You are in:


user ID
Forgot your password?
Forgot your username?


cabecera noticias img EN

Tuesday, 30 April 2013 00:00

Incorporating new scientific mechanisms to automate the production of olive oil

Lab Lab G.P.

ceiA3 experts are studying the possibility of using cameras, sensors and intelligent technology to optimise the activity of alarms, robotised tractors and other systems that facilitate the olive harvest

The Agrifood Campus of International Excellence (ceiA3) has accepted the challenge of incorporating  automation into a traditional sector such as olive oil, and this has taken place through the GRAV research team (Spanish initials for  Robotics, Automation and Vision by Computer Group) at the University of Jaen (UJA). This team is developing several lines of research to automise tasks and activities that are associated with olive oil production, from cultivation and harvest of the olive, its transportation and treatment, to the extraction of the olive juice and the preparation of the different types of oil.  The group’s lead and director from Jaen’s Higher Polytechnic School, Juan Gómez, explains that their work started with a thorough analysis of each phase carried out in the olive mill with a view to gradually incorporating technological mechanisms to automate and optimise the process. One of the most important parts of this process is when the olive paste (after being ground) passes to the thermo beater which beats the paste until it has reached optimum conditions for oil extraction.

Juan Gómez points out that many  variables come into play during this phase such as the temperature at which the paste is kept , the speed of the beater blades, the addition of ingredients, the beating time, the level of viscosity…  . He emphasises that “normally it is the mill master who, based on their experience, controls these parameters”. UJA researchers intend to automise this phase by placing computer vision cameras inside the thermo beater connected to an intelligent computer system capable of assimilating this information in the form of data and automatically determining each of the variables. The lead for the engineering team underlines that “ our objective is not to substitute the work of the mill master but to help them by making  a series of technological  mechanisms available so that the decision making process is rendered more rigorous and scientific.   The expert added that formalizing the whole process at a scientific level will help enormously in optimising each of the constituent phases, thus allowing new scientific reasoning which can be evaluated by the mill master with much more precision.

Diego Martínez, a member of the research team, also pointed out that they are studying the possibility of using hyperspectral cameras which are capable of recognising different types of olive, so that they can be automatically separated before initiating the production process, as well as the use of special sensors in the centrifuge for better control of the centrifugation process where the oil is finally extracted from the paste.  

Robotic agricultural vehicles

In the long term, the ceiA3 research group also intends to bring in automised systems which help to improve olive harvest activities.  With this in mind, researchers are studying the robotisation of agricultural vehicles capable of following an optimal trajectory among the olive trees using vibrating automated pincers.  Another aspect the Jaen team is looking into is the use of drones (unmanned aerial vehicles) which would fly over the olive grove in order to detect the presence of obstacles in the path of agricultural vehicles. Juan Gómez emphasises that it is not about immersing the olive oil sector in a technological revolution and eliminating the human factor but rather the complete opposite: incorporating small improvements which optimise the whole process. It is about providing new tools and scientific mechanisms for the mill master and those in charge of olive cultivation and harvest to optimise results based on three essential values:  quality, production, and energy consumption.

Read 2547 times
  ceiA3   research & transfer
  academic programs   internationalization   what's new on ceiA3
  what is ceiA3?
who takes part in?
contact us
what do we research?
research groups
website for the researcher
talented people of the ceiA3
partner enterprises
international doctorate school
training network courses
international mobility
international partners
blogs of Science
summer scientific campus

Project funded by the Spanish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities / Spanish Ministry of Economy and Business Support / Junta de Andalucía within the Campus of International Excellence Framework Program
Legal Notice | Follow us: logo_linkedin
Icono  de conformidad con el Nivel Doble-A,      de las Directrices de  Accesibilidad para el      Contenido Web 1.0 del W3C-WAI
Universidad de Almería Universidad de Cádiz Universidad de Córdoba Universidad de Huelva Universidad de Jaén CSIC Junta de Andalucía - Consejería de Agricultura y Pesca Ministerio de Economía y Empresa Ministerio de Ciencia, Innovación y Universidades Junta de Andalucía Unión Europea Santander Universidades