In recent years, maintenance optimization has attracted special attention due to the growth of industrial systems complexity. Maintenance costs are high for many systems, and preventive maintenance is effective when it increases operations' reliability and safety at a reduced cost. The novelty of this research is to consider general repair in the modeling of multi-unit series systems and solve the maintenance problem for such systems using the semi-Markov decision process (SMDP) framework. We propose an opportunistic maintenance policy for a series system composed of two main units. Unit 1, which is more expensive than unit 2, is subjected to condition monitoring, and its deterioration is modeled using a gamma process. Unit 1 hazard rate is estimated by the proportional hazards model (PHM), and two hazard rate control limits are considered as the thresholds of maintenance interventions for unit 1. Maintenance is performed on unit 2, considering an age control limit. The objective is to find the optimal control limits and minimize the long-run expected average cost per unit time. The proposed algorithm is applied to a numerical example to compare the effectiveness of the proposed policy (policy Ⅰ) with policy Ⅱ, which is similar to policy Ⅰ, but instead of general repair, replacement is performed. Results show that policy Ⅰ leads to lower average cost compared with policy Ⅱ.
In the activity of handling and transport of food products, the products may be subjected to mechanical stresses that may lead to their deterioration by deformation, breaking, or crushing. This is the case for biscuits, regardless of their type (gluten-free or sugary), the addition of ingredients or flour from which they are made. However, gluten-free biscuits have a higher mechanical resistance to breakage or crushing compared to easily shattered sugar biscuits (especially those for children). The paper presents the results of the experimental evaluation of the texture for four varieties of commercial biscuits, using the penetrometer equipped with needle cone at five different additional weights on the cone-rod. The assortments of biscuits tested in the laboratory were Petit Beurre, Picnic, and Maia (all three manufactured by RoStar, Romania) and Sultani diet biscuits, manufactured by Eti Burcak Sultani (Turkey, in packs of 138 g). For the four varieties of biscuits and the five additional weights (50, 77, 100, 150 and 177 g), the experimental data obtained were subjected to regression analysis in the MS Office Excel program, using Velon's relationship (h = a∙ln(t) + b). The regression curves were analysed comparatively in order to identify possible differences and to highlight the variation of the penetration depth h, in relation to the time t. Based on the penetration depth between two-time intervals (every 5 seconds), the curves of variation of the penetration speed in relation to time were then drawn. It was found that Velon's law verifies the experimental data for all assortments of biscuits and for all five additional weights. The correlation coefficient R2 had in most of the analysed cases values over 0.850. The values recorded for the penetration depth were framed, in general, within 45-55 p.u. (penetrometric units) at an additional mass of 50 g, respectively between 155-168 p.u., at an additional mass of 177 g, at Petit Beurre biscuits. For Sultani diet biscuits, the values of the penetration depth were within the limits of 32-35 p.u., at an additional weight of 50 g and between 80-114 p.u., at an additional weight of 177g. The data presented in the paper can be used by both operators on the manufacturing technology flow, as well as by the traders of these food products, in order to establish the most efficient parametric of the working regimes (when packaging and handling).
Wireless communication technology is rapidly changing with recent developments in portable devices and communication protocols. This has generated demand for more advanced and compact antenna structures and therefore, proposed work focuses on Meander Line Antenna (MLA) design. Here, Pentaband MLA is designed on a FR4 substrate (85 mm x 40 mm) with dielectric constant (ϵr) 4.4, loss tangent (tan ) 0.018 and height 1.6 mm with coplanar feed and open stub structure. It can be operated in LTE (0.670 GHz-0.696 GHz) GPS (1.564 GHz-1.579 GHz), WCDMA (1.920 GHz-2.135 GHz), LTE UL frequency band 23 (2-2.020 GHz) and 5G (3.10 GHz-3.550 GHz) application bands. Also, it gives good performance in terms of Return Loss (RL) which is < -10 dB, impedance bandwidth with maximum Bandwidth (BW) up to 0.21 GHz and realized gains with maximum gain up to 3.28 dBi. Antenna is simulated with open stub and without open stub structures to see the effect on impedance BW coverage. In addition to this, it is checked with human hand and head phantoms to assure that it falls within specified Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) limits.
