A high-capacity sprayer filling system, born out of a desire to see a farm sprayer spend more time working and less standing idle, is reckoned to trim by up to half the time taken to put multi-product mixes on board.
The ProFill is produced by Vegcraft, the engineering offshoot of the McDonald Contractors farming and contracting enterprise, located near Arbroath, Angus.
“My brother Malcolm looks after the farming operation and he tired of spending a lot of time filling the sprayer,” explains Adam McDonald of Vegcraft. “Some of the mixes involved in spraying, especially on vegetable crops, involve five or six different products. Also, they often involve powder formulations that can be difficult to incorporate quickly through a standard induction hopper.”
The first requirement of a new standalone filling station was a high-pressure, high-volume water flow. That is provided on the ProFill by a multi-section centrifugal pump stack operating well within its capacity to deliver clean water through the induction hopper and into the sprayer at 200 litre/min and 5.5 bar (80psi) pressure.
The hopper itself is bigger than usual at 50 litres and forms part of a durable stainless steel structure that also provides a spill-catching surface for measuring out and a generous area for rinsing and draining containers.
“There’s a perforated table for measuring out, so any spillages fall on to a flat surface alongside the induction hopper,” explains Mr McDonald. “From there, the material can be flushed into the hopper and used as appropriate in a spray mix.”
The uncluttered hopper with its large venturi in the base will take as much material as the operator can handle, he maintains: “You can put in a bag of powder or similar material and it’ll be gone in a moment, with no need to go poking about with a stick to shift it.”
Further time saving comes from the container-rinsing arrangement, which comprises a large “sink” to the right of the hopper with either four or six rinsing nozzles lined up ready for action. After trying a few different nozzles, Vegcraft has standardised on Hypro ProClean spinning nozzles on most of the water feeds, plus one of the new ProClean Plus blade jet rinsing nozzles.
The ProFill comes in two sizes, with overall length indicated by the model number – the 1500, with four rinsing nozzles and a smaller measuring table, is priced at £2,590; the six-nozzle ProFill 2350 costs £3,400.
|The ProFill’s 50-litre induction hopper has a 200-litre/min clean water supply delivered at 5.5 bar (80psi) to shift powders and other pesticide formulations faster than usual.|
Three-phase electric motor drive to the pump is standard in both cases, but an inverter version is available for single-phase supplies. Engine and hydraulic pump drive are also available for remote operation and for the mixing bowser version, which is priced from £3,000.
The ProFill high-capacity sprayer filling station is designed to minimise the time taken to get crop protection materials on board – especially when they involve multiple product mixes. A measuring table to the left and a rinsing “sink” are positioned either side of the integral induction hopper