Abstract: Hydroponic greenhouses systems (production of the artificial substrate without soil) are becoming popular in the world. Mostly the system is used to grow vegetables and berries. Different countries are taking action to participate in the development of hydroponic technology and solutions such as EU members, Turkey, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, Scandinavian countries, etc. Many vegetables and berries are grown by hydroponics in Europe. As a result of our research, we have obtained material containing manganese and nitrogen. It became possible to produce this fertilizer by means of one-stage thermal processing, using industrial waste containing manganese (ores and sludges) and mineral substance (ammonium nitrate) that exist in Georgia. The received material is usable as a micro-fertilizer with economic efficiency. It became possible to turn practically water-insoluble manganese dioxide substance into the soluble condition from industrial waste in an indirect way. The ability to use the material as a fertilizer is predetermined by its chemical and phase composition, as the amount of the active component of the material in relation to manganese is 30%. At the same time, the active component elements presented non-ballast sustained action compounds. The studies implemented in Poland and in Georgia by us have shown that the manganese-containing micro-fertilizer- Mn(NO3)2 can provide the plant with nitrate nitrogen, which is a form that can be used for plants, providing the economy and simplicity of the application of fertilizers. Given the fact that the application of the manganese-containing micro-fertilizers significantly increases the productivity and improves the quality of the big number of agricultural products, it is necessary to mention that it is recommended to introduce the manganese containing fertilizers into the following cultures: sugar beet, corn, potato, vegetables, vine grape, fruit, berries, and other cultures. Also, as a result of the study, it was established that the material obtained is the predominant fertilizer for vegetable cultures in the soil. Based on the positive results of the research, we consider it expedient to conduct research in hydroponic systems, which will enable us to provide plants the required amount of manganese; we also introduce nitrogen in solution and regulate the solution of pH, which is one of the main problems in hydroponic production. The findings of our research will be used in hydroponic greenhouse farms to increase the fertility of vegetable crops and, consequently, to get bountiful and high-quality harvests, which will promote the development of hydroponic greenhouses in Georgia as well as abroad.
Abstract: Despite being one of the most significant economic contributors of the country, Canada’s construction industry is lagging behind other sectors when it comes to labor productivity improvements. The construction industry is very collaborative as a general contractor, will hire trade contractors to perform most of a project’s work; meaning low productivity from one contractor can have a domino effect on the shared success of a project. To address this issue and encourage trade contractors to improve their productivity tracking methods, an investigative study was done on the productivity views and tracking methods of various trade contractors. Additionally, an in-depth review was done on four standard tracking methods used in the construction industry: cost codes, benchmarking, the job productivity measurement (JPM) standard, and WorkFace Planning (WFP). The four tracking methods were used as a baseline in comparing the trade contractors’ responses, determining gaps within their current tracking methods, and for making improvement recommendations. 15 interviews were conducted with different trades to analyze how contractors value productivity. The results of these analyses indicated that there seem to be gaps within the construction industry when it comes to an understanding of the purpose and value in productivity tracking. The trade contractors also shared their current productivity tracking systems; which were then compared to the four standard tracking methods used in the construction industry. Gaps were identified in their various tracking methods and using a framework; recommendations were made based on the type of trade on how to improve how they track productivity.
Abstract: Emotional Association (EA) Theory deals with the psychological attachment of the employees to their employer as a focal way of awakening employees’ productivity, innovativeness, and creativity towards achieving a common cause within an organization. The objectives of this paper include: to comprehend the forms of motivation at workstation as provided by the Emotion Association Theory; to improve access to the skills relevant for a good working environment; to raise new skills through knowing the power to influence employees; to improve communication skills as well as researching current leaders and their leadership skills. The paper makes use of descriptive and intervention by examining the effect of motivation on employees. The method makes use of psychological EA theory that analyses the 3E leadership model to impact the ability to adopt the organization’s policy and employee productivity. In this case, the method will assess the workplace culture by assessing personal values and qualities that make master manager in organizations. In addition, the method will apply the theory to support the positive work engagement and its successful implementation to effectively influence employee productivity. The findings of this research showcase the significance motivating employees to increase their productivity as provided by the theory. Nonetheless, it improves sense of belonging among workers in a firm since it is employee-oriented. In addition, it works upon unification of workers within a workplace through mutual respect and empathy which promotes competence and policy implementation. Therefore, emotionally related qualities ignite motivation in workers.
Abstract: This study presents a small-scale water pumping system utilizing a fuzzy logic inference system attached to a renewable energy source. The fuzzy logic controller was designed and simulated in MATLAB fuzzy logic toolbox to examine the properties and characteristics of the input and output variables. The result of the simulation was implemented in a microcontroller, together with sensors, modules, and photovoltaic cells. The study used a grand rapid variety of lettuce, organic substrates, and foliar for observation of the capability of the device to irrigate crops. Two plant boxes intended for manual and automated irrigation were prepared with each box having 48 heads of lettuce. The observation of the system took 22-31 days, which is one harvest period of the crop. Results showed a 22.55% increase in agricultural productivity compared to manual irrigation. Aside from reducing human effort, and time, the smart irrigation system could help lessen some of the shortcomings of manual irrigations. It could facilitate the economical utilization of water, reducing consumption by 25%. The use of renewable energy could also help farmers reduce the cost of production by minimizing the use of diesel and gasoline.