Automated vehicles (AVs) have the potential to enhance road capacity, improving road safety and traffic efficiency. Research and development on AVs have been going on for many years. However, when the complicated traffic rules and real situations interacted, AVs fail to make decisions on contradicting situations, and are not able to have control in all conditions due to highly dynamic driving scenarios. This limits AVs’ usage and restricts the full potential benefits that they can bring. Furthermore, regulations, infrastructure development, and public acceptance cannot keep up at the same pace as technology breakthroughs. Facing these challenges, this paper proposes automated vehicle traffic control tower (AVTCT) acting as a safe, efficient and integrated solution for AV control. It introduces a concept of AVTCT for control, management, decision-making, communication and interaction with various aspects in transportation. With the prototype demonstrations and simulations, AVTCT has the potential to overcome the control challenges with AVs and can facilitate AV reaching their full potential. Possible functionalities, benefits as well as challenges of AVTCT are discussed, which set the foundation for the conceptual model, simulation and real application of AVTCT.
In this paper, we report the development of a portable and inexpensive infrared lightbox for improving the detection limits of paper-based phosphate devices. Commercial paper-based devices utilize the molybdenum blue protocol to detect phosphate in the environment. Although these devices are easy to use and have a long shelf life, their main deficiency is their low sensitivity based on the qualitative results obtained via a color chart. To improve the results, we constructed a compact infrared lightbox that communicates wirelessly with a smartphone. The system measures the absorbance of radiation for the molybdenum blue reaction in the infrared region of the spectrum. It consists of a lightbox illuminated by four infrared light-emitting diodes, an infrared digital camera, a Raspberry Pi microcontroller, a mini-router, and an iPhone to control the microcontroller. An iPhone application was also developed to analyze images captured by the infrared camera in order to quantify phosphate concentrations. Additionally, the app connects to an online data center to present a highly scalable worldwide system for tracking and analyzing field measurements. In this study, the detection limits for two popular commercial devices were improved by a factor of 4 for the Quantofix devices (from 1.3 ppm using visible light to 300 ppb using infrared illumination) and a factor of 6 for the Indigo units (from 9.2 ppm to 1.4 ppm) with repeatability of less than or equal to 1.2% relative standard deviation (RSD). The system also provides more granular concentration information compared to the discrete color chart used by commercial devices and it can be easily adapted for use in other applications.
The concentration of heavy metal (Cd, Pb, Fe, Zn, Cu) in Clarias gariepinus collected from fish markets; Fanibi (Station I) and Fiwasaye (Station II) in Akure metropolis, Ondo state, Nigeria were investigated to ascertain the safety for the consumers. 60 samples were collected from the two markets in three batches (I, II, III) for a period of six months and analyzed for heavy metals in the gills and muscles of the fish. Also, the Health Risk Index (HRI) was used to determine the health risk of these metals to the consumer. The results showed that the investigated metal concentration was higher in station I than station II, except Pb having higher concentration in station II than station I. In both stations, the highest concentration of Fe was recorded in the gills (12.60 ± 1.51; 6.94 ± 1.38) and muscles (3.72 ± 0.09; 3.86 ± 0.33) of samples in batch I. Also, the HRI revealed that consumption of Clarias gariepinus from these study areas did not pose any health risk (HRI < 1). In addition, concentrations of the heavy metals were all below the permissible limits recommended by FAO/WHO.
Perfect restoration of fractured distal femur has been a challenging task for the medical practitioners. In the present study, model of a fractured bone has been created using the scan data of the damaged bone. Thereafter, customized implant of Stainless Steel (SS-316L) for this fractured femur bone is modeled using the reverse engineering approach. Clinical set-up is prepared by assembling all the models together. Stress and deformation analysis of this clinical set-up has been performed in order to check the load bearing capacity and intactness of the joint. From this analysis, it has been inferred that the stresses and deformation developed due to the static load of the person is within the permissible limits.
An Upgraded Cuckoo Search Algorithm is proposed here to solve optimization problems based on the improvements made in the earlier versions of Cuckoo Search Algorithm. Short comings of the earlier versions like slow convergence, trap in local optima improved in the proposed version by random initialization of solution by suggesting an Improved Lambda Iteration Relaxation method, Random Gaussian Distribution Walk to improve local search and further proposing Greedy Selection to accelerate to optimized solution quickly and by “Study Nearby Strategy” to improve global search performance by avoiding trapping to local optima. It is further proposed to generate better solution by Crossover Operation. The proposed strategy used in algorithm shows superiority in terms of high convergence speed over several classical algorithms. Three standard algorithms were tested on a 6-generator standard test system and the results are presented which clearly demonstrate its superiority over other established algorithms. The algorithm is also capable of handling higher unit systems.
