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Smart Agriculture ›› 2024, Vol. 6 ›› Issue (1): 111-122.doi: 10.12133/j.smartag.SA202306010

• Topic--Intelligent Agricultural Sensor Technology • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Intelligent Detection and Alarm System for Ferrous Metal Foreign Objects in Silage Machines

ZHANG Qing1,2(), LI Yang1, YOU Yong1,2(), WANG Decheng1,2, HUI Yunting1,2   

  1. 1. College of Engineering, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100083, China
    2. Research Center of Grass Machinery and Equipment, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100083, China
  • Received:2023-06-12 Online:2024-01-30
  • corresponding author:
  • About author:

    ZHANG Qing, E-mail:

  • Supported by:
    Shandong Province Major Science and Technology Innovation Project(2022CXGC020704-01); Modern Agricultural Industrial Technology System(CARS-34)


Objective During the operation of the silage machine, the inclusion of ferrous metal foreign objects such as stray iron wires can inflict severe damage to the machine's critical components and livestock organs. To safeguard against that, a metal detection system with superior performance was developed in this research to enable precise and efficient identification of metal foreign bodies during field operations, ensuring the integrity of the silage process and the well-being of the animals. Methods The ferrous metal detection principle of silage machine was firstly analyzed. The detection coil is the probe of the metal detection system. After being connected in parallel with a capacitor, it is connected to the detection module. The detection coil received the alternating signal generated by the detection module to generate an alternating magnetic field. After the metal object entered the magnetic field, it affects the equivalent resistance and equivalent inductance of the detection coil. The detection module detected the change of the equivalent resistance and equivalent inductance, and then transmited the signal to the control module through the serial peripheral interface (SPI). The control module filtered the signal and transmited it to the display terminal through the serial port. The display terminal could set the threshold. When the data exceeded the threshold, the system performed sound and light alarm and other processing. Hardware part of the metal detection system of silage machine were firstly design. The calculation of the planar spiral coil and the cylindrical coil was carried out and the planar spiral coil was selected as the research object. By using the nondominated sorting genetic algorithm-Ⅱ (NSGA-II) combined with the method of finite element simulation analysis, the wire diameter, inner diameter, outer diameter, layer number and frequency of the coil were determined, and the calculation of the bent coil and the unbent coil and the array coil was carried out. The hardware system was integrated. The software system for the metal detection system was also designed, utilizing an STM32 microcontroller as the control module and LabView for writing the primary program on the upper computer. The system continuously displayed the read data and time-equivalent impedance graph in real-time, allowing for the setting of upper and lower alarm thresholds. When a metal foreign object was detected, the warning light turned red and an alarm sound was emitted, causing the feed roll to stop. To simulate the scenario of metal detection during the operation of a silage machine, a test bench was set up to validate the performance of the metal detection system. Results and Discussions The test results of the metal detection function showed that for a metal wire with a diameter of 0.6 mm and a length of 20 mm, as the inner diameter of the detection coil increased, the maximum alarm distance increased first and then decreased. The maximum alarm distance occured when the inner diameter was 35 mm, which was consistent with the optimization result. The maximum alarm distance was the largest when the detection coil was two layers, and there was no data readout when it was three layers. Therefore, the optimal thickness of the detection coil for this metal detection system was two layers. When the detection distance was greater than 80 mm, the alarm rate began to decrease, and the detection effect was weakened. When the detection distance was within 70 mm, the metal detection system could achieve a 100% alarm rate. The test results of the system response time showed that the average system response time was 0.105 0 s, which was less than the safe transportation time of 0.202 0 s. The system can give an alarm before the metal foreign object reaches the cutter, so the system is safe and effective. Conclusion In this study, a metal detection system for silage machines was designed. A set of optimization methods for metal detection coils was proposed, and the corresponding metal detection software and hardware systems were developed, and the functions of the metal detection system were verified through experiments, which could provide strong technical support for the safe operation of silage machines.

Key words: silage machine, ferrous metal detection system, electromagnetic induction, planar spiral coil, non-dominated sorting genetic algorithm, finite element simulation