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Title:
BRIQUETTE PLACEMENT MACHINE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2016/203496
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A briquette placement machine is disclosed. The machine includes a metering mechanism to dispense a pre-calculated quantity of at least one briquette to be placed in a field from a reservoir; a plunger for plunging the at least one briquette at a pre-defined depth in the field, the plunger comprising an indexing mechanism for placing the at least one briquette at the pre-defined depth; a plunger sleeve operatively coupled to the plunger; and a driving mechanism that drives the metering mechanism and the plunger to synchronously dispense and place the at least one briquette in the field.

Inventors:
NIGAM, Ayush (B-1004, Ireo Grand Arch Sec-58, Gurgaon 2, 122002, IN)
KUMAR, Swapnil (31/3, First Floor Punjabi Bagh Extension, New Delhi, New Delhi 6, 110026, IN)
DHUPAR, Arpit (C-22, Anand Vihar Colony Delhi, Delhi 2, 110092, IN)
AWASTHI, Rishabh (H. No. 798, type IV Laxmi Bai Nagar, New Delhi, New Delhi 3, 110023, IN)
Application Number:
IN2016/050186
Publication Date:
December 22, 2016
Filing Date:
June 17, 2016
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
NIGAM, Ayush (B-1004, Ireo Grand Arch Sec-58, Gurgaon 2, 122002, IN)
International Classes:
B30B11/04; A01C7/02; A01C15/02
Foreign References:
FR2566227A11985-12-27
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
SS INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY NEETI CONSULTANCY LLP (A-32, First Floor Sec-35, Noida 1, 201301, IN)
Download PDF:
Claims:
I/We claim:

1. A briquette placement machine comprising: a. a metering mechanism to dispense a pre-calculated quantity of at least one briquette to be placed in a field from a reservoir; b. a plunger for plunging the at least one briquette at a pre-defined depth in the field, the plunger comprising an indexing mechanism for placing the at least one briquette at the pre-defined depth; c. a plunger sleeve operatively coupled to the plunger; and d. a driving mechanism that drives the metering mechanism and the plunger to synchronously dispense and place the at least one briquette in the field.

2. The briquette placement machine as claimed in claim 1 wherein the metering mechanism comprises: a. a funnel; b. the reservoir for storing the at least one briquette; c. a metering disc having one or more collection means operatively coupled to the reservoir; and d. at least one of a sprocket, pulley or gear for driving the metering disc.

3. The briquette placement machine as claimed in claim 1, further comprising a controlling element to releasably engage/disengage at least one of the plunger or metering mechanism from an engine or the driving mechanism.

4. The briquette placement machine as claimed in claim 3, wherein the controlling element comprises a clutch.

5. The briquette placement machine as claimed in claim 1, further comprising a speed alteration mechanism to manipulate the speed of at least one of the metering mechanism and/or plunger.

6. The briquette placement machine as claimed in claim 1, wherein the plunger sleeve comprises a mouth having an angle equal to or less than 45 degrees with respect to the longitudinal axis.

7. The briquette placement machine as claimed in claim 1, further comprising a connecting rod having a first connecting portion and a second connecting portion, the first connecting portion attached to one of the plurality of holes in the plunger and the second connecting portion attached to the driving mechanism.

8. The briquette placement machine as claimed in claim 1, wherein the metering mechanism is coupled to the plunger sleeve via a delivery tube.

9. The briquette placement machine as claimed in claim 1, wherein the indexing mechanism includes a plurality of holes provided along the length of the plunger.

10. The briquette placement machine as claimed in claim 1, wherein the plunger sleeve includes at least one track on its inner surface to reduce friction between the plunger sleeve and the plunger.

11. The briquette placement machine as claimed in claim 1, wherein the driving mechanism is a chain and sprocket arrangement.

12. The briquette placement machine as claimed in claim 1, wherein the driving mechanism comprises gear reductions from a gearbox, idler shaft or any other shaft.

