عنوان مقاله [English]
Separation of stigma from petals is one of the required tasks in saffron production. The mechanical separation of saffron flowers may be performed through the following steps: I) singulation of the flowers ii) aligning the flowers iii) cutting the style (Konje) and iv) separating the stigma from the petals. Because of the importance of saffron flower separation, a prototype device was constructed in this project for singulating and aligning of saffron flowers, prior to the cutting operation. This device can also be installed to work with other cutting and separating equipment and produce on an industrial scale. A pickup vacuum cylinder was used for singulating the flowers and an inclined V-shaped surface was employed for aligning of saffron flowers. The constructed apparatus was evaluated from the standpoint of singling efficiency and losses. For this purpose, three types of saffron flowers (buds, open short tail and long tail), three rotational speeds of pickup cylinder (6, 12 and 21.5 rpm), three levels of suction (30, 70 and 100 mm Hg), and four different inner diameters of finger’s nozzle (2, 3, 4 and 5 mm) were used with three replications. The results of analysis on the constructed device showed that the highest efficiency (75%) is observed for short tailopen saffron flowers with 5 mm inner diameter of sucking nozzles, suction of 100 mm Hg and the rotational speed of 6 rpm. To evaluate the performance of flower aligning, 100 saffron flowers with an average length of 5 cm were selected and tested with 5 replications. The average aligning with the correct direction obtained was equal to 84%.