Work-related illnesses and disorders have been a constant aspect of work. Although their nature has changed over time, from musculoskeletal disorders to illnesses related to psychosocial aspects of work, its impact on the life of workers remains significant. Despite significant efforts worldwide to protect workers, the disparity between changes in work legislation and actual benefit for workers’ health has been creating a significant economic burden for social security and health systems around the world. In this context, this study aims to propose, test and validate a modular prototype that allows for work environmental aspects to be assessed, monitored and better controlled. The main focus is also to provide a historical record of working conditions and the means for workers to obtain comprehensible and useful information regarding their work environment and legal limits of occupational exposure to different types of environmental variables, as means to improve prevention of work-related accidents and disorders. We show the developed prototype provides useful and accurate information regarding the work environmental conditions, validating them with standard occupational hygiene equipment. We believe the proposed prototype is a cost-effective and adequate approach to work environment monitoring that could help elucidate the links between work and occupational illnesses, and that different industry sectors, as well as developing countries, could benefit from its capabilities.
High Voltage Substations (HVS) are the intermediate step between production of power and successfully transmitting it to clients, making them one of the most important checkpoints in power grids. Nowadays - renewable resources and consequently distributed generation are growing fast, the construction of HVS is of high importance both in terms of quality and time completion so that new energy producers can quickly and safely intergrade in power grids. The resources needed, such as machines and workers, should be carefully allocated so that the construction of a HVS is completed on time, with the lowest possible cost (e.g. not spending additional cost that were not taken into consideration, because of project delays), but in the highest quality. In addition, there are milestones and several checkpoints to be precisely achieved during construction to ensure the cost and timeline control and to ensure that the percentage of governmental funding will be granted. The management of such a demanding project is a NP-hard problem that consists of prerequisite constraints and resource limits for each task of the project. In this work, a hybrid meta-heuristic method is implemented to solve this problem. Meta-heuristics have been proven to be quite useful when dealing with high-dimensional constraint optimization problems. Hybridization of them results in boost of their performance.
Improving the geotechnical properties of soil has always been one of the issues in geotechnical engineering. Traditional materials have been used to improve and stabilize soils to date, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Although the soil stabilization by adding materials such as cement, lime, bitumen, etc. is one of the effective methods to improve the geotechnical properties of soil, but nanoparticles are one of the newest additives which can improve the loose soils. This research is intended to study the effect of adding nanobentonite on soil engineering properties, especially the unconfined compression strength and maximum dry unit weight, using clayey soil with low liquid limit (CL) from Kerman (Iran). Nanobentonite was mixed with soil in three different percentages (i.e. 3, 5, 7% by weight of the parent soil) with different curing time (1, 7 and 28 days). The unconfined compression strength, liquid and plastic limits and plasticity index of treated specimens were measured by unconfined compression and Atterberg limits test. It was found that increase in nanobentonite content resulted in increase in the unconfined compression strength, liquid and plastic limits of the clayey soil and reduce in plasticity index.
The problem of soil stabilization has been one of the important issues in geotechnical engineering. Nowadays, nanomaterials have revolutionized many industries. In this research, improvement of the Kerman fine-grained soil by nanozeolite and nanobentonite additives separately has been investigated using Atterberg Limits and unconfined compression test. In unconfined compression test, the samples were prepared with 3, 5 and 7% nano additives, with 1, 7 and 28 days curing time with strain control method. Finally, the effect of different percentages of nanozeolite and nanobentonite on the geotechnical behavior and characteristics of Kerman fine-grained soil was investigated. The results showed that with increasing the amount of nanozeolite and also nanobentonite to fine-grained soil, the soil exhibits more compression strength. So that by adding 7% nanozeolite and nanobentonite with 1 day curing, the unconfined compression strength is 1.18 and 2.1 times higher than the unstabilized soil. In addition, the failure strain decreases in samples containing nanozeolite, whereas it increases in the presence of nanobentonite. Increasing the percentage of nanozeolite and nanobentonite also increased the elasticity modulus of soil.
