The operator in the cab of the forwarder runs the forwarder and is responsible for planning how to run the machine over the grounds that are to be planted. The same operator is also responsible for operating the scarifier and its adjustments. The rear boggie runs over the prepared ground and compacts it.
The operator in the rear cab, the Planting cab, is responsible for feeding plants from the cartons in the storage to the specially designed “cups” that take the seedling to the planting arm. This operator is also responsible for the planting results and can control the arms sideways, so the arms hit well prepared ground. The actual planting cycle is triggered by the control system which keeps track of the distance from the previous plant and triggers a new planting cycle when the distance that is set in the computer is achieved.
Plantma-X can be run in what’s called Automatic Mode. The following four steps make sure the seedlings are planted correctly.
1 When the preset distance between the planting points is achieved, the system triggers an internal loop that activates the planting arm, and the arm accelerates downwards.
2 A sensor in the tip of the arm detects when the tip hits the ground and an evaluation of the planting conditions is initiated in the system to see if the ground conditions are suitable for plantation, i.e. not too wet, not a rock or a stump of a tree etc.
3 If the evaluation is positive the system triggers a cycle that open the planting tip, allowing the plant to fall into the hole in the ground, made by the closed tip. Small arms will come down and in from the side to compact the soil of the roots of the seedling. Thereafter the arm goes up to its “docking position” to collect at new seedling from the ”cups”. The new seedling falls inside the arm down to the tip, ready to be planted when the system initiates a new cycle.
4 If the result of the evaluation is negative (no good) the arm immediately goes up and starts a new cycle. The distance to the coming planting points is recalculated to make up for the “no-go”, so the number of planted seedlings in a row will be the same as the number set in the computer even though the distance between the seedlings can vary.