Recent rapid progress in ICT (Information and Communication Technology) has advanced the penetration of sensor networks (SNs) and their attractive applications. Agriculture is one of the fields well able to benefit from ICT. Plant factories control several parameters related to plant growth in closed areas such as air temperature, humidity, water, culture medium concentration, and artificial lighting by using computers and AI (Artificial Intelligence) is being researched in order to obtain stable and safe production of vegetables and medicinal plants all year anywhere, and attain self-sufficiency in food. By providing isolation from the natural environment, a plant factory can achieve higher productivity and safe products. However, the biggest issue with plant factories is the return on investment. Profits are tenuous because of the large initial investments and running costs, i.e. electric power, incurred. At present, LED (Light Emitting Diode) lights are being adopted because they are more energy-efficient and encourage photosynthesis better than the fluorescent lamps used in the past. However, further cost reduction is essential. This paper introduces experiments that reveal which color of LED lighting best enhances the growth of cultured radish sprouts. Radish sprouts were cultivated in the experimental environment formed by a hydroponics kit with three cultivation shelves (28 samples per shelf) each with an artificial lighting rack. Seven LED arrays of different color (white, blue, yellow green, green, yellow, orange, and red) were compared with a fluorescent lamp as the control. Lighting duration was set to 12 hours a day. Normal water with no fertilizer was circulated. Seven days after germination, the length, weight and area of leaf of each sample were measured. Electrical power consumption for all lighting arrangements was also measured. Results and discussions: As to average sample length, no clear difference was observed in terms of color. As regards weight, orange LED was less effective and the difference was significant (p < 0.05). As to leaf area, blue, yellow and orange LEDs were significantly less effective. However, all LEDs offered higher productivity per W consumed than the fluorescent lamp. Of the LEDs, the blue LED array attained the best results in terms of length, weight and area of leaf per W consumed. Conclusion and future works: An experiment on radish sprout cultivation under 7 different color LED arrays showed no clear difference in terms of sample size. However, if electrical power consumption is considered, LEDs offered about twice the growth rate of the fluorescent lamp. Among them, blue LEDs showed the best performance. Further cost reduction e.g. low power lighting remains a big issue for actual system deployment. An automatic plant monitoring system with sensors is another study target.
Evaluation of organizational performance is among the most important measures that help organizations and entities continuously improve their efficiency. Organizations can use the existing data and results from the comparison of units under investigation to obtain an estimation of their performance. The Malmquist Productivity Index (MPI) is an important index in the evaluation of overall productivity, which considers technological developments and technical efficiency at the same time. This article proposed a model based on the multistage MPI, considering limited data (Grey’s theory). This model can evaluate the performance of units using limited and uncertain data in a multistage process. It was applied by the electricity market manager to Iran’s electric power supply chain (EPSC), which contains uncertain data, to evaluate the performance of its actors. Results from solving the model showed an improvement in the accuracy of future performance of the units under investigation, using the Grey’s system theory. This model can be used in all case studies, in which MPI is used and there are limited or uncertain data.
Desalination using solar energy coupled with membrane techniques such as vacuum membrane distillation (VMD) is considered as an interesting alternative for the production of pure water. During this work, a developed model of a polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) hollow fiber membrane module of a VMD unit of seawater was carried out. This simulation leads to establishing a comparison between the effects of two different equations of the vaporization latent heat on the membrane surface temperature and on the unit productivity. Besides, in order to study the effect of putting membrane modules in series on the outlet fluid temperature and on the productivity of the process, a simulation was executed.
Our research shows the use of the mobile phone that consolidates the relationship between veterinarians, and that between breeders and veterinarians. On the other hand it asserts that the tool in question is a means of economic development. The results of our survey reveal a positive return to the veterinary community, which shows that the mobile phone has become an effective means of sustainable development through the transfer of a rapid and punctual information inheritance via social networks; including many Internet applications. Our results show that almost all veterinarians use the mobile phone for interprofessional communication. We therefore believe that the use of the mobile phone by livestock operators has greatly improved the working conditions, just as the use of this tool contributes to a better management of the exploitation as long as it allows limit travel but also save time. These results show that we are witnessing a growth in the use of mobile telephony technologies that impact is as much in terms of sustainable development. Allowing access to information, especially technical information, the mobile phone, and Information and Communication of Technology (ICT) in general, give livestock sector players not only security, by limiting losses, but also an efficiency that allows them a better production and productivity.
