Gleaner Disribution Auger Testing System
Scott Harris, Kyle Mueggenborg, Logan Nightengale, Jeremiah Pine
With the world’s growing demand for food and its heavy dependence on grain, today’s famers are pressed to produce and harvest more grain in the shortest amount of time possible. Currently the worldwide wheat production is 700 million metric tons. In order to meet this demand, the combine harvester plays a vital role in efficiently reaping, threshing, and separating grain from material other than grain (MOG). AGCO (Allis-Gleaner Corporation) is a leading global manufacturer of agricultural equipment who produces several brands of combine harvesters. While AGCO’s North American combine brands consist of Challenger, Gleaner, and Massey Ferguson, the Gleaner is the most unique and is the subject of the group’s project. The cleaning system is the target of the group’s attention. In the current design of Gleaner combines, the rotor sits above a trough that houses two conveyer augers and two accelerator rollers. The augers’ purpose is to feed and evenly distribute the material before it is dropped into the accelerator rollers. The accelerator rollers are present to speed up the materials descent from the auger conveyers. Without the accelerator rollers “throwing down” the material, the material leaving the augers would be falling at the speed of gravity. This does not necessarily pose a problem when the combine is on level ground, but when the machine is harvesting on a slope, a problem arises. Because the distance between the rollers and the grain pan (where the grain falls after leaving the rollers) is significant, gravity plays a major role in determining where and how the grain and MOG distributes. Thus, the accelerator rollers reduce the influence of gravity. On a slope, if the rollers were not present, the material would overload on one side. Side-overloading can cause spilling of grain from the side of the cleaning shoe. Because air from a fan is used to separate the MOG from the grain as soon as the material drops from the rollers, a constant velocity of air will not be reaching all of the material at the same time. This will result in unclean grain entering the grain tank which ultimately penalizes the producer.
The purpose of this project is to create a testing system to determine the efficiency of distribution augers located in the grain cleaning process of Gleaner combines. Design Modifications made to distribution augers will be evaluated to determine the impact on the performance of the system.
Scope of Work
The project will include an analysis of the current distribution augers by developing a testing apparatus that can consistently reproduce the conditions seen by the Gleaner combine in the field. Design changes will then be implemented to the auger system, and the performance of the modifications will be tested under the same conditions using the same apparatus