Currently, the reduction of energy consumption, through the use of abundant and recyclable natural materials, for better thermal insulation represents an important area of research. To this end, the use of bio-sourced materials has been identified as one of the green sectors with a very high economic development potential for the future. Because of its role in reducing the consumption of fossil-based raw materials, it contributes significantly to the storage of atmospheric carbon, limits greenhouse gas emissions and creates new economic opportunities. This study constitutes a contribution to the elaboration and the experimental characterization of the thermal behavior of a sawdust-reduced mortar matrix. We have taken into account the influence of the size of the grain fibers of sawdust, hence the use of three different ranges and also different percentage in the different confections. The intended practical application consists of producing a light weight compound at a lower cost to ensure a better thermal and acoustic behavior compared to that existing in the field, in addition to the desired resistances. Improving energy performance, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the building sector, is amongst the objectives to be achieved. The results are very encouraging and highlight the value of the proposed design of organic-source mortar panels which have specific mechanical properties acceptable for their use, low densities, lower cost of manufacture and labor, and above all a positive impact on the environment.
Water is a vital resource that is important in ensuring the growth and development of any country. To sustain the basic human needs and the demands for agriculture, industry, conservational and ecosystem, enough quality and quantity water is needed. Contamination of water resources is now a global and public health concern. Hence, this study assessed the water quality of Ndawuse River by measuring the physicochemical parameters and heavy metals concentrations of the river using standard methods. In total, 16 surface water samples were obtained from five locations along the river, from upstream to downstream as well as samples from the dumpsite. The results obtained were compared with the standard limits set by both the World Health Organization and the Federal Environmental Protection Agency for domestic purposes. The results of the measured parameters indicated that biological oxygen demand (85.88 mg/L), turbidity (44.51 NTU), Iron (0.014 - 3.511 mg /L) and chromium (0.078 - 0.14 mg /L) were all above the standard limits. The results further showed that the quality of surface water is being significantly affected by human activities around the Ndawuse River which could pose an adverse health risk to several communities that rely on this river as their primary source of water. Therefore, there is a need for strict enforcement of environmental laws to protect the aquatic ecosystem and to avoid long term cumulative exposure risk that heavy metals may pose on human health.
Since its inception, predictive analysis has revolutionized the IT industry through its robustness and decision-making facilities. It involves the application of a set of data processing techniques and algorithms in order to create predictive models. Its principle is based on finding relationships between explanatory variables and the predicted variables. Past occurrences are exploited to predict and to derive the unknown outcome. With the advent of big data, many studies have suggested the use of predictive analytics in order to process and analyze big data. Nevertheless, they have been curbed by the limits of classical methods of predictive analysis in case of a large amount of data. In fact, because of their volumes, their nature (semi or unstructured) and their variety, it is impossible to analyze efficiently big data via classical methods of predictive analysis. The authors attribute this weakness to the fact that predictive analysis algorithms do not allow the parallelization and distribution of calculation. In this paper, we propose to extend the predictive analysis algorithm, Classification And Regression Trees (CART), in order to adapt it for big data analysis. The major changes of this algorithm are presented and then a version of the extended algorithm is defined in order to make it applicable for a huge quantity of data.
The present study was carried out to investigate the interaction of foliar applied zinc with other elements in Phyllanthus amarus plants. The plant samples for our experiment were collected from Lam Dong province, Vietnam. Seven suspension solutions of nanosized zinc hydroxide nitrate (Zn5(OH)8(NO3)2·2H2O) with different Zn concentration were used. Fertilization and irrigation were the same for all variants. The Zn content and the content of selected micro (Cu, Fe, Mn) and macro (Ca, Mg, P and K) nutrients in plant roots, and stems and leaves were determined. It was concluded that the zinc content of plant roots varies narrowly, with no significant impact of ZnHN fertilization. The same trend can be seen in the content of Cu, Mn, and macronutrients. The zinc content of plant stems and leaves varies within wide limits, with the significant impact of ZnHN fertilization. The trends in the content of Cu, Mn, and macronutrients are kept the same as in the root, whereas the iron trends to increase its content at increasing the zinc content.