13. A method of placing one or more briquettes using an agricultural machine, the method comprising: a. loading at least one briquette from a reservoir to a base of a plunger sleeve; b. sliding a plunger in a axial direction along a longitudinal axis of a track in a plunger sleeve; and c. dropping the briquette at a pre-defined depth and selective location in accordance with an indexing mechanism.

Description:
Briquette Placement Machine

Technical Field

[0001] The present disclosure relates to agricultural machines. More specifically, it relates to a briquette placement machine for placing briquettes at pre-determined depths in the agricultural field.

Background

[0002] Agricultural crops typically require fertilizers for improving an agricultural yield. The fertilizer may be natural manure or an artificial fertilizer. Natural manure may be produced from a natural resource such as, but not limited to, cow dung, bedding straw, food waste, etc. Artificial fertilizers may be produced from artificial resources such as, but not limited to, a urea, a NPK fertilizer, etc. Various fertilizing systems have been developed in recent years for fertilizing an agricultural field. Farmers generally use a spray type fertilization system compared to any other fertilization systems in order to achieve improved yield at minimal cost. However, as the spray type fertilization systems use a constant pressure pump to spray the fertilizer, the concentration of fertilization on the agricultural field may not be tailored in accordance to nutrition content of selective areas in the agricultural field.

[0003] In order to improve nutrition content in the agricultural field, a Fertilizer Deep Placement (hereinafter, FDP) technology has been used for fertilizing agricultural crops. The FDP facilitates deep fertilization of the agricultural field. FDP is generally used to increase crop yields with minimal amount of fertilizer and lessens environmental damage to the atmosphere and water. FDP generally includes two key components, wherein a first key component defines the fertilizer and a second key component defines the method of application of the fertilizer. Typically, the first key component is a urea briquette. However, various other fertilizer briquettes were also been used in FDP application. The second key component involves a method of placing the urea briquette below the soil surface. During fertilization, urea briquettes are placed at a depth of 7-10 centimeters in the agricultural field. Placement of briquettes is done manually, such as, but not limited to, a hand, a mechanical applicator, etc. As the placement of briquettes is handled in the manual way, the placement of briquettes takes excessive time and labor. [0004] Hence, there is a need for a cost-effective automation system for applying fertilizers deep into the agricultural field using the FDP technique.

Summary

[0005] In accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure, a briquette placement machine and its method of operation is disclosed. The machine includes a metering mechanism to dispense a pre-calculated quantity of at least one briquette to be placed in a field from a reservoir; a plunger for plunging the at least one briquette at a pre-defined depth in the field, the plunger comprising an indexing mechanism for placing the at least one briquette at the predefined depth; a plunger sleeve operatively coupled to the plunger; and a driving mechanism that drives the metering mechanism and the plunger to synchronously dispense and place the at least one briquette in the field.

[0006] In accordance with another embodiment, a method of placing one or more briquettes using an agricultural machine is provided. The method includes the step of loading at least one briquette from a reservoir to a base of a plunger sleeve; sliding a plunger in a axial direction along a longitudinal axis of a track in a plunger sleeve; and dropping the briquette at a predefined depth and selective location in accordance with an indexing mechanism.

[0007] The foregoing and other features and advantages of the invention will become more apparent from the following detailed description, which proceeds with reference to the accompanying figures. Brief description of drawings

[0008] FIG. 1 is an exemplary perspective view of an agricultural machine, in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure;

[0009] FIG. 2A is an isometric view of a metering mechanism, in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure; [0010] FIG. 2B is a side view of the metering mechanism, in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure;

[0011] FIG. 3A is an isometric view of a plunger sleeve, in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure; [0012] FIG. 3B is a top view of the plunger sleeve, in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure;

[0013] FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a plunger, in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure; [0014] FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a connecting rod, in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure;

[0015] FIG. 6A is a perspective view of a crank, in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure;

[0016] FIG. 6B is an isometric view of the crank, in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure;

[0017] FIG. 7 is an isometric view of a crank pin, in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure; and

[0018] FIG. 8a is a flow chart depicting an exemplary method of operation of the agricultural machine, in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure. [0019] FIG. 8b is a flow chart depicting an alternate method of operation of the agricultural machine, in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure.

