Monitoring key for Amazone systems

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New checks to reduce fertiliser wastage due to wind conditions and blockages are being introduced to Claas’s fertiliser spreading systems

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New monitoring systems within the Amazone fertiliser spreading systems are helping to reduce wastage and unplanned work stoppages, system developer Claas says.

Claas Harvest Centre product manager Craig Hopkins says the company has updated its EasyCheck calibration system, enabling operators to check the lateral spreading pattern of fertilisers quickly and easily in the paddock.

The operator can use the system by placing 16 lightweight rubber mats across four rows at specific distances from the tramline – photographing each one using a smartphone.

A free app then automatically compares how much fertiliser has been collected on each row and the ratio between each row, and suggests corrections to the spreading disc speed or of the delivery system where necessary.

"It takes only a few minutes to lay out the mats, do the test spreading, photograph the mats and then calibrate the spreader," Hopkins says.

"The collection mats take up very little space and can be easily transported in the spreader or on the tractor."

Auto-adjustment technology to be added

Amazone will also add its new WindControl technology, which automatically adjusts lateral distribution according to wind speed and direction, as an option on all ZA-TS mounted and ZG-TS trailed spreaders from spring 2018 onwards.

Hopkins says the technology, which is built on the 14 radar sensors used in its Argus Twin spreading pattern monitoring system, automatically adjusts the spreading pattern of either disc if any deviation from the settings is detected.

"This technology compensates for any change in spreading pattern due to variations in fertiliser quality, during start-up, braking, travelling on slopes or if the spreading vanes are worn," he says. 

"It also operates during border spreading or section control, ensuring the most effective use of fertiliser and ease of operation."

When the machine operates, a high frequency wind sensor monitors wind speed and direction and transfers this information to the machine’s electronic control unit.

The job computer then calculates any additional settings and automatically adjusts the spreading pattern of each disc – notifying the operator when it is no longer able to compensate for heavy wind or frequent gusts.

"In effect, WindControl increases the amount of time operators can be in the field, knowing that spreading operations are still being carried out with optimum precision," Hopkins says.

Amazone also uses sensors in its hydraulic system to monitor flow pressure in the left and right spreading disc motors on all hydraulically-driven ZA-TS mounted spreaders.

The system detects any change in pressure and sends an alarm to the driver via the operator terminal inside the cabin – enabling them to clear blockages quickly and ensure that the fertiliser is spread evenly in all circumstances.

Data from the systems is consolidated with information from Claas’s material laboratory testing service and fertiliser service at its Fertiliser Spreader Application Centre at its German factory.

The Centre is able to provide recommended settings for thousands of fertilisers – though any products not on the database already can be tested by the Centre when sent in, Hopkins adds.

In addition to testing the fertilisers themselves, Amazone also uses its testing hall to examine the impact of challenging environmental conditions, such as wind or undulating terrain, on lateral and spatial distribution.

The test hall can test two spreaders concurrently and is capable of performing up to 100 separate tests each day, and is able to send results of the tests direct to operators via phone, email, fax and WhatsApp.

 

Amazone Pantera 4502

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