In this article, the performance and errors are featured and analysed in the limit problems solving of a real-valued function, in correspondence to competency-based education in engineering careers, in the south of Chile. The methodological component is contextualised in a qualitative research, with a descriptive and explorative design, with elaboration, content validation and application of quantitative instruments, consisting of two parallel forms of open answer tests, based on limit application problems. The mathematical competences and errors made by students from five engineering careers from a public University are identified and characterized. Results show better performance only to solve routine-context problem-solving competence, thus they are oriented towards a rational solution or they use a suitable problem-solving method, achieving the correct solution. Regarding errors, most of them are related to techniques and the incorrect use of theorems and definitions of real-valued function limits of real variable.
In this paper, we consider the stability of a slope of 10 meters in silty gravel soils with modeling in the Geostudio Software. we intend to use the parameters of the volumetric water content and suction dependent permeability and provides relationships and graphs using the parameters obtained from gradation tests and Atterberg’s limits. Also, different conditions of the soil will be investigated, including: checking the factor of safety and deformation rates and pore water pressure in drained, non-drained and unsaturated conditions, as well as the effect of reducing the water level on other parameters. For this purpose, it is assumed that the groundwater level is at a depth of 2 meters from the ground. Then, with decreasing water level, the safety factor of slope stability was investigated and it was observed that with decreasing water level, the safety factor increased.
Electron beam melting (EBM) is one of the modern additive manufacturing (AM) technologies. In EBM, the electron beam melts metal powder into a fully solid part layer by layer. Since EBM is a new technology, most designers are unaware of the capabilities and the limitations of EBM technology. Also, many engineers are facing many challenges to utilize the technology because of a lack of design rules for the technology. The aim of this study is to identify the capabilities and the limitations of EBM technology in fabrication of small features and overhang structures and develop a design rules that need to be considered by designers and engineers. In order to achieve this objective, a series of experiments are conducted. Several features having varying sizes were designed, fabricated, and evaluated to determine their manufacturability limits. In general, the results showed the capabilities and limitations of the EBM technology in fabrication of the small size features and the overhang structures. In the end, the results of these investigation experiments are used to develop design rules. Also, the results showed the importance of developing design rules for AM technologies in increasing the utilization of these technologies.
In order to improve the animal protein recommended daily intake of Nigerians, there is an upsurge in breeding of hitherto shunned food animals one of which is the rabbit. Radiography and ultrasonography are tools for diagnosing disease and evaluating the anatomical architecture of parts of the body non-invasively. As the rabbit is becoming a more important food animal, to achieve improved breeding of these animals, the best of the species form a breeding stock and will usually depend on breeding soundness which may be evaluated by assessment of the male reproductive organs by these tools. Four male intact rabbits weighing between 1.2 to 1.5 kg were acquired and acclimatized for 2 weeks. Dorsoventral views of the testes were acquired using a digital radiographic machine and a 5 MHz portable ultrasound scanner was used to acquire images of the testes in longitudinal, sagittal and transverse planes. Radiographic images acquired revealed soft tissue images of the testes in all rabbits. The testes lie in individual scrotal sacs sides on both sides of the midline at the level of the caudal vertebrae and thus are superimposed by caudal vertebrae and the caudal limits of the pelvic girdle. The ultrasonographic images revealed mostly homogenously hypoechogenic testes and a hyperechogenic mediastinum testis. The dorsal and ventral poles of the testes were heterogeneously hypoechogenic and correspond to the epididymis and spermatic cord. The rabbit is unique in the ability to retract the testes particularly when stressed and so careful and stressless handling during the procedures is of paramount importance. The imaging of rabbit testes can be safely done using both imaging methods but ultrasonography is a better method of assessment and evaluation of soundness for breeding.
The Voltage Unbalance Factor (VUF) index is recommended to evaluate system performance under unbalanced operation. However, its calculation requires complex algebra which limits its use in the field. Furthermore, one system cycle is required at least to detect unbalance using the VUF. Ideally unbalance mitigation must be performed within 10 ms for 50 Hz systems. In this work, a linear relation for VUF evaluation in three-phase electrical power system using space vector (SV) is derived. It is proposed to determine the voltage unbalance quickly and accurately and to overcome the constraints associated with the traditional methods of VUF evaluation. Aqaba-Qatrana-South Amman (AQSA) power system is considered to study the system performance under unbalanced conditions. The results show that both the complexity of calculations and the time required to evaluate VUF are reduced significantly.