Detailed Description

[0020] Prior to describing the invention in detail, definitions of certain words or phrases used throughout this patent document will be defined: the terms "include" and "comprise", as well as derivatives thereof, mean inclusion without limitation; the term "or" is inclusive, meaning and/or; the phrases "coupled with" and "associated therewith", as well as derivatives thereof, may mean to include, be included within, interconnect with, contain, be contained within, connect to or with, couple to or with, be communicable with, cooperate with, interleave, juxtapose, be proximate to, be bound to or with, have, have a property of, or the like; Definitions of certain words and phrases are provided throughout this patent document, and those of ordinary skill in the art will understand that such definitions apply in many, if not most, instances to prior as well as future uses of such defined words and phrases. [0021] Wherever possible, same reference numbers will be used throughout the drawings to refer to same or like parts. Moreover, references to various elements described herein are made collectively or individually when there may be more than one element of the same type. However, such references are merely exemplary in nature. It may be noted that any reference to elements in the singular may also be construed to relate to the plural and vice-versa without limiting the scope of the disclosure to the exact number or type of such elements unless set forth explicitly in the appended claims.

[0022] Particular embodiments of the present disclosure are described hereinbelow with reference to the accompanying drawings, however, it is to be understood that the disclosed embodiments are merely examples of the disclosure, which may be embodied in various forms. Well-known functions or constructions are not described in detail to avoid obscuring the present disclosure in unnecessary detail. Therefore, specific structural and functional details disclosed herein are not to be interpreted as limiting, but merely as a basis for the claims and as a representative basis for teaching one skilled in the art to variously employ the present disclosure in virtually any appropriately detailed structure.

[0023] The present disclosure provides a briquette placement machine for precise placement of briquettes at a predefined depth. For example, the briquettes may be urea briquettes to be placed in a field. As an exemplary application, the briquette placement machine as disclosed is an automated machine which helps in large scale implementation of urea deep placement (UDP) technology. Alternately, the briquette placement machine may be used in other varied applications including without limitation, seed sowing, fertilizer placement, etc.

[0024] Fig. 1 depicts an exemplary agricultural machine 10 to be used for example, for deep fertilizer application in an agricultural field (not shown). The agricultural machine 10 includes without limitation a metering mechanism 100, a delivery pipe 200, a plunger sleeve 300, a plunger 400, a connecting rod 500, a crank assembly 600, and a crank pin 700.

[0025] The metering mechanism 100 is installed to pick pre-calculated quantity of one or more briquettes from a reservoir and pass them onto a plunger sleeve 300. Either the metering mechanism may be directly coupled to the plunger sleeve 300 or via a delivery pipe 200. In the latter case, the bottom end of the metering mechanism 100 is coupled to the first end 200a of the delivery pipe 200. Further details of the metering mechanism 100 are provided in FIG. 2A and FIG. 2B. The briquettes may be urea briquettes, prilled or granular fertilizer, multi-fertilizer briquettes, etc.

[0026] The delivery pipe 200 (optional) facilitates delivery of the briquettes from the metering mechanismlOO to the plunger sleeve 300. In an embodiment, the delivery pipe 200 has a circular cross-section. However, the delivery pipe 200 may be of any cross-section, such as, a polygonal cross-section, etc. The delivery pipe 200 may be manufactured using a plastic material or a metal material. In one embodiment, the plastic materials include, but are not limited to, a Poly Vinyl Chloride (PVC), an Acrylonitrile-Butadiene-Styrene (ABS), etc. In other embodiment, the metallic materials include, but are not limited to copper, aluminum, iron, etc. The bottom end of the metering mechanism 100 and the first end 200a of the delivery pipe 200 may be mechanically fastened, such as, but not limited, to, a welding process, a riveting process, a threading process, etc. The briquettes received at the first end 200a of the delivery pipe 200 are transferred to a second end 200b of the delivery pipe 200 through a gravitational force. The second end 200b of the delivery pipe 200 is mechanically coupled with a sleeve mouth 300a of the plunger sleeve 300. The method of mechanical fastening of the second end 200b of the delivery pipe 200 with the sleeve mouth 300a of the plunger sleeve 300 may include any mechanical fastening methods, such as, but not limited to, a welding process, a riveting process, a threading process, etc. In an alternative embodiment, the machine 10 may not include a delivery pipe 200. In such case, the reservoir 104 (FIG. 2A) is directly coupled to the plunger sleeve, hence eliminating the need of the delivery pipe 200.

