Design and construction of a hay baler
Tumusiime, Denis M
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In Uganda, livestock farmers are faced with a challenge of limited or feed shortage. These farmers are left with no choice but to sell off their cattle at a very low price. Hay baling techniques are available in the country such as manual methods but are very laborious, time-consuming and relatively low production rate. Automated tractor pulled balers are also being used on highly mechanized farms areas but purchase and maintenance costs as well as scale of operation make this technology impractical for farmers. The purpose of this project was to construct a relatively cheaper and easy to operate square hay baler machine. The objectives of the project were to develop a low cost fuel run square hay baler, analyze the current hay baling techniques in Uganda, design the transmission system for compacting the hay, simulate system and component performance under load and construct and evaluate performance of the machine. To fulfill the objectives, information regarding the existing technologies in terms of operation, selection criteria, advantages and limitations was obtained from the existing literature. The information obtained was then analyzed to come up with appropriate concepts for the power transmission and energy source mechanisms. The data was also analyzed and relevant calculations done in detailed design after guiding procedures from the preliminary design had been outlined. With the final design requirements for the major components of the determined, construction of the machine followed. From results, the machine was found to have a bale production rate of 9 bales per hour. This is slightly higher than the manual baling methods (5) but less than that of large automated balers(40) but this is compromised by the great difference between the prices of the two.. Commercialization of the product was done and this involved costing in order to come up with the selling price of the machine. The machine costs Shs 2.457 million, which is by far lower than the cost of an automated baler machine. Implementation of this project can be a business venture for various small scale industries.