Mechanization of agricultural processes

A.Y. 2018/2019
Overall hours
Learning objectives
To know the basic technologies underlying the mechanized agricultural processes. To analyze and quantify the main parameters of agricultural processes at farm scale.
To provide the basic methodology and the interpretation key for the application of the advanced information technogies in the production contexts of the agri-environmental enterprises; this even underlying the related interactions with the farm machinery set.
Expected learning outcomes
To identify and describe the principles behind the technologies used in mechanized agricultural processes. To assess, analyze and quantify the characteristic parameters of plants and machinery for the agricultural processes in function of specific needs. To set and solve simple numerical logistics problems at farm scale.
To evaluate technical performances of the different components of an information system to be used within an agricultural context. Practical skillness in the integrated use of GIS and GPS technologies for farm management purposes. Acquisition of a information-oriented competence to design and manage an information system.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
Second semester
Farm processes engineering
Course syllabus
Function of machines and equipment in agricultural processes: manage and use energy for production, handling, storage and primary processing of agricultural products Froms of energy and technologies underlying the mechanized agricultural processes:-Mechanical Energy: overview of mechanical parameters and main equations Basic technologies: review of internal combustion engine, transmissions of motion, efficiency-Hydraulic Energy: overview of hydraulic parameters and main equations Basic technologies: pumps, blowers and compressors, valves, actuators, yields, in the hydraulic circuit machines and installations-Electricity: Overview of electrical parameters and main equations Basic technologies: the electric motor, the electrical business, design and security, returns Thermal-Energy: overview of thermal parameters and main equations Basic technologies: fuels, boilers and heat exchangers, heat transport Basic agricultural processes:-Handling of liquids (water, milk, manure), self-propelled irrigation systems, spraying of liquids-Handling of solids (grain, etc.), mechanical actions on the solid products (grinding, cutting)-Heating and cooling of the fluids and solids, pasteurization-Drying Elements of logistics for the farm:-Optimization of chains of mechanization-Transportation chains of harvested produce- Farm capacity storage-Indicators of overall efficiency of the farm system
Teaching methods
material is available at course webpage:
Planning and management of mechanized processes
Course syllabus
FARM INFORMATION SYSTEMS. Information Technologies for firm management and computer business. Role of information in production processes: definitions of "datum" and "information", with related differences. Information Systems (IS) and related designing approaches: datum-oriented and information-oriented. IS components: electronic devices, computer and software, communication and data transfer systems. Hierarchic organization and enterprise decisional levels: strategic, tactical and processes management, knowledge management, operational levels. Structured, semi-structured and unstructured information profiles. IS classification based upon decisional levels and firm functional areas. Main features of IS designed for farm and agri-environmental enterprises. General role of machinery and mechanisation in farm information systems (FIS). ENTERPRISE DATA MANAGEMENT. Data organization by means traditional file approaches and throughout database technologies (DB) Examples of software for the Farm Management.. ADVANCED INFORMATION TECHNOLOGIES. Perspective of ITs in the contexts of agri-environmental enterprises between precision agriculture and information management. New emerging needs: traceability; production reporting and documentation; automations of field operational controls; site-specific farm management. Necessity of automating monitoring activities and their classification within the farm: environmental, crop and operational monitoring. Introduction to GPS: space, control and user segments; GPS receivers; positioning data computing methods (phase and pseudo-range measures; accuracy and precision; types of measuring errors); DGPS technologies; receivers' costs and selection criteria; agri-environmental applications. Outline on GIS tools: cartographic systems and geo-reference problems; layers and backgrounds; entities and related attributes; conections to DBs; digitalization of lands and farm structures; integration of GPS points and traces. Electronic technologies and remote sensing (RS): sensors for implements; variable rate technologies (VRT) devices; active and passive identification systems; yield mapping; an ouline of RS and its possible applications to on-farm and off-farm contexts; role of ground sensing; spectral indices calculation and their application to crop monitoring. Operational monitoring: the role of farm machinery, mobile and stationary user points; tractors as information vectors; Computerized Fileld Notebooks (CFN): features and functionalities; basic construction architectures (tractor- and implement-oriented); algorithms to inference operational farm data, from the elementary activity to the farm historical memory. Principles of land operational monitoring: experiences achieved on a slurry spreading monitoring system based on a IS (equipped with CFNs) managed by the public administration.
Teaching methods
Slides and notes of the lessons available at web site
Farm processes engineering
Lessons: 32 hours
Professor: Oberti Roberto
Planning and management of mechanized processes
Practicals: 16 hours
Lessons: 24 hours
Professor: Calcante Aldo
By appointment only
Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences - Agricultural Engineering area
make an appointment
via Celoria 2 - Building 10: Ingegneria Agraria