[0027] In various embodiments, the sleeve mouth 300a may be straight or inclined at an angle for effectively receiving the briquette from the delivery pipe 200. The angle of the sleeve mouth 300a of the plunger sleeve 300 may range from 10° to 45°. Further, the sleeve mouth 300a may be integrally coupled with the plunger sleeve 300. In an alternative embodiment, the sleeve mouth 300a may be mechanically fastened to the plunger sleeve 300. The method of mechanical fastening of the sleeve mouth 300a with the plunger sleeve 300 may include any mechanical fastening methods, such as, but not limited to a welding process, a riveting process, a threading process, etc. It may be noted that it is possible that the second end 200b of the delivery tube 200 may be directly coupled to the plunger sleeve 300 via a process known in the art. [0028] The plunger sleeve 300 contains an opening at the bottom facing the field through which briquettes are to be placed in the field. In an embodiment, to cover this opening, a holding element (optional) may be attached. For example, the holding element may be a spring loaded door. The holding element actuates when the plunger 400 comes in contact with the holding element.

[0029] The plunger 400 is designed to impart low coefficient friction to the plunger sleeve 300 for ensuring smooth movement, even in dense mud accumulation scenarios. In an embodiment, the plunger 400 is made of a material which possesses minimum friction on its surface. The material may be a plastic or a metal. In an embodiment, the metering mechanism 100 is linked with the plunger 400 through a gear ratio given through a chain drive. In another embodiment, the metering mechanism 100 is linked with the plunger 400 through a crank assembly. The plunger 400 may have a plurality of threaded holes 400a for placing the briquettes at varying depths. For example, there may be 2-6 holes provided in the upper portion of the plunger 400. Alternately, the plunger 400 may have a single hole for machines that are to be used for fixed depth plunging applications. The cross-section of the plunger 400 can vary from a complete circle to a partial circle with an oblique edge to provide a flat edge for proper engagement of the connecting pin. The crank, connecting rod, plunger 400, and plunger sleeve 300 may be together referred to as a plunging mechanism.

[0030] The connecting rod 500 transfers the motion of the crank assembly 600 to the plunger 400.

[0031] The crank assembly 600 includes a crank, a crank rig, a crank shaft, a metering sprocket, a crank drive sprocket, a plurality of plummer blocks and a crank pin 700 (also called 'connecting rod pin'). In one embodiment, the crank assembly 600 integrally connects the metering sprocket and the crank drive sprocket with a fixed gear ratio. The metering sprocket drives the metering mechanism 100. The crank drive sprocket drives the plunger 400 through the connecting rod 500. As the metering disc shaft and the crank shaft have fixed gear ratio between them, the metering mechanism 100 and plunging mechanism of the plunger 400 translates in synchronism with each other. In an alternate embodiment, the metering mechanism 100 is driven by the engine through gear reductions from a gearbox or idler shaft. The power transmission from the gearbox can be through chain and sprocket drive or belt and pulley drive.

[0032] Referring to FIGs. 2A-2B, the metering mechanism 100 includes a funnel 101, a metering disc 102, a reservoir 104, a metering disc shaft 106, a metering sprocket 108, and a pair of plummer blocks 110a, 110b. FIG. 2A is an exemplary detailed view of the metering mechanism 100 while FIG. 2B is a perspective view of the metering mechanism 100. [0033] The funnel 101 has a first opening 101a and a second opening 101b. The first opening

101a of the funnel 101 receives the briquettes through the metering disc 102 which travel down to the second opening 101b onto the delivery pipe 200. In an embodiment, the funnel 101 has a conical shape. However, the funnel 101 may be of any other shape, such as, but not limited to, a polygonal shape, etc.

