
• The tractor should then be driven in a circular direction from the high areas to the lower areas in the field.
Conference papers © Knowledge Globalization Institute, Pune, India, 2012
• To maximize working efficiency, as soon as the bucket is near filled with soil the operator should turn and drive towards the lower area. Similarly, when the bucket is near empty the tractor should be turned and driven back to the higher areas.
• When the whole field has been covered, the tractor and bucket should then do a final leveling pass in long runs from the high end of the field to the lower end.
• Re‐survey to make sure that the desired level of precision has been attained.
Stakeholder Analysis Customer: These are the farmers who are presently availing the laser leveling service Entrepreneur: the farmer who presently owns the machine, since the machine presently cost nearly INR 3.5 lakh, there is only limited ownership of the machine. Most of the service is extended through custom hiring business Government: with the depleting water table and high water consuming crop like paddy, potato, sugarcane and wheat, it requires more scientific way of using water. For example for crops like pomegranate, sugarcane drip irrigation has proved to be very effective and high yielding too. But the challenge still lies in how to address high water consuming crop like paddy, which is again largely being grown in India.
Hence the idea is to develop a business model, where we can add value to each of these stake holders.
Customer point of view:
The objective is to increase productivity by land leveling but at same time also reduce cost incurred. Thus in order to add value to customer, we need to understand what is the cost function and how is it linked to productivity.
Ct= Cp+ Cs+ Cw+ Ci+ Ch Where Ct = total cost of production Cp = cost for primary tillage Cs = cost for secondary tillage Cl = cost for laser leveling Cw = cost for water consumption Ci = cost for inputs like fertilizer and pesticides Ch = cost for harvesting Conference papers © Knowledge Globalization Institute, Pune, India, 2012 For the present paper we would consider only cost for tillage, laser leveling operation cost and water requirement since these have direct a correlation with quality of land leveling. Hence the cost function would be Ct= Cp+ Cs+ Cl +Cw+ Ci+ Ch Present Operating Model Presently there are two scenarios in the current practices.
Laser leveling operation is followed by 2 pass of cultivator or 2 pass disc harrow. Thus only cultivator or disc harrow is not enough to make the soil loose (though it varies depending on soil condition) and it further leads to more clod formation rather than loose soil. Laser leveller is meant to move the loose soil whereas in present case it spends lot of time first to crush/break the soil. The crushing takes place due tyre weight and collision against the bucket/blade. To site a case, in a field of 0.5 acre, initial 10-12 pass of tractor movement is only to crush the soil and make it loose to move. These unnecessary action increases wear and tear of the blade and tractor tyre. Thus rather working in a scientific way, it is more on judgment and trial and error process. Wherever the tractor operator feels the bucket need to be adjusted, tractor is stopped and actuator is manually adjusted (lifted or brought down by adjusting the receiver). Thus it leads to frequent stopping of the machine. Since the major beam setting is not within ±3’’, there is frequent loss of signal between receiver and transmitter. It further leads to stoppage and manual adjustment of the hitch mounted blade. The land level what we could achieve through this process is ±3’’ and the water requirement for the same is 6hr/acre. (Since most of farmers use electric engines and the power consumption charge is as per time basis).
Hence our cost function amounts to: (assuming 1 acre of land) Ct= Cp+ Cl +Cw Cp= INR 450 (2 pass of cultivator, field capacity 1acre/1hr) Cl = INR 1350 (it requires 3 hr for 1 acre) Cw= INR 300 (it requires 6 hr for 1 acre, each hr of electricity amounts to Rs 50) Thus the total cost amounts to INR 2100/acre.
Paddy is mostly flood irrigated and it also occurs multiple times. For the present calculation we have assumed only one time watering.
What we are suggesting in the present model is the primary tillage should be carried out through cultivator single pass). Then we should have rotavator operation (single pass) which should be followed by laser leveling operation. It would substantially reduce the time taken for laser leveling and would also help to prepare a much better and even field. The leveling of field thus achieved is within 2inches or 50mm which was around 75mm in Scenario I.
Hence our cost function amounts to: (assuming 1 acre of land) Ct= Cp+ Cs + Cl +Cw Cp= INR 450 (2 pass of cultivator, field capacity 1acre/1hr) Cs = INR 500 (1 pass of rotavator) Cl = INR 450 (it requires 1 hr for 1 acre) Conference papers © Knowledge Globalization Institute, Pune, India, 2012 Cw= INR 200 (it requires 4 hr for 1 acre, each hr of electricity amounts to Rs 50) Thus the total cost amounts to INR 1600/acre.
The comparative analysis shows that in scenario II the farmer gains around INR 500/ acre. Since we have considered only single time watering for calculation of the cost function, the benefit would further increase considering multiple watering of the field.
In actual case paddy requires 4/5 times of flood irrigation which amounts to huge cost saving in case of Scenario II.
Entrepreneur point of view:
Laser leveling operation is mostly catered through custom hiring business model. The way this business happens is, the customer does his booking through an agent or personal contact. Then customer is supposed to prepare his land i.e. carrying out primary tillage of his land and then ask for the laser leveling operation to follow. The farmer or entrepreneur, who owns the laser leveller, limits himself only to the leveling operation. Because of high demand they don’t cater any primary tillage requirement. But as per our present study, we would propose a business model where this service is offered in a package way and also priced in a package. As discussed in case of Scenario I, since the operation consumes higher time due to poor quality of land preparation. Hence assuming an annual utilization of 500 hr of laser leveling operation, he could cater to only 170 acre of land leveling (assuming 0.33field capacity). Since the present charges as per Hr basis, the business is more centered on clocking more hr of operation rather than providing a better quality job.