Founded in Dodge City, Kansas, ROTO-MIX is a livestock feeding equipment manufacturer with an in-house engineering department. When they needed a new auto-feeding component for their Ration Delivery Box (RDB) truck, the engineers at New Eagle stepped up to the challenge.
ROTO-MIX strives to stay at the forefront of innovation to keep pace with the constant changes within the cattle and dairy feeding industry. With several patents for their livestock mixing and feeding equipment, they’re no stranger to developing new components.
As with many innovations, the Auto-Feed system posed a unique challenge that required outside expertise.
ROTO-MIX needed an attachment on its RDB truck that would automatically dispense livestock feed into the bunk. In commercial feedlots, this kind of attachment would be enormously helpful in cutting down feeding time, while also reducing waste by ensuring that a precise amount of feed is being delivered every time. The automatic feed delivery system also eliminates the need for drivers to have years of experience, opening up the number of potential employees that can operate the vehicles.
They enlisted New Eagle to design an automation kit that would include…
- A user-friendly and rugged interface
- A control box to communicate with the rest of the vehicle
- Software to read and analyze data, including bunk length and call weight
- A wire harness to safely connect all the components for seamless integration
To start, the New Eagle engineers had to create a system architecture that would ensure three things:
- The new components would fit within the RDB truck.
- Communications with the rest of the vehicle would be fast & accurate.
- Controls would be easy to access and operate.
To give the driver control of the auto-feeder, the interface had to be bracketed, mounted, and positioned within comfortable reach of the operator. The control box, which used two Raptor GCM48s as a gateway to communicate with the rest of the vehicle, lived under the driver’s seat.
User Interface, designed by New Eagle
To power the system, the engineers had to develop and validate wiring diagrams and schematics for the LV and HV systems.
For testing, New Eagle put an engineer and a technician on-site at ROTO-MIX to install and calibrate the system. Once they confirmed that the new components met all the requirements, the team performed on-site iterative testing of the controls and interface to optimize the system.
The result of all this hard work is a simple, easily-operated Auto-Feed system that massively boosts the efficiency of livestock feeding. With the press of a button, the RDB truck simply moves along the length of the feeding pen, dispensing the precise amount of feed into the bunk. See the ROTO-MIX Auto-Feed in action here.
This case study is just one example of how New Eagle innovators can design in and around every component of an existing system, without sacrificing functionality or accuracy. Read more about New Eagle’s solutions for autonomous farm equipment here.
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