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Pig Ear Tagger Concept

Nordberg, Axel LU (2016) MMK920 20161
Product Development
Abstract
This thesis consists of the development of a concept for a new product, the primary purpose of which is to quickly and easily attach legally required tags to the ears of livestock pigs. The project was undertaken at Attention, a product development company based in Copenhagen.
For reasons of food safety, EU regulation stipulates that all pigs that are moved from their place of birth must be tagged with a permanent plastic tag on which the pigs
country and farm of origin is marked. These tags consist of two elements, which
when joined together form a tag. A large force is required to drive the male element
tip through the ear tissue and make it stick in the female tag element socket. The
common plier tool that is currently used is... (More)
This thesis consists of the development of a concept for a new product, the primary purpose of which is to quickly and easily attach legally required tags to the ears of livestock pigs. The project was undertaken at Attention, a product development company based in Copenhagen.
For reasons of food safety, EU regulation stipulates that all pigs that are moved from their place of birth must be tagged with a permanent plastic tag on which the pigs
country and farm of origin is marked. These tags consist of two elements, which
when joined together form a tag. A large force is required to drive the male element
tip through the ear tissue and make it stick in the female tag element socket. The
common plier tool that is currently used is inexpensive, but strenuous and slow to use.
The existing automatic tagging machines are expensive, and force their users to adopt
a specific and rigid work routine, which on many farms is impossible. This
demonstrates the need for a tool that is as handy and flexible as the plier tagger, but
that provides the high rate of tagging as the existing automatic taggers.
The Ulrich and Eppinger method for concept development was used as a basis for the
structure of the project. This method bears great resemblance to the method employed
by Attention design, which was being formalized into a revised written set of
documents as this project was undertaken. The stages Specification, Ideation and
Concept Development was included in the project.
In the Specification phase, the user needs were studied extensively. Study visits to
Danish pig farms and agricultural trade shows were made. With the aid of online
resources, subjects such as good pig handling practice, relevant regulations and the
general state of the European pork industry has been studied.
In the Ideation phase product concepts that would satisfy the user needs were
generated. Drafts for mechanical solutions to the problems inherent in these product
concepts were drawn. The problems were broken down into smaller problems. The
Ideation phase was concluded by choosing a combination of sub-concepts to become
the basis of the concept. The chosen concept included a battery powered motor and a
new shape for the plastic tag elements. Unlike existing tags, the concept tags are to be
molded in strips of 20.
In the Concept Development phase, the concept was developed mainly by specifying
the various mechanisms necessary for the function of the tagger.

Keywords: product development, agriculture, handheld power tool, ear tags, pig (Less)
Popular Abstract
Workers in pig farming industry could benefit from time saving ear tagger product concept
Animal identification is a big deal! Every pig in the European Union, from cuddly mini-pigs to the finest well bred farm pig is required by law to wear an ear tag. The ear tag shows the pig's place of birth; although many farmers also give each pig a unique ID, to be able to keep track of their medical history, among other things. The people who work in the modern European pig farming industry use high tech equipment and scientific methods to maximize farming output while keeping the farming tradition and lifestyle sprawling. When it comes to attaching ear tags, however, the equipment they use hasn't changed much in decades!

Tagging pigs requires... (More)
Workers in pig farming industry could benefit from time saving ear tagger product concept
Animal identification is a big deal! Every pig in the European Union, from cuddly mini-pigs to the finest well bred farm pig is required by law to wear an ear tag. The ear tag shows the pig's place of birth; although many farmers also give each pig a unique ID, to be able to keep track of their medical history, among other things. The people who work in the modern European pig farming industry use high tech equipment and scientific methods to maximize farming output while keeping the farming tradition and lifestyle sprawling. When it comes to attaching ear tags, however, the equipment they use hasn't changed much in decades!

Tagging pigs requires both fiddling with the small bits of plastic that make up the ear tag after it's attached, and clamping together the pliers that penetrates the ear and attaches the tag to the ear. The pliers require a lot of force (300-500 Newtons), which for a lot of workers means they have to use both hands on the pliers, which means they have no hands left to handle the pig... On a regular day, the farm worker assigned to ear tagging might perform this cumbersome operation 500-1000 times, meaning that there is a lot to be gained, both with regards to profitability and decreasing risk of injury, from improving the work process.
To come up with an invention that would bring about some modernization, a product development process inspired by the Ulrich & Eppinger process was used. While inspiration from study visits to farming trade shows and pig farms was flowing, a large amount of creative concepts was invented. The concepts were generated in three different categories. The first category of concepts consisted of the actual ear tags and the mechanism that stored and handled them in the tagging machine. The second category was for the different concepts for generating the power needed to replace the heavy squeezing required with the old tools. Finally, these inventions had to come together into a practical format, so the last category was for concepts for product architecture and external shape. By tough scrutiny of the concepts and going to pig farms to ask professionals how they felt about them, a combination of concepts was chosen. After some tweaking and refinement, the final concept describes a product that would save the farm workers' time – and their wrists!
The new tagger concept is fed by strips of male and female tag elements, that are mated together by a mechanism that is driven by a powerful battery-powered electric motor. With it, the farm worker can tag twenty pigs in rapid succession, and refilling is quick and easy! It's about as heavy as a battery powered drill, but well balanced and much more to use than the old tools. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Nordberg, Axel LU
supervisor
organization
course
MMK920 20161
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
product development, agriculture, handheld power tool, ear tags, pig
language
English
id
8895374
date added to LUP
2016-11-24 17:44:02
date last changed
2017-01-15 04:08:51
@misc{8895374,
  abstract     = {This thesis consists of the development of a concept for a new product, the primary purpose of which is to quickly and easily attach legally required tags to the ears of livestock pigs. The project was undertaken at Attention, a product development company based in Copenhagen.
For reasons of food safety, EU regulation stipulates that all pigs that are moved from their place of birth must be tagged with a permanent plastic tag on which the pigs
country and farm of origin is marked. These tags consist of two elements, which
when joined together form a tag. A large force is required to drive the male element
tip through the ear tissue and make it stick in the female tag element socket. The
common plier tool that is currently used is inexpensive, but strenuous and slow to use.
The existing automatic tagging machines are expensive, and force their users to adopt
a specific and rigid work routine, which on many farms is impossible. This
demonstrates the need for a tool that is as handy and flexible as the plier tagger, but
that provides the high rate of tagging as the existing automatic taggers.
The Ulrich and Eppinger method for concept development was used as a basis for the
structure of the project. This method bears great resemblance to the method employed
by Attention design, which was being formalized into a revised written set of
documents as this project was undertaken. The stages Specification, Ideation and
Concept Development was included in the project.
In the Specification phase, the user needs were studied extensively. Study visits to
Danish pig farms and agricultural trade shows were made. With the aid of online
resources, subjects such as good pig handling practice, relevant regulations and the
general state of the European pork industry has been studied.
In the Ideation phase product concepts that would satisfy the user needs were
generated. Drafts for mechanical solutions to the problems inherent in these product
concepts were drawn. The problems were broken down into smaller problems. The
Ideation phase was concluded by choosing a combination of sub-concepts to become
the basis of the concept. The chosen concept included a battery powered motor and a
new shape for the plastic tag elements. Unlike existing tags, the concept tags are to be
molded in strips of 20.
In the Concept Development phase, the concept was developed mainly by specifying
the various mechanisms necessary for the function of the tagger.

Keywords: product development, agriculture, handheld power tool, ear tags, pig},
  author       = {Nordberg, Axel},
  keyword      = {product development,agriculture,handheld power tool,ear tags,pig},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Pig Ear Tagger Concept},
  year         = {2016},
}