The quality of road pavement is affected mostly by the type of sub-grade which is acting as road foundation. The roads degradation is related to many factors especially the climatic conditions, the quality, and the thickness of the base materials. The thickness of this layer depends on its California Bearing Ratio (CBR) test value which by its turn is highly affected by the quantity of water infiltrated under the road after heavy rain. The capacity of the base material to drain out its water is predominant factor because any change in moisture content causes change in sub-grade strength. This paper studies the effect of the soaking period of soil especially clay on its CBR value. For this reason, we collected many clayey samples in order to study the effect of the soaking period on its CBR value. On each soil, two groups of experiments were performed: main tests consisting of Proctor and CBR test from one side and from other side identification tests consisting of other tests such as Atterberg limits tests. Each soil sample was first subjected to Proctor test in order to find its optimum moisture content which will be used to perform the CBR test. Four CBR tests were performed on each soil with different soaking period. The first CBR was done without soaking the soil sample; the second one with two days soaking, the third one with four days soaking period and the last one was done under eight days soaking. By comparing the results of CBR tests performed with different soaking time, a more detailed understanding was given to the role of the water in reducing the CBR of soil. In fact, by extending the soaking period, the CBR was found to be reduced quickly the first two days and slower after. A precise reduction factor of the CBR in relation with soaking period was found at the end of this paper.
In this paper, an approach combining analytical method for the distributed generator (DG) sizing and meta-heuristic search for the optimal location of DG has been presented. The optimal size of DG on each bus is estimated by the loss sensitivity factor method while the optimal sites are determined by Particle Swarm Optimization (PSO) based optimal reactive power dispatch for minimizing active power loss. To confirm the proposed approach, it has been tested on IEEE-30 bus test system. The adjustments of operating constraints and voltage profile improvements have also been observed. The obtained results show that the allocation of DGs results in a significant loss reduction with good voltage profiles and the combined approach is competent in keeping the system voltages within the acceptable limits.
High cost of fossil fuels and intensifying installations of alternate energy generation sources are intimidating main challenges in power systems. Making accurate load forecasting an important and challenging task for optimal energy planning and management at both distribution and generation side. There are many techniques to forecast load but each technique comes with its own limitation and requires data to accurately predict the forecast load. Artificial Neural Network (ANN) is one such technique to efficiently forecast the load. Comparison between two different ranges of input datasets has been applied to dynamic ANN technique using MATLAB Neural Network Toolbox. It has been observed that selection of input data on training of a network has significant effects on forecasted results. Day-wise input data forecasted the load accurately as compared to year-wise input data. The forecasted load is then distributed among the six generators by using the linear programming to get the optimal point of generation. The algorithm is then verified by comparing the results of each generator with their respective generation limits.
The fly ash of waste incineration processes is usually hazardous and the disposal or reuse of waste incineration fly ash is difficult. In this study, the waste incineration fly ash was converted to useful zeolites by the alkali fusion and hydrothermal synthesis method. The influence of different operating conditions (the ratio of Si/Al, the ratio of hydrolysis liquid to solid, and hydrothermal time) was investigated to seek the optimum operating conditions for the synthesis of zeolite from waste incineration fly ash. The results showed that concentrations of heavy metals in the leachate of Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure (TCLP) were all lower than the regulatory limits except lead. The optimum operating conditions for the synthesis of zeolite from waste incineration fly ash by the alkali fusion and hydrothermal synthesis method were Si/Al=40, NaOH/ash=1.5, alkali fusion at 400 oC for 40 min, hydrolysis with Liquid to Solid ratio (L/S)= 200 at 105 oC for 24 h, and hydrothermal synthesis at 105 oC for 24 h. The specific surface area of fly ash could be significantly increased from 8.59 m2/g to 651.51 m2/g (synthesized zeolite). The influence of different operating conditions on the synthesis of zeolite from waste incineration fly ash followed the sequence of Si/Al ratio > hydrothermal time > hydrolysis L/S ratio. The synthesized zeolites can be reused as good adsorbents to control the air or wastewater pollutants. The purpose of fly ash detoxification, reduction and waste recycling/reuse is achieved successfully.