[0034] The reservoir 104 is placed adjacent to the funnel 101 and contains an opening through which the metering disc 102 passes. The reservoir 104 stores briquettes to be dispensed to the field. The reservoir 104 may have any shape, such as, but not limited to, a rectangular structure, a conical structure, etc. The reservoir can be made of plastic, metal, etc.

[0035] The metering disc 102 is provisioned to pick a pre-calculated quantity of briquettes from the reservoir 104. In the depicted embodiment, the metering disc 102 is placed partially inside the reservoir 104 and partially inside the funnel 101 and is mechanically fastened to the metering disc shaft 106. However, it is possible that within the teachings of the present disclosure, the metering disc 102 is entirely placed inside the reservoir 104. The fastening method of metering disc 102 with the metering disc shaft 106 may include any mechanical fastening methods, such as, but not limited to, a welding process, a riveting process, a threading process, etc. It is driven by the metering sprocket 108 and moves in accordance with the rotation of the crank assembly 600. Further, the metering disc 102 includes a plurality of collection means 102a that collect the briquettes from the reservoir 104 and drop the briquettes in the funnel 101. The collection means 102a include without limitation buckets, inclined planks, indents in the disc, etc. Preferably, the metering disc 102 may include three to six buckets for collecting the briquettes though a single collection means is also feasible. The collection means 102a may be made of a plastic material or a metallic material. In one embodiment, the plastic materials include, but not limited to, a Poly Vinyl Chloride (PVC), an Acrylonitrile-Butadiene- Styrene (ABS), etc. In other embodiment, the metallic materials include, but not limited to a copper, aluminum, iron, etc.

[0036] The metering disc 102 pulls the briquettes from the reservoir 104 and drops the briquettes in the funnel 101. Through the funnel 101, the briquettes pass on to the delivery tube 200 or the plunger sleeve 300 as configured. [0037] The plummer blocks 110a, 110b removably fasten the metering mechanism 100 with the agricultural machine 10. The metering mechanism 100 may be tailored in accordance with the design requirements by connecting the metering disc shaft 106 with a variable gear ratio provided in the chain drive of the engine. For example, the dispensing speed of the metering disc can be varied via a speed alteration mechanism. The speed alteration mechanism may include a gearbox, continuously variable transmission (CVT), etc. The speed alteration mechanism may be triggered by any triggering means mounted on it such as, but not limited to, a knob, a dial, a lever, a button, a tactile display, etc. Say, if a farmer requires heavy fertilization in a selective area of the agricultural field, he may increase the picking speed of the metering disc 102 to increase the frequency of collection of the briquettes from the reservoir 104, or in case, if the farmer requires minimal fertilization in a selective area of the agricultural field, the farmer may decrease the picking speed of the metering disc 102 to decrease the frequency of collection of the briquettes from the reservoir 104. In another embodiment, it is likely that the speed alteration mechanism may alter the speed of the metering mechanism as well as the plunging mechanism simultaneously.

[0038] Referring to FIG. 3A-3B, the plunger sleeve 300 includes the sleeve mouth 300a, a mounting plate 300b, a sleeve end 300c, a plunger opening 300d, and a slot 300e. The sleeve mouth 300a couples the second end 200b of the delivery pipe 200 with the plunger sleeve 300. Alternately, the sleeve mouth 300a may be directly coupled to bottom end of the funnel 101. The angle between the sleeve mouth 300a and the axis of the plunger sleeve 300 may be less than 45 degrees. The plunger sleeve 300 may include tracks (not shown) that may be disposed on the inner wall of the plunger sleeve 300 and assist as a guide way for the reciprocating plunger 400. Further, the tracks may prevent rotational motion of the plunger 400 about its longitudinal axis. In an alternative embodiment, the plunger sleeve 300 may include a tribological component (not shown) to reduce friction between the plunger sleeve 300 and the plunger 400. The tribological component may include, but not limited to, a washer, a grease, etc. [0039] The mounting plate 300b removably couples the plunger sleeve with the agricultural system 10 through a fastening mechanism like nut and bolts, riveting, welding, etc.