Lactobionic acid is a disaccharide formed from gluconic acid and galactose, and produced by oxidation of lactose. Productivity of lactobionic acid by microbial synthesis can be affected by various factors, and one of them is a presence of potassium, magnesium and manganese ions. In order to extend lactobionic acid production efficiency, it is necessary to increase the yield of lactobionic acid by optimising the fermentation conditions and available substrates for Pseudomonas taetrolens growth. The object of the research was to determinate the application of K2HPO4, MnSO4, MgSO4 × 7H2O salts in different concentration for effective lactose oxidation to lactobionic acid by Pseudomonas taetrolens. Pseudomonas taetrolens NCIB 9396 (NCTC, England) and Pseudomonas taetrolens DSM 21104 (DSMZ, Germany) were used for the study. The acid whey was used as the study object. The content of lactose in whey samples was determined using MilcoScanTM Mars (Foss, Denmark) and high performance liquid chromatography (Shimadzu LC 20 Prominence, Japan). The content of lactobionic acid in whey samples was determined using the high performance liquid chromatography. The impact of studied salts differs, Mn2+ and Mg2+ ions enhanced fermentation instead of K+ ions. Results approved that Mn2+ and Mg2+ ions are necessary for Pseudomonas taetrolens growth. The study results will help to improve the effectiveness of lactobionic acid production with Pseudomonas taetrolens NCIB 9396 and DSM 21104.
In order to evaluate the growth and yield properties of two Sorghum-Sudangrass hybrids under different irrigation levels, an investigation was done in the experiment site of Collage of Agriculture, University of Duhok, Kurdistan region of Iraq (36°5´38⸗ N, 42°52´02⸗ E) in the years 2015-16. The experiment was conducted under Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD) with three replications, which main factor was irrigation treatments (I100, I75 and I50) according to evaporation pan class A and type of Sorghum-Sudangrass hybrids (KH12SU9001, G1) and (KH12SU9002, G2) were factors of subplots. The parameters studied were: plant height (cm), number of green leaves per plant; leaf area (m2/m2), stem thickness (mm), percent of protein, fresh and dry biomass (ton.ha-1) and also crop water productivity. The results of variance analysis showed that KH12SU9001 variety had more amount of leaf area, percent of protein, fresh and dry biomass yield in comparison to KH12SU9002 variety. By comparing effects of irrigation levels on vegetative growth and yield properties, results showed that amount of plant height, fresh and dry biomass weight was decreased by decreasing irrigation level from full irrigation regime to 5 o% of irrigation level. Also, results of crop water productivity (CWP) indicated that improvement in quantity of irrigation would impact fresh and dry biomass yield significantly. Full irrigation regime was recorded the highest level of CWP (1.28-1.29 kg.m-3).
Yeast cells are generally used as a model system of eukaryotes due to their complex genetic structure, rapid growth ability in optimum conditions, easy replication and well-defined genetic system properties. Thus, yeast cells increased the knowledge of the principal pathways in humans. During fermentation, carbohydrates (hexoses and pentoses) degrade into some toxic by-products such as 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (5-HMF or HMF) and furfural. HMF influences the ethanol yield, and ethanol productivity; it interferes with microbial growth and is considered as a potent inhibitor of bioethanol production. In this study, yeast single cell behavior under HMF application was monitored by using a continuous flow single phase microfluidic platform. Microfluidic device in operation is fabricated by hot embossing and thermo-compression techniques from cyclo-olefin polymer (COP). COP is biocompatible, transparent and rigid material and it is suitable for observing fluorescence of cells considering its low auto-fluorescence characteristic. The response of yeast cells was recorded through Red Fluorescent Protein (RFP) tagged Nop56 gene product, which is an essential evolutionary-conserved nucleolar protein, and also a member of the box C/D snoRNP complexes. With the application of HMF, yeast cell proliferation continued but HMF slowed down the cell growth, and after HMF treatment the cell proliferation stopped. By the addition of fresh nutrient medium, the yeast cells recovered after 6 hours of HMF exposure. Thus, HMF application suppresses normal functioning of cell cycle but it does not cause cells to die. The monitoring of Nop56 expression phases of the individual cells shed light on the protein and ribosome synthesis cycles along with their link to growth. Further computational study revealed that the mechanisms underlying the inhibitory or inductive effects of HMF on growth are enriched in functional categories of protein degradation, protein processing, DNA repair and multidrug resistance. The present microfluidic device can successfully be used for studying the effects of inhibitory agents on growth by single cell tracking, thus capturing cell to cell variations. By metabolic engineering techniques, engineered strains can be developed, and the metabolic network of the microorganism can thus be manipulated such that chemical overproduction of target metabolite is achieved along with the maximum growth/biomass yield.
