During the last year, a NAVIGATOR 4000 l with 27 m DELTA FORCE boom has been tested at the German Julius-Kuehn Institute (JKI).
The test report has now been published in an ENTAM (European Network for Testing of Agricultural Machines) report . The aim of the association of testing institutes ENTAM is the harmonization of testing agricultural equipment and its mutual recognition. Thereby, equipment once tested is recognized Europe-wide.
The working group for plant protection has currently 11 testing institutes as members.
This network avoids multiple testing in different countries. Furthermore, a greater number of tested equipment can be provided to the farmers. Technical measurements are performed on the equipment to be tested. Field tests are not carried out. The results are compiled in a European test report.
Many standards to fulfil
There are many standards, which needs to be fulfilled before a sprayer can be placed on the market. In HARDI we are working actively in the world of standardization, and we comply with the different standards with all our products.
In application technique, there are different important standards. Technical, performance, safety and environmental standards made in the European system (CEN) and on the global level (ISO). Some are obligatory to fulfil, others are voluntary. Over the last years, the major focus has been on the development of harmonized safety and environmental standards, to make farming safer for the operator and the environment and to be prepared in the registration discussion of plant protection products!
This is important as there is more and more pressure against plant protection and only good and safe equipment allows an environmental safe application. Most standards define a way to measure and to proof a component, and then there are parts which define the state of art, which means the performance level.
There are also demands and obligations to do inspections of sprayers in use. We in HARDI also do an inspection in the production to deliver our sprayers in excellent quality and certified.
A self-certification process is demanded to bring a sprayer on the market, where we as the manufacturer sign that the sprayer fulfills the demands of the DIRECTIVE 2009/127/EC, also known as the amendment to the machinery directive.
The detailed requirements are specified in the EN/ISO standards of the 16119 series. Before we launch a product, we do a certain number of tests to proof that the component is fulfilling the specific demand.
For example, the agitation test which is a very important test. By an ENTAM report the self-certification is proven, and specific measurements are done as agitation test, rinsing test or regulation speed etc. Components as our nozzles are approved by the JKI. Due to 2 reasons, first the quality needs to be certified, and secondly we need a drift reduction certification.
The ENTAM test is a laboratory test; partly it is tested if all obligations are fulfilled, and if these are in the allowed limits.
Other tests measure performance levels, and these tests are far more complex and time consuming to do and must also to be within the allowed limits. The agitation test is a good example for this as it needs approx. 20 h, and is done with a 1 % cooper solution, having to be re-agitated after a 16h break.