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CHAPTER III

DEVELOPMENT METHODS AND PROCEDURES


The presentation of the research methods and procedures that was used
for the design and development of a vermicompost harvesting machine was
established in this stage.

Research Design
This study applied engineering design, planning, and analysis to obtain
the objectives of the study. It was done taking into considerations several
parameters such as operating speed of the conveyor of vermicompost harvesting
machine as well as the separation speed of the screener of the machine. These
parameters served as guides in developing the preferred design of the machine
in order to achieve high harvesting rate and harvesting efficiency of the
vermicompost harvesting machine.

Development Stage
The development of the vermicompost harvesting machine and the
procedures that were used to achieve the objectives of the study are as follows:

A. Design Stage
In this stage, several parameters were considered in order to
acquire a successful output. These factors incorporated the presentation
of the design lay-out of the machine. The concepts about the basic
mechanism and major components of the machine were acquired by
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means of the past studies and design of harvesting machine. The


proponents applied manual operation for harvesting the vermicompost
using a screener. After comprehensive system considerations and
preparations were conducted, the mechanical design was developed. It
considered the height of the conveyor, mass of feed in the conveyor, angle
of inclination of the conveyor, width of the conveyor and conveyor
material. Functionality, strength and reliability of the proposed project were
considered.
The design of the main components of the machine, such as the
conveyor and screener, together with its specifications was based on the
accepted theories and concepts. Further, the needs and demands of the
end user were taken as an essential factor and consideration.
B. Simulation Stage
Simulation of the designed vermicompost harvesting machine was
done at this stage. This is to ensure that the designed machine is running on
what it is expected to be and also to know the possible modifications that
must be done regarding on its performance on the simulation software. The
mechanical design of the machine was rendered in Solidworks.

C. Fabrication Stage
Fabrication of the prototype was done in the machine shop. Fabrication
was based on the design and material specifications of the proposed
vermicompost harvesting machine.

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D. Preliminary Testing Stage


Preliminary testing was performed to establish the final design of the
vermicompost harvesting machine. It was conducted in order to determine if
all the components of the machine are functioning properly
For the performance of the prototype and to determine whether it is
functioning on what is expected, preliminary testing was conducted. . It
included evaluation of the operating speed of the conveyor of the
vermicompost harvesting machine together with the separation speed of the
screener of the machine upon actual vermicompost harvesting.
1. Method of Determining the Operating Speed of the Conveyor
To determine the operating speed of the conveyor of the
vermicompost harvesting machine, the harvesting efficiency of the
machine was considered. The operating speed that gave the
highest harvesting efficiency was chosen based on series of trials
on harvesting vermicompost at different speeds over operating time
and separation time.
2. Method of Determining Separation Speed
To determine the separation speed of the vermicompost
harvesting machine, the separation efficiency was considered. The
rotational speed of the shaft connected to the screener of the
machine that gave the highest separation efficiency was selected.
E. Performance Testing Stage
After successful modification, performance testing was done to test the
fabricated vermicompost harvesting machine. The test was done in three

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trials in order to evaluate the parameters of the machine which included the
determination of separation rate, separation efficiency, harvesting rate and
harvesting efficiency.
1. Method of Determining Separation Rate
To determine the separation rate of the vermicompost
harvesting machine, the time in which an amount of vermicompost
was separated from worms and debris was recorded.
SR =

mhv
ts

where;
SR

kg
= separation rate ( min )

mhv

= mass of harvested vermicompost (kg)

ts

= separation time (min)

2. Method of Determining Separation Efficiency


The separation efficiency of the machine was determined by
the ratio of the mass of the harvested vermicompost over the mass
of the harvested vermicompost added to the mass of the
vermicompost residue.
mhv
s = mhv +mvr 100%
where;
s

= separation efficiency (%)

mhv

= mass of harvested vermicompost (kg)


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mvr

= mass of vermicompost residue (kg)

3. Method of Determining Harvesting Rate


To determine the harvesting rate of the vermicompost
harvesting machine, the time in which an amount of vermicompost
harvested was recorded.
HR =

mhv
th

where;
HR

kg
= harvesting rate ( min )

mh

= mass of harvested vermicompost (kg)

th

= harvesting time (min)

4. Method of Determining the

Harvesting Efficiency of the

Machine
The harvesting efficiency was determined by the ratio of the
mass of the harvested vermicompost over the mass of the
harvested vermicompost added to the mass of the vermicompost,
debris, residue and mass of unharvested vermicompost. To arrive
at the efficiency of the machine based on the actual harvested
vermicompost, the formula below was used:
m
mf ( vr +muv +md + mud )
nh =
100%
mhv

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where;
h

= harvesting efficiency

mhv

= mass of harvested vermicompost

mf

= mass of feed in the plot = 28 kg

mvr

= mass of vermicompost residue

separated (kg)
muv

= mass of unharvested vermicompost in the

vermi bed (kg)


md

= mass of debris separated (kg)

mud

= mass of unharvested debris in the

vermi bed (kg)

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