When the planting season begins, farmers will plant different crops at different row widths, requiring the sprayers to match the row width by running wheels between the plants and not over them. In the past, changing the axle width was a time-consuming task, as users would have to jack up one wheel of a tractor/sprayer, loosen its hub bolts, measure and move the wheel to its new row width, then retighten hub bolts. That was just on one tire. The farmer would then have to repeat this operation three more times. It was easily a one-hour job.
To reduce this time, modern equipment manufacturers began to use hydraulic cylinders to move the wheel in and out. Here, mechanical markers would indicate wheel position. As these machines became more sophisticated (with more items attached to the machine) it in turn became more difficult to find a location for the mechanical markers so they could be viewed. Today top of the line sprayers allow the operator to set the wheel position at the push of a button and sensors determine that position.
On its track adjust cylinders, AGCO RoGator uses four LA internal transducers from Rota Engineering for axle widening cylinders. AGCO turned to Rota because it needed a small size sensor to maintain the cylinder’s pin-to-pin dimension. Rota says its LA series is the smallest active transducer on the market. It uses a screw-in mounting design that does not change the pin-to-pin dimension on existing cylinder designs.
The small and compact size of Rota’s LA transducers allow them to be mounted between clevis ears of a cylinder where they are physically well protected, said Mark Hoffman, VP Sales and Marketing.
LA transducers are versatile, too, he added. “This design allows for sensor installation at the cylinder manufacturer, at the OEM factory floor or in the field by a dealer technician when the feature is desired,” Hoffman said. “The sensors can also be installed after wash down and painting process thus avoiding water ingress or ESD issues on an electrostatic paint line.”
LA transducers are ideal for agricultural machinery, too, Hoffman said, because they use the latest version of compact electronics that are compatible with mobile equipment electronics. And, an optional 5-Vdc powered transducer gives 4.5 Vdc output, allowing the user to upgrade from resistive type transducers to Rota’s non-contact Hall Effect without upgrading the mobile equipment electronics.
The LA transducers are packaged in a high-tensile aluminum enclosure rated to 350 bar (5,075 psi) operating pressure. Their cost-effective design makes them a perfect fit when replacing limit switches, brackets and the associated cables, potentiometers, etc. where the 5-V supply option is ideal.
Rota Engineering Ltd.