Abstract: 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 increase prices. Therefore, the only way to increase profit will be 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) etc., are trying to reduce maintenance costs. In this paper, decreasing the maintenance costs of Concentration Plant of Golgohar 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.
Abstract: 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.
Abstract: 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.
Abstract: 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.
Abstract: 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.
Abstract: 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).
Abstract: 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.
Abstract: 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.
Abstract: 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.
Abstract: One of the main difficulties in developing multi-robot
systems (MRS) is related to the simulation and testing tools available.
Indeed, if the differences between simulations and real robots are
too significant, the transition from the simulation to the robot
won’t be possible without another long development phase and
won’t permit to validate the simulation. Moreover, the testing of
different algorithmic solutions or modifications of robots requires
a strong knowledge of current tools and a significant development
time. Therefore, the availability of tools for MRS, mainly with
flying drones, is crucial to enable the industrial emergence of these
systems. This research aims to present the most commonly used
tools for MRS simulations and their main shortcomings and presents
complementary tools to improve the productivity of designers in the
development of multi-vehicle solutions focused on a fast learning
curve and rapid transition from simulations to real usage. The
proposed contributions are based on existing open source tools as
Gazebo simulator combined with ROS (Robot Operating System) and
the open-source multi-platform autopilot ArduPilot to bring them to
a broad audience.
Abstract: The telemedicine services require correct computing resource management to guarantee productivity and efficiency for medical and non-medical staff. The aim of this study was to examine web management strategies to ensure the availability of resources and services in telemedicine so as to provide medical information management with an accessible strategy. In addition, to evaluate the quality-of-service parameters, the followings were measured: delays, throughput, jitter, latency, available bandwidth, percent of access and denial of services based of web management performance map with profiles permissions and database management. Through 24 different test scenarios, the results show 100% in availability of medical information, in relation to access of medical staff to web services, and quality of service (QoS) of 99% because of network delay and performance of computer network. The findings of this study suggest that the proposed strategy of web management is an ideal solution to guarantee the availability, reliability, and accessibility of medical information. Finally, this strategy offers seven user profile used at telemedicine center of Bogota-Colombia keeping QoS parameters suitable to telemedicine services.
Abstract: 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.
Abstract: The feasibility of improving the performance of the proposed solar still unit which operated in very hot climate is investigated numerically and verified with experimental data. This solar desalination unit with proposed auxiliary device as seawater preheating system using petrol based textherm oil was used to produce pure fresh water from seawater. The effective evaporation area of basin is about 1 m2. The unit was tested in two main operation modes which are normal and with seawater preheating system. The results showed that, there is good agreement between the theoretical data and the experimental data; this means that the numerical model can be accurately dependable for predicting the proposed solar still performance and design parameters. The results also showed that the fresh water productivity of the solar still in the modified preheating case which is higher than normal case, leads to an increase in productivity of 42%.
Abstract: When long-term changes in normal weather patterns happen in a certain area, it generally could be identified as climate change. Concentration of principal's greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, methane, ozone, and water vapor will cause climate change and perhaps climate variability. Main climate factors are temperature, precipitation, air pressure, and humidity. Extreme events may be the result of the changing of carbon dioxide concentration levels in the atmosphere which cause a change in temperature. Extreme events in some ways will affect the productivity of crop and dairy livestock. In this research, the correlation of milk production and temperature as the main climate factor in ChaharMahal and Bakhtiari province in Iran has been considered. The methodology employed for this study consists, collect reports and published national and provincial data, available recorded data on climate factors and analyzing collected data using statistical software. Milk production in ChaharMahal and Bakhtiari province is in the same pattern as national milk production in Iran. According to the current study results, there is a significant negative correlation between milk production in ChaharMahal and Bakhtiari provinces and temperature as the main climate change factor.
Abstract: As a technique that reduces variation in a product by lessening the sensitivity of the design to sources of variation, rather than by controlling their sources, Taguchi Robust Design entails the designing of ideal goods, by developing a product that has minimal variance in its characteristics and also meets the desired exact performance. This paper examined the concept of the manufacturing approach and its application to brake pad product of an automotive parts manufacturing company. Although the firm claimed that only defects, excess inventory, and over-production were the few wastes that grossly affect their productivity and profitability, a careful study and analysis of their manufacturing processes with the application of Single Minute Exchange of Dies (SMED) tool showed that the waste of waiting is the fourth waste that bedevils the firm. The selection of the Taguchi L9 orthogonal array which is based on the four parameters and the three levels of variation for each parameter revealed that with a range of 2.17, that waiting is the major waste that the company must reduce in order to continue to be viable. Also, to enhance the company’s throughput and profitability, the wastes of over-production, excess inventory, and defects with ranges of 2.01, 1.46, and 0.82, ranking second, third, and fourth respectively must also be reduced to the barest minimum. After proposing -33.84 as the highest optimum Signal-to-Noise ratio to be maintained for the waste of waiting, the paper advocated for the adoption of all the tools and techniques of Lean Production System (LPS), and Continuous Improvement (CI), and concluded by recommending SMED in order to drastically reduce set up time which leads to unnecessary waiting.
Abstract: 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.