[0040] The briquette is received at the sleeve mouth 300a of the plunger sleeve 300 through the gravitational force; and temporarily stored at a base of the plunger sleeve 300. The plunger sleeve 300 has a plunger opening 300d for slidably coupling the plunger 400. [0041] A holding element is mounted on the opening of the sleeve end 300c to provide a base for the briquette(s) to rest temporarily and prevent it from dropping before the plunger plunges it into the agricultural field. The holding element may be a spring loaded door designed to actuate and open when the plunger 400 (FIG. 1) comes in contact with the door (not shown). The method of actuation of the spring door may be via a resilient force. In an alternative embodiment, the method of actuation of the spring door may be assisted by an electro mechanical actuator.

[0042] The plunger sleeve 300 includes a slot 300e for assisting in tailoring the depth of the plunger 400. The slot 300e may have a holding detent for resisting the movement of the plunger 400 by holding a connecting pin (not shown) that is temporarily fastened one of the plurality of holes of the plunger 400 explained in FIG. 4.

[0043] Referring to FIG. 4, the plunger 400 includes a first end 400a and a second end 400b. The first end 400a of the plunger 400 slides in the plunger sleeve 300 in accordance with the movement of the connecting rod 500 and the second end 400b of the plunger 400 is pivotally coupled with the connecting rod 500. The second end 400b of the plunger 400 has one or more holes 400c for fastening with the connecting rod 500. The holes 400c facilitate a tailored plunging depth of the plunger 400 in accordance with effective fertilizer penetration requirement.

[0044] In the depicted embodiment, the plunger 400 has threaded holes 400c, 400d, and 400e, to couple with the plunger sleeve 300 through the connecting pin. The plunger 400 receives rotational motion from the crank 600 and transfers it to a reciprocating motion in the plunger sleeve 300. The plunger 400 is designed by employing a kinematic chain, for example, a four bar kinematic chain. However, the plunger 400 may have any other kinematic chain linkages, such as, but not limited to, a three bar mechanism, a six bar mechanism and the like. In an embodiment, the speed of the plunger 400 may be controlled by the speed alteration mechanism as described above.

[0045] In an embodiment, a controlling element (for example, a clutch) may be included for engaging and/or disengaging the plunging mechanism and the metering mechanism from the engine simultaneously. However, the controlling element may engage/disengage the plunging mechanism and/or the metering mechanism from the engine at different time intervals. For example, if the farmer engages the clutch, the plunging mechanism of the plunger 400 gets disengaged from the engine and thus, controls the motion of the plunger 400.

[0046] In an embodiment, the plunger 400 may be driven as follows: an idler shaft from an engine is coupled to a crank shaft assembly 600. The crank shaft assembly 600 includes the crank 602 that couples with the plunger 400 through a connecting rod 500 for transmission. In an embodiment, the transmission assembly may include a clutch for disengaging the crank assembly 600 from the engine. In an embodiment, the transmission may include a gearbox for facilitating variable speed arrangements. [0047] The connecting pin is fastened to one of the plurality of holes 400c in the plunger 400. When the plunger 400 translates in the plunger sleeve 300, the connecting pin in the plunger 300 contacts the holding detent in the plunger sleeve 300, and resists the translation of the plunger 400 beyond the holding detent in the plunger sleeve 300. For example, if the farmer needs a maximum depth of fertilization, the farmer may fasten the connecting pin of the connecting rod 500 to a first hole 400d of the plunger 400. The holding detent will hold the plunger at the first hole 400d and thus, achieve maximum depth of penetration. Or, in case the farmer needs minimum depth for placement of briquettes, the farmer may fasten the connecting pin of the connecting rod 500 with a last hole 400e of the plunger 400. The holding detent will hold the plunger to the last hole 400d and thus, achieve minimum depth of penetration. [0048] The plunger 400 may be of any cross sectional profile such as, but not limited to, a circular profile, a polygonal profile, etc. The plunger 400 may include a protrusion (not shown) to mate with the track of the plunger sleeve 300 to facilitate the linear translation along the longitudinal axis of the plunger sleeve 300. The plunger 400 may be manufactured using a polymer, which is designed to impart low coefficient friction to the sliding pair ensuring smooth movement in dense mud, can also adjust the depth of the penetration according to the soil condition. The polymer material chosen for the plunger is hydrophobic and non-stick in nature. In one embodiment, the polymer material may include, but not limited to, acrylonitrile, acrylamide, etc.

