Volume 49, No. 02, Month MARCH, Year 2022, Pages 218 - 227

Multi-objective optimization of a threading machine for tobacco leaves

Ranaporn Senasutham, Sujin Bureerat, Juckamas Laohavanich, Cherdpong Chiawchanwattana, Suphan Yangyuen

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The threading of Turkish or Oriental tobacco leaves is part of the sun drying process prior to cigarette production. In Thailand, tobacco leaves tend to be threaded manually by farmers, resulting in low production capacity due to insufficient labor being available. Therefore, the aim of this research is to analyze the tangential velocity of conveyor trays and the number of tobacco leaves pressed into needles, thereby affecting the working capacity of the machine. The machine comprises three main units. A programmable logic controller (PLC) is applied to control the machine’s operation. The factors under study include the tangential velocity of conveyor trays (0.13, 0.15, and 0.18 m/s) and the number of tobacco leaves pressed into needles using either seven or eight trays each time. The results of multiple-objective optimization for the tobacco threading machine are analyzed using the weighted sum method, revealing a tray tangential velocity of 0.15 m/s, while the use of eight trays per time produces the maximum capacity of 3,887 leaves per hour. In addition, analysis of the percentage minimum leaves lost indicates that the tangential velocity of the trays is 0.13 m/s, while pressing prior to gathering seven trays per time prevents 0.91 and 0.61% of the leaves from falling and tearing, respectively, during the threading process. Moreover, 1.30 and 2.21% of the leaves experienced falling and tearing, respectively, after the threading process. Furthermore, the analysis shows that the machine generated twice as much productivity than human labor.


Threading machine, Turkish tobacco leaves, Weighted sum, Response surface methodology


Published by : Faculty of Engineering, Khon Kaen University
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