Programming is one of the challenging subjects in the field of computing. In the higher education sphere, some programming novices’ performance, retention rate, and success rate are not improving. Most of the time, the problem is caused by the slow pace of learning, difficulty in grasping the syntax of the programming language and poor logical skills. More importantly, programming forms part of major subjects within the field of computing. As a result, specialized pedagogical methods and innovation are highly recommended. Little research has been done on the potential productivity of the WhatsApp platform as part of a blended learning model. In this article, the authors discuss the WhatsApp group as a part of blended learning model incorporated for a group of programming novices. We discuss possible administrative activities for productive utilisation of the WhatsApp group on the blended learning overview. The aim is to take advantage of the popularity of WhatsApp and the time students spend on it for their educational purpose. We believe that blended learning featuring a WhatsApp group may ease novices’ cognitive load and strengthen their foundational programming knowledge and skills. This is a work in progress as the proposed blended learning model with WhatsApp incorporated is yet to be implemented.
A field experiment was conducted at Ido town in Ido Local Government Area of Oyo state, Nigeria to determine the effects of intercropping maize (Zea mays L.) with Jack bean (Canavalia ensiformis L.) at different spacing and weeding regimes on crops productivity. The treatments were 2 x 2 x 3 factorial arrangement involving two spatial crop arrangements. Spacing of 75 cm x 50 cm and 90 cm x 42 cm (41.667 cm) with two plants per stand resulted in plant population of approximately 53,000 plants/hectare. Also, Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD) with two cropping patterns (sole and intercrop), three weeding regimes (weedy check, weeds once, and weed twice) with three replicates was used. Data were analyzed with SAS (Statistical Analysis System) and statistical means separated using Least Significant Difference (LSD) (P ≤ 0.05). Intercropping and crop spacing did not have significant influence on the growth parameters and yield parameters. The maize grain yield of 1.11 t/ha obtained under sole maize was comparable to 1.05 t/ha from maize/jack beans. Weeding regime significantly influenced growth and yields of maize in intercropping with Jack beans. Weeding twice resulted in significantly higher growth than that of the other weeding regimes. Plant height at 6 Weeks After Sowing (WAS) under weeding twice regime (3 and 6 WAS) was 83.9 cm which was significantly different from 67.75 cm and 53.47 cm for weeding once (3 WAS) and no weeding regimes respectively. Moreover, maize grain yield of 1.3 t/ha obtained from plots weeded twice was comparable to that of 1.23 t/ha from single weeding and both were significantly higher than 0.71 t/ha maize grain yield obtained from the no weeding control. The dry matter production of Jack beans reduced at some growth stages due to intercropping of maize with Jack beans though with no significance effect on the other growth parameters of the crop. There was no effect on the growth parameters of Jack beans in maize/jack beans intercrop based on cropping spacing while comparable growth and dry matter production in Jack beans were produced in maize/Jack beans mixture with single weeding.
Mega construction projects create buildings and major infrastructure to respond to work and life requirements while playing a vital role in promoting any nation’s economy. However, the industry is often criticised for not balancing economic, environmental and social dimensions of their projects, with emphasis typically on one aspect to the detriment of the others. This has resulted in many negative impacts including environmental pollution, waste throughout the project lifecycle, low productivity, and avoidable accidents. The identification of comprehensive Social Responsibility (SR) indicators, which combine social, environmental and economic aspects, is urgently needed. This is particularly the case in the context of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), which often has mega public construction projects. The aim of this paper is to develop a set of wide-ranging SR indicators which encompass social, economic and environmental aspects unique to the KSA. A qualitative approach was applied to explore relevant indicators through a review of the existing literature, international standards and reports. A list of appropriate indicators was developed, and its comprehensiveness was corroborated by interviews with experts on mega construction projects working with SR concepts in the KSA. The findings present 39 indicators and their metrics, covering 10 economic, 12 environmental and 17 social aspects of SR mapped against their references. These indicators are a valuable reference for decision-makers and academics in the KSA to understand factors related to SR in mega construction projects. The indicators are related to mega construction projects within the KSA and require validation in a real case scenario or within a different industry to demonstrate their generalisability.
