Optimizing the usage of pesticides and make more sustainable the phytosanitary defence in corps, are just two of the most discussed aspects in the agricultural sector. To date, when a new technology is born in response to a need of productivity, this must necessarily guarantee a function able to combine highly working performance to a green and smart attitude.
In this brief guidance, Caffini will lead you to discover some revolutionary machines to spread phytosanitary products linked to the OPTIMA project, of which our company is proudly partner.
Development of technologies suitable for every corps: here’s OPTIMA mission
The OPTIMA project, part of the European program Horizon 2020, is a consortium composed by 8 European university, 3 research centres and 2 producers, including Caffini, who’s committed to the design, realisation and implementation of innovative systems able to obtain a better management of phytosanitary products. In particular, the consortium is focused on developing machines for the protection of vineyard, apple orchards and carrots cultivation in open field.
The final objective of these innovative machineries, is to reduce the quantity of pesticides used in the cultural production all over Europe.
The Avant-grade systems involved in the OPTIMA project permit to diagnose in advance possible culture’s diseases, understand the seriousness of the identified infection and find solutions which ensure a precise and safe distribution of the phytosanitary product.
OPTIMA will deal with testing on the field the real functionality of the developed technologies to confirm possible gap between the obtained results and the expected ones. In this way, who will use the presented machinery, will have systems able to obtain a better drift control. An incorrect phytosanitary distribution will show at the time in which the product, not directly hitting the target, spreads in the environment causing an increased level of pollution. Not surprisingly, the issue of drift control is, to date, one of the phenomena that most concerns population.
In the first place, the issues concerning drift control certainly interest the health of the planet and people who live in it. However, it graves on costs incurred by the company. It is known that phytosanitary products are very expensive, so if they are not correctly spread on the corps, there’s the risk to unnecessarily waste them in the environment.
The innovative sprayer bar for corps in open field signed Caffini
The Caffini green approach perfectly blends with the OPTIMA project. The urgency to develop new sustainable and better orientated solutions to the safeguard of our ecosystem, has led Caffini to the conscious choice to actively promote the important mission that OPTIMA intend to pursue.
The entire OPTIMA project has been divided into nine work packages, each of them has a specific goal with a different leader, each for any university involved. For every work package is established a specific object and a set of activities to carry out in order to achieve it successfully.
Caffini is principally committed to develop solutions able to improve the daily work carried out in an agricultural holding, without forgetting that each machine will have to respond to some requirements, such as operators’ safety and environmental protection.
The company is involved into five work packages of the nine: in demonstration of how it can be sensitive to the actual issue concerning agriculture, especially according to the effects that it can generate in the ecosystem.
Prestige: the new boom sprayer for the treatment of carrots
First of all, the contribute Caffini gives to the project is reflected on the prototype of spryer bar developed for carrots’ corps. Actually, the machine with bars can be easily used for any kind of cultivation in open field with a trunks disposition.
The innovative bar presents, indeed, a unique solution of its kind: the distance adjustment between the nozzles. In a traditional boom sprayer, the distance between the nozzles is fixed at 50 cm. This, in the case of trunks cultivation, involves spreading the product even among uncultivated traces, wasting product and polluting the land. With the new project, Caffini presents a disposition of 4 nozzles for trunk, whose distance may vary in function of the vegetative period of the collected, from a minimum of 30 cm to a maximum of 65 cm.
With this solution the number of nozzles has decreased, from the 42 cm of a traditional bar of 21 cm, commonly used to cover 9 trunks, to the 4x9=36 nozzles of the proposed version, with a reduction of 19% of the product used. In addition, thanks to a better spatial arrangement of nozzles, it improves the coverage of the product on vegetation.
To this important innovation has been associated the use of PWM nozzles, which allow -through a constant dispensing vibration- to vary the volume of the outgoing liquid in a controlled way. By their usage, it’s possible to vary, nozzle by nozzle, the quantity of product to be sprayed, according to a prescription map, previously planned. By doing so, it is spread only the necessary quantity of product spot by spot, further reducing the quantity of product necessary.
To conclude, the boom sprayer has been equipped with an electric motor instead of a hydraulic motor. This, thanks to its major efficiency, allows a lower fuel consumption at the same volume of air required and, most of all, not being involved oil, avoid local spreading typical of the breakage of this technology, thus increasing even more the green impact of the machine.
Smart synthesis: the new mist-blower sprayer for the treatment and wellness of the vineyard
Trough the experience resulting from almost a century of activity in the production of machineries for the protection of corps, Caffini has developed the Smart Synthesis. It is an innovating model of mist-blower sprayer: a solution capable of increasing the performance of the well-known and appreciated base model Synthesis.
The biggest news introduced by Caffini concerns the adoption of an electric traction for the propeller of the fan, instead of the classical mechanical transmission. This innovative solution allows to vary -regardless of the engine revolutions- the propeller’s speed, thus enabling the adoption of another technology that, through specific ultrasonic sensors on the front of the sprayer, can calculate the leaf density and assign a score from 1 to 10. In this way, the machine sets the correct number of propeller’s turns to obtain an adequate air flow, so as to guarantee an efficient deposit of the product, minimising the drift. The effect to be achieved is an impact limitation of the provided phytosanitary product, benefiting the environment and health of everyone, without giving up on the optimal treatment of cultivation.
Besides, the first tests indicate that the continuous adjustment of the propeller’s speed – instead of having it at its greatest speed- allows an estimated fuel savings of about 24 litres/year per treated hectare.
As in the case of the sprayer bar, the nozzles provide the phytosanitary product only where it’s needed and in the exact amount. As usual, a meticulous attention of every detail makes the difference: thanks to this system, on the one hand it gets the containment of drift effect, on the other it saves in term of the product needed for a treatment. The final result is an overall improvement of the treatment of the plant.
The whole system is managed by the ECU: control units that make the operation of the machine much easier. The operator will have the possibility of working without directly interface with the mist-blower spryer, which will carry out its duty automatically, safely and efficiently.
The passion and the constant investment in research and development has allowed Caffini to win, in the course of 2020, for the third year in a row, the technical prize and the blu prize in EIMA.
These are recognitions that translate into concrete reality the philosophy that has always accompanied the work of the company: realising the best machineries from the point of view both technological and ecological.
Do you want to better understand our reality? Do not hesitate to contact us: our team will be pleased to answer to any of your questions or curiosity.