[0049] As described in FIGs. 1-3, the plunger 400 is operated once one or more briquettes are held temporarily by the holding element. However, in accordance with another embodiment, first, the plunger 400 is operated and then, the metering mechanism 100 picks and dispenses one or more briquettes. In this case, the holding element is not required as briquettes can be directly dispensed to the field.

[0050] Referring to FIG. 5, the connecting rod 500 acts as a beam between the crank assembly 600 and the plunger 400. The connecting rod 500 facilitates the conversion of rotational motion of the crank assembly 600 to a reciprocating motion of the plunger 400. The connecting rod 500 is designed to endure effective bending and compressive stresses. The connecting rod 500 has a first connecting portion 500a and a second connecting portion 500b. The first connecting portion 500a is positioned at a first end 502 of the connecting rod and a second connecting portion 500b is positioned at a second end 504 of the connecting rod 500. The first connecting portion 500a couples the crank assembly 600 with the connecting rod 500 through a crank pin 700. The second connecting portion 500b couples the plunger 400 with the connecting rod 500 through a connecting pin 502. In one embodiment, the edges of the connecting rod 500 may be filleted to reduce stress concentrations.

[0051] Referring to FIG. 6A-6B, the crank assembly 600 includes a crank 602, a crank shaft connecting portion 602a, a crank pin 602b, a crank rig 602c, a crank shaft 604, a metering sprocket 606, a crank drive sprocket 608, and a plurality of plummer blocks 610. The plummer blocks 610 removably couples the crank assembly with the agricultural machine 10. The crank shaft connecting portion 602a rotatably couples the crank 602 with the assembly 600. The crank shaft 604 receives power from the engine and transmits to the crank 602. The crank drive sprocket 608 regulates the motion of the plunger 400 through the crank 602, which is coupled with the crank drive assembly 600. The crank 602 couples the connecting rod 500 through the crank pin 602b.

[0052] Referring to FIG. 7, the crank pin 700 includes a journal bearing 700a and a bolt hole 700b for coupling the crank 602 with the connecting rod 500. [0053] FIG. 8a describes an exemplary working mechanism of the agricultural machine 10. At step 802, the metering mechanism and the crank assembly with the plunger is initiated. The metering mechanism and the plunging mechanism operate in synchronism with each other. For this, once the machine 10 is powered on, the engine transfers power to the crank assembly 600 that drives the plunger. In one embodiment, the crank assembly drives the motion of the metering mechanism 100 through a metering sprocket. In an alternate embodiment, the metering mechanism 100 is driven by the engine through gear reductions from a gearbox, idler shaft or any other shaft like axle, etc. The power transmission from the gearbox can be through chain and sprocket drive or belt and pulley drive. As the metering disc rotates, it collects one or more briquettes loaded in the reservoir 104 and transfers the same to the sleeve end 300c of the plunger sleeve 300 at step 804. The briquette is held temporarily in the sleeve end 300c with the sleeve end 300c covered with the holding element at step 806. [0054] At step 808, the crank assembly enables the plunger 400 to translate in synchronization with the metering mechanism 100. For this, the crank assembly 600 drives the plunger 400. In an embodiment, the connecting rod 500 assists the transmission of power from the crank assembly 600 to the plunger 400. The plunger 400 moves longitudinally corresponding to the motion of the connecting rod 500 and crank assembly 600 that is, the plunger 400 slides along the longitudinal axis of the tracks located in the plunger sleeve.