Machine vision has been widely used in recent years in agriculture, as a tool to promote the automation of processes and increase the levels of productivity. The aim of this work is the development of a path recognition algorithm based on image processing to guide a terrestrial robot in-between tree rows. The proposed algorithm was developed using the software MATLAB, and it uses several image processing operations, such as threshold detection, morphological erosion, histogram equalization and the Hough transform, to find edge lines along tree rows on an image and to create a path to be followed by a mobile robot. To develop the algorithm, a set of images of different types of orchards was used, which made possible the construction of a method capable of identifying paths between trees of different heights and aspects. The algorithm was evaluated using several images with different characteristics of quality and the results showed that the proposed method can successfully detect a path in different types of environments.
Sandy soils under arid and semi-arid conditions are characterized by poor physical and biochemical properties such as low water retention, rapid organic matter decomposition, low nutrients use efficiency, and limited crop productivity. Addition of organic amendments is crucial to develop soil properties and consequently enhance nutrients use efficiency and lessen organic carbon decomposition. Two years field experiments were developed to investigate the feasibility of using poultry manure and its derived biochar integrated with different levels of N fertilizer as a soil amendment for newly reclaimed sandy soils in Western Desert of El-Minia Governorate, Egypt. Results of this research revealed that poultry manure and its derived biochar addition induced pronounced effects on soil moisture content at saturation point, field capacity (FC) and consequently available water. Data showed that application of poultry manure (PM) or PM-derived biochar (PMB) in combination with inorganic N levels had caused significant changes on a range of the investigated sandy soil biochemical properties including pH, EC, mineral N, dissolved organic carbon (DOC), dissolved organic N (DON) and quotient DOC/DON. Overall, the impact of PMB on soil physical properties was detected to be superior than the impact of PM, regardless the inorganic N levels. In addition, the obtained results showed that PM and PM application had the capacity to stimulate vigorous growth, nutritional status, production levels of wheat and sorghum, and to increase soil organic matter content and N uptake and recovery compared to control. By contrast, comparing between PM and PMB at different levels of inorganic N, the obtained results showed higher relative increases in both grain and straw yields of wheat in plots treated with PM than in those treated with PMB. The interesting feature of this research is that the biochar derived from PM increased treated sandy soil organic carbon (SOC) 1.75 times more than soil treated with PM itself at the end of cropping seasons albeit double-applied amount of PM. This was attributed to the higher carbon stability of biochar treated sandy soils increasing soil persistence for carbon decomposition in comparison with PM labile carbon. It could be concluded that organic manures applied to sandy soils under arid and semi-arid conditions are subjected to high decomposition and mineralization rates through crop seasons. Biochar derived from organic wastes considers as a source of stable carbon and could be very hopeful choice for substituting easily decomposable organic manures under arid conditions. Therefore, sustainable agriculture and productivity in newly reclaimed sandy soils desire one high rate addition of biochar derived from organic manures instead of frequent addition of such organic amendments.
Science offers opportunities for revolutionizing human activities, enriched by input from scientific research and technology. Biotechnology is a major force for development in developing countries such as Nigeria. It is found to contribute to solving human problems like water and food insecurity that impede national development and threaten peace wherever it is applied. This review identified the problems of agricultural biotechnology in Nigeria. On the part of rural farmers, there is a lack of adequate knowledge or awareness of biotechnology despite the fact that they constitute the bulk of Nigerian farmers. On part of the government, the problems include: lack of adequate implementation of government policy on bio-safety and genetically modified products, inadequate funding of education as well as research and development of products related to biotechnology. Other problems include: inadequate infrastructures (including laboratory), poor funding and lack of national strategies needed for development and running of agricultural biotechnology. In spite of all the challenges associated with agricultural biotechnology, its prospects still remain great if Nigeria is to meet with the food needs of the country’s ever increasing population. The introduction of genetically engineered products will lead to the high productivity needed for commercialization and food security. Insect, virus and other related diseases resistant crops and livestock are another viable area of contribution of biotechnology to agricultural production. In conclusion, agricultural biotechnology will not only ensure food security, but, in addition, will ensure that the local farmers utilize appropriate technology needed for large production, leading to the prosperity of the farmers and national economic growth, provided government plays its role of adequate funding and good policy implementation.
Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) is potential vegetables to develop, because it has high economic value and has the potential to be exported. There is a decrease in tomato productivity due to unfavorable growth conditions such as bacterial wilt, fusarium wilt, high humidity, high temperature and inappropriate production technology. Grafting technology is one alternative technology. In addition to being able to control the disease in the soil, grafting is also able to increase the growth and yield of production. Besides, it is also necessary to know the economic benefits if using grafting technology. A promising eggplant rootstock for tomato grafting is Solanum torvum. S. torvum is selected as a rootstock with high compatibility. The purpose of this research is to know the effect of grafting several varieties of tomatoes with Solanum torvum as a rootstock. The experiment was conducted in Agricultural Extension Center Pare. Experimental Garden of Pare Kediri sub-district from July to early December 2016. The materials used were tomato Cervo varieties, Karina, Timoty, and Solanum torvum. Economic analysis, growth, and yield including plant height, number of leaves, percentage of disease and tomato production were used as performance measures. The study showed that grafting tomato Timoty scion with Solanum torvum as rootstock had higher production. Financially, grafting tomato Timoty and Cervo scion had higher profit about. 28,6% and 16,3% compared to Timoty and Cervo variety treatment without grafting.
Jatropha curcas L. is one of the crops producing non edible oil which is potential for bio-energy. Jatropha cultivation and development program in Indonesia is facing several problems especially low seed yield resulting in inefficient crop cultivation cost. To cope with the problem, development of high yielding varieties is necessary. Development of varieties to improve seed yield was conducted by hybridization and selection, and resulted in 14 potential genotypes. The yield potential of the 14 genotypes were evaluated and compared with two check varieties. The objective of the evaluation was to find Jatropha hybrids with some characters i.e. productivity higher than check varieties, oil content > 40% and harvesting age ≤ 110 days. Hybridization and individual plant selection were carried out from 2010 to 2014. Evaluation of high yield was conducted in Asembagus experimental station, Situbondo, East Java in three years (2015-2017). The experimental designed was Randomized Complete Block Design with three replication and plot size of 10 m x 8 m. The characters observed were number of capsules per plant, dry seed yield (kg/ha) and seed oil content (%). The results of this experiment indicated that all the hybrids evaluated have higher productivity than check variety IP-3A. There were two superior hybrids i.e. HS-49xSP-65/32 and HS-49xSP-19/28 with highest seed yield per hectare and number of capsules per plant during three years.
Increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration [CO2] and ambient temperature associated with changing climatic conditions will have significant impacts on agriculture crop productivity and quality. Independent effects of the above two environmental variables on the growth, yield and quality of strawberry were well documented. Higher temperatures over the optimum range (20-25ºC) lead to crop failures, while elevated [CO2] stimulated plant growth and yield but compromised the physical quality of fruits. However, there is very limited understanding of the interaction between these variables on the plant growth, yield and quality. Therefore, this study was designed to investigate the interactive effect of high temperature and elevated [CO2] on growth, yield and quality of strawberries. Strawberry cultivars ‘Albion’ and ‘San Andreas’ were grown under six different combinations of two temperatures (25 and 30ºC) and three [CO2] (400, 650 and 950 µmol mol-1) in controlled-environmental growth chambers. Plant growth measurements such as plant height, canopy area, number of flowers, and fruit yield were measured during phonological development. Photosynthesis and transpiration, the ratio of intercellular to atmospheric [CO2] (Ci/Ca) were measured to estimate the physiological adjustment to climate stress. The impact of temperature and [CO2] interaction on growth and yield of strawberry was significant (p < 0.05). Across both cultivars, highest fruit yields were observed at 650 µmol mol-1 [CO2], which was particularly clear at 25°C. The fruit yield gradually decreased at 30°C under all the treatment combinations. However, photosynthesis rates were highest at 650 µmol mol-1 [CO2] but no increment was found at 900 µmol mol-1 [CO2]. Interestingly, Ci/Ca ratio increased with increasing atmospheric [CO2] which was predominant at high temperature. Similarly, fruit yield was substantially reduced at high [CO2] under high temperature. Our findings suggest that increased Ci/Ca ratio at high temperature is likely reduces the photosynthesis and thus yield response to elevated [CO2].
