Apple harvester demonstration set for October 20
Mike Rasch, co-developer with Phil Brown of this harvester, shows how the platform moves up and down, in and out, so pickers can easily reach apples, pick them, and drop them into a vacuum tube that transports them to a bin.
On October 20 at 3 p.m., there will be a demonstration at the Penn State Fruit Research and Extension Center in Biglerville, Pennsylvania, showing the new apple harvesting system developed by Phil Brown Welding, Conklin, Michigan.
The prototype machine was sent to Pennsylvania in August for evaluation during the fall harvest.
The demonstration is sponsored by the Comprehensive Automation for Specialty Crops partnership, which includes five universities, five machinery companies, and a federal research agency. The project is funded by a United States Department of Agriculture grant.
A commercialization company, DBR Conveyor Concepts, has been formed to bring the harvester to market.
The machine is a harvest aid, composed of a self-propelled moving platform that eliminates ladders, a vacuum system for moving apples through tubes from pickers to bin without picking sacks or walking, a decelerator that stops the moving apples, a bin filler that puts apples into bins without bruising them, and a bin shuttle that hauls empty bins and offloads full ones.
Pictures of the machine in action can be found at www.philbrownwelding.com. Click on Apple Harvester.