[0055] The sliding plunger 400 hits the holding element located at the sleeve end 300c of the plunger sleeve 300 and opens the holding element. The timing sequence of operation of the holding element is controlled by the crank drive sprocket. As the holding element is opened, the briquette is dropped at a prescribed depth and location at step 810. The depth of the plunger 400 is controlled by the indexing screws (not shown) fastened to the one of the plurality of holes 400c located on the plunger 400.

[0056] Upon discharging the briquette, the method jumps to step 804 to initiate the cycle again. [0057] FIG. 8b describes an alternate exemplary working mechanism of the agricultural machine 10. Step 812, the metering mechanism and the crank assembly with the plunger is initiated. The metering mechanism and the plunging mechanism operate in synchronism with each other. For this, once the machine 10 is powered on, the engine transfers power to the crank assembly 600 that drives the plunger. In one embodiment, the crank assembly drives the motion of the metering mechanism 100 through a metering sprocket. In an alternate embodiment, the metering mechanism 100 is driven by the engine through gear reductions from a gearbox, idler shaft or any other shaft like axle, etc. The power transmission from the gearbox can be through chain and sprocket drive, belt and pulley drive, or directly through a shaft or gear(s). The crank assembly 600 drives the plunger 400 at step 814. In an embodiment, the connecting rod 500 assists the transmission of power from the crank assembly 600 to the plunger 400. The plunger 400 moves longitudinally corresponding to the motion of the connecting rod 500 and crank assembly 600 that is, the plunger 400 slides along longitudinal axis of the tracks located in the plunger sleeve. The plunger 400 passes through the opening of the plunger sleeve into the field (or ground) to a pre-defined depth. The depth of the plunger 400 is controlled by the indexing screws (not shown) fastened to the one of the plurality of holes 400c located on the plunger 400. [0058] At step 816, the metering disc of the metering mechanism rotates and collects one or more briquettes from the reservoir 104 and transfers the same to the sleeve end 300c of the plunger sleeve 300. Thereafter, the briquettes are dropped via the opening of the plunger sleeve in the hole created by the plunger at step 818. In this case, since the briquettes are directly dispensed to the ground, they are not required to be held temporarily, thereby eliminating the need of the holding element. Upon discharging the briquette, the method jumps to step 814 to initiate the cycle again.

[0059] Thus, the present disclosure provides that the plunger 400 plunges the briquettes in the agricultural field at a certain fixed distance by the synchronous movement of the metering mechanism 100 and the plunger 400 in accordance with the fixed gear ratios of the crank assembly 600 between the crank shaft and the metering mechanism. The metering mechanism 100 is controlled by the fixed gear ratio of metering sprocket coupled to the metering disc 102, the metering sprocket being integrally coupled to the crank assembly 600. In an alternate embodiment, instead of using the metering sprocket, the metering mechanism may be driven by a separate gearbox system (not shown) coupled with the engine. In an embodiment, the fixed gear ratio of the metering disc 102 with the crank assembly 600 is equivalent to the number of buckets on the metering disc 102. For example, if the metering disc 102 has four buckets, with one complete rotation of the metering disc 102, the crank 602 will rotate four times. Thus, the gear ratio between the metering disc 102 and the crank 602 becomes 1:4, i.e., with one full rotation of the metering disc 102, the plunger 400 will plunge four times, plunging four urea briquettes in the agricultural field at equal distances. The plunging action of the plunger 400 is controlled by the crank drive sprocket, which is integrally coupled to the crank assembly 600.

[0060] It may be noted that the above embodiments are exemplary and should not be construed limiting. For instance, instead of the chain and sprocket mechanism, a belt and pulley mechanism may be used in accordance with the teachings of the present disclosure. Similarly, the metering and plunging mechanisms may operate consecutively or simultaneously in various embodiments of the present disclosure.