Research background: Problems related to the occupational health and decreasing level of safety occur commonly in the construction industry. Important factor in the occupational safety in construction industry is scaffold use. All scaffolds used in construction, renovation, and demolition shall be erected, dismantled and maintained in accordance with safety procedure. Increasing demand for new construction projects unfortunately still is linked to high level of occupational accidents. Therefore, it is crucial to implement concrete actions while dealing with scaffolds and risk assessment in construction industry, the way on doing assessment and liability of assessment is critical for both construction workers and regulatory framework. Unfortunately, professionals, who tend to rely heavily on their own experience and knowledge when taking decisions regarding risk assessment, may show lack of reliability in checking the results of decisions taken. Purpose of the article: The aim was to indicate crucial parameters that could be modeling with Risk Assessment Model (RAM) use for improving both building enterprise productivity and/or developing potential and safety climate. The developed RAM could be a benefit for predicting high-risk construction activities and thus preventing accidents occurred based on a set of historical accident data. Methodology/Methods: A RAM has been developed for assessing risk levels as various construction process stages with various work trades impacting different spheres of enterprise activity. This project includes research carried out by teams of researchers on over 60 construction sites in Poland and Portugal, under which over 450 individual research cycles were carried out. The conducted research trials included variable conditions of employee exposure to harmful physical and chemical factors, variable levels of stress of employees and differences in behaviors and habits of staff. Genetic modeling tool has been used for developing the RAM. Findings and value added: Common types of trades, accidents, and accident causes have been explored, in addition to suitable risk assessment methods and criteria. We have found that the initial worker stress level is more direct predictor for developing the unsafe chain leading to the accident rather than the workload, or concentration of harmful factors at the workplace or even training frequency and management involvement.
Rice yields among agro-ecological zones are heterogeneous. Farmers, researchers and policy makers are making frantic efforts to bridge rice yield gaps between agro-ecological zones through the promotion of improved agricultural technologies (IATs). Farmers are also modifying these IATs and blending them with indigenous farming practices (IFPs) to form farmer innovation systems (FISs). Also, different metafrontier models have been used in estimating productivity performances and their drivers. This study used the two-step stochastic metafrontier model to estimate the productivity performances of rice farmers and their determining factors in GSZ, FSTZ and CSZ. The study used both primary and secondary data. Farmers in CSZ are the most technically efficient. Technical inefficiencies of farmers are negatively influenced by age, sex, household size, education years, extension visits, contract farming, access to improved seeds, access to irrigation, high rainfall amount, less lodging of rice, and well-coordinated and synergized adoption of technologies. Albeit farmers in CSZ are doing well in terms of rice yield, they still have the highest potential of increasing rice yield since they had the lowest TGR. It is recommended that government through the ministry of food and agriculture, development partners and individual private companies promote the adoption of IATs as well as educate farmers on how to coordinate and synergize the adoption of the whole package. Contract farming concept and agricultural extension intensification should be vigorously pursued to the latter.
In the past, we could increase profit by increasing product prices. But in the new decade, a competitive market does not let us to increase profit with increased prices. Therefore, the only way to increase profit will be to reduce costs. A significant percentage of production costs are the maintenance costs, and analysis of these costs could achieve more profit. Most maintenance strategies such as RCM (Reliability-Center-Maintenance), TPM (Total Productivity Maintenance), PM (Preventive Maintenance) and etc., are trying to reduce maintenance costs. In this paper, decreasing the maintenance costs of Concentration Plant of Golgohar Iron Ore Mining & Industrial Company (GeG) was examined by using of MTBF (Mean Time Between Failures) and MTTR (Mean Time To Repair) analyses. These analyses showed that instead of buying new machines and increasing costs in order to promote capacity, the improving of MTBF and MTTR indexes would solve capacity problems in the best way and decrease costs.
