Setting new standards for even more precision
On 19th January 2010, Amazonen-Werke opened their new fertiliser spreader test hall in Hasbergen-Gaste to the public. With the new fertiliser spreader test hall Amazone now actually owns the most modern infrastructure for testing spreaders and the application of mineral fertilisers.
"We now are working with the most accurate testing technology available in the world. We are proud that, as market leader in fertiliser spreaders, we can offer our customers an even more precise testing technology for fertiliser spreaders and for checking the spreadability of their materials", emphasised Amazone directors Christian Dreyer and Dr. Justus Dreyer at the inauguration.
Certainly the existing test hall, which was established in 1983, has coped with all the demands on testing accuracy, but this hall is too small as working widths get wider and wider and with a maximum of 12 spread tests per day the capacity was also no longer enough.
As part of a complete renovation inside the existing test hall, a newly designed testing rig that included innovative measuring and evaluation technology was installed. Now fertiliser spreaders with working widths of up to 72 m can be tested, new kinds of fertiliser can be tested even more quickly for their material and spreading properties, and the corresponding recommended settings for Amazone fertiliser spreaders can be updated accordingly. The testing capacity has increased up to 100 tests per day in future.
"Of course this new test hall provides us with additional advantages both in research, development and in series evaluation – but also substantial advantages in competition with other manufacturers. In addition we can now offer to our customers an even quicker and more accurate fertiliser advisory service" reported Tim Randy Sia, the product manager for fertilisation technology.
With the so-called fertiliser advisory service, Amazone enables farmers and agricultural contractors to recall the precise setting figures on their fertiliser spreaders for the application of new types of fertiliser or other spreading materials via the internet. In this way it is ensured that during spreading, not only all the demands on environmental protection fulfilled, but also the targeted and absolutely precise delivery of different fertilisers at the plant is as accurate as possible.
84 online weigh cells with up to 20 measurements per second
When you enter the new test hall, the first thing you notice is a hydraulically-driven turning and lifting platform equipped with weigh-cells. Two fertiliser spreaders, or even a ZG-B trailed spreader, can be mounted on it at the same time. Along a central longitudinal axis that starts at the platform, there is a 42 m long measuring beam with 84 collecting funnels (50 x 50 cm). Every funnel opens out into a measuring container fitted to an on-line weigh-cell. When a spread test is carried out, the fertiliser spreader fitted to the lift frame turns about a vertical axis through a defined distance at a defined speed; spreading the set amount of fertiliser. At the same time, each of the 84 online weight cells records its collected amount of fertiliser at a rate of up to 20 measurements a second. So during a test run, there are tens of thousands of 0.01 g precise weight measurements that are then converted into a spread pattern using a special computer simulation programme.
It is now possible using the new on-line weigh-cell technology to analyse, not only the lateral distribution, but also the spatial distribution of the spread tests. This brings crucial benefits to the on-going development of fertiliser spreaders and for add-on technology such as GPS-Switch automatic boom section control. In addition to quicker and more precise results, there are other further improvements: since two fertiliser spreaders can be mounted simultaneously on the turning and lifting frame, the set-up times are reduced, which means that while a test just carried out on the first spreader is being evaluated, the next test can already be underway on the second spreader.
Amazone fertiliser advisory service – now even more efficient
For the practical operation of AMAZONE fertiliser spreaders, it is crucial that the Amazone fertiliser advisory service, which ensures the economical and environmentally friendly use of fertiliser, has become even more efficient. All types of fertilisers available in the country and also from abroad, have been evaluated over a period of 25 years. All the data determined in the laboratory and in the spreader test hall is entered in a database.
In addition to the spread patterns and setting values, the critical physical properties data for lateral distribution are also recorded, such as granule size, bulk density and other properties. This means that a wide range of data is available that enables Amazone customers to obtain comprehensive information and advice on the setting values for unknown kinds of fertiliser or new fertiliser products.
The Amazone fertiliser advisory service provides tips on settings and competent advice via the internet, e-mail, fax and telephone. All customers can access the regularly updated settings for Amazone spreaders free of charge from the Amazone database.