Underground mining is at the core of rapidly evolving metals and minerals sector due to the increasing mineral consumption globally. Even though the surface mines are still more abundant on earth, the scales of industry are slowly tipping towards underground mining due to rising depth and complexities of orebodies. Thus, the efficient and productive functioning of underground operations depends significantly on the synchronized performance of key elements such as operating site, mining equipment, manpower and mine services. Production drilling is the process of conducting long hole drilling for the purpose of charging and blasting these holes for the production of ore in underground metal mines. Thus, production drilling is the crucial segment in the underground metal mining value chain. This paper presents the process mapping tool to evaluate the production drilling process in the underground metal mining operation by dividing the given process into three segments namely Input, Process and Output. The three segments are further segregated into factors and sub-factors. As per the study, the major input factors crucial for the efficient functioning of production drilling process are power, drilling water, geotechnical support of the drilling site, skilled drilling operators, services installation crew, oils and drill accessories for drilling machine, survey markings at drill site, proper housekeeping, regular maintenance of drill machine, suitable transportation for reaching the drilling site and finally proper ventilation. The major outputs for the production drilling process are ore, waste as a result of dilution, timely reporting and investigation of unsafe practices, optimized process time and finally well fragmented blasted material within specifications set by the mining company. The paper also exhibits the drilling loss matrix, which is utilized to appraise the loss in planned production meters per day in a mine on account of availability loss in the machine due to breakdowns, underutilization of the machine and productivity loss in the machine measured in drilling meters per unit of percussion hour with respect to its planned productivity for the day. The given three losses would be essential to detect the bottlenecks in the process map of production drilling operation so as to instigate the action plan to suppress or prevent the causes leading to the operational performance deficiency. The given tool is beneficial to mine management to focus on the critical factors negatively impacting the production drilling operation and design necessary operational and maintenance strategies to mitigate them.
In Dynamic Data Envelopment Analysis (DDEA), which is a subfield of Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA), the productivity of Decision Making Units (DMUs) is considered in relation to time. In this case, as it is accepted by the most of the researchers, there are outputs, which are produced by a DMU to be used as inputs in a future time. Those outputs are known as intermediates. The common models, in DDEA, do not take into account the shape of the distribution of those inputs, outputs or intermediates data, assuming that the distribution of the virtual value of them does not deviate from linearity. This weakness causes the limitation of the accuracy of the analytical power of the traditional DDEA models. In this paper, the authors, using the concept of piecewise linear inputs and outputs, propose an extended DDEA model. The proposed model increases the flexibility of the traditional DDEA models and improves the measurement of the dynamic performance of DMUs.
A wellbore is a hole that is drilled to aid in the exploration and recovery of natural resources including oil and gas. Occasionally, in order to increase productivity index and porosity of the wellbore and reservoir, the well stimulation methods have been used. Hydraulic fracturing is one of these methods. Moreover, several explosions at the end of the well can stimulate the reservoir and create fractures around it. In this study, crack initiation in rock around the wellbore has been numerically modeled due to explosion. One, two, three, and four pairs of explosion have been set at the end of the wellbore on its wall. After each stage of the explosion, results have been presented and discussed. Results show that this method can initiate and probably propagate several fractures around the wellbore.
Visual comfort is one of the major parameters that can be taken to measure the human comfort in any environment. If the provided illuminance level in a working environment does not meet the workers visual comfort, it will lead to eye-strain, fatigue, headache, stress, accidents and finally, poor productivity. However, improvements in lighting do not necessarily mean that the workplace requires more light. Unnecessarily higher illuminance levels will also cause poor visual comfort and health risks. In addition, more power consumption on lighting will also result in higher energy costs. So, during this study, visual comfort and the illuminance requirement for the workers in textile/apparel industry were studied to perform different tasks (i.e. cutting, sewing and knitting) at their workplace. Experimental studies were designed to identify the optimum illuminance requirement depending upon the varied fabric colour and type and finally, energy saving potentials due to controlled illuminance level depending on the workforce requirement were analysed. Visual performance of workers during the sewing operation was studied using the ‘landolt ring experiment’. It was revealed that around 36.3% of the workers would like to work if the illuminance level varies from 601 lux to 850 lux illuminance level and 45.9% of the workers are not happy to work if the illuminance level reduces less than 600 lux and greater than 850 lux. Moreover, more than 65% of the workers who do not satisfy with the existing illuminance levels of the production floors suggested that they have headache, eye diseases, or both diseases due to poor visual comfort. In addition, findings of the energy analysis revealed that the energy-saving potential of 5%, 10%, 24%, 8% and 16% can be anticipated for fabric colours, red, blue, yellow, black and white respectively, when the 800 lux is the prevailing illuminance level for sewing operation.