PONTIAC, Ill. — A limited commercial release of a new nozzle control system designed to maintain consistent pressure regardless of rates and ground speed is slated for this fall.
Precision Planting’s Symphony nozzle control system features new Pulse Width Modulation nozzles.
With PWM nozzles, the liquid flow rate through each nozzle is managed via an intermittent, brief shutoff of the nozzle flow activated by an electric solenoid that replaces the conventional spring-loaded check valve and is controlled by the Precision Planting Gen 3 20|20 system.
The new system was among the features at Precision Planting’s Summer Sessions at the Precision Technology Institute, where visitors were able to test it in the field.
“We’re controlling each nozzle with a solenoid, controlling rate and pressure,” said Josh Robinson, Precision Planting product support specialist.
“Sprayers haven’t changed a lot in the last 30 years. They’ve gotten bigger and booms have gotten wider, but they’re still spraying the set rate and as your speed changes your pressure changes to hit that rate which means you get inconsistent droplet sizes. You have to be spraying a certain speed to get the droplet size you want.
“With Symphony, you’re able to set your pressure and your rate, and as your speed changes, it changes duty cycle to get the coverage and the droplet size you want consistently.
“So, when the applicator is coming in and out of headlands or slowing down for a waterway, they’re going to get that even coverage that they need instead of varying droplet size and missing weeds or building resistance in their weeds because of poor coverage.”
The system is also touted as providing more efficiency.
“You’re able to better place your chemicals more efficiently. Especially if you have an odd-shaped field, you’ll have better swath control. It’s going to be a nozzle by nozzle. So, instead of seven sections over a 100-foot boom or a 120-foot boom, you’re going to be down whatever your nozzle spacing is,” Robinson said.
“There will be savings with swath control and chemicals, but then also efficiency as far as where the chemical is placed and making sure the dollar you spend on the chemical are actually dollars well spent instead of just kind of tossing it out there and not getting the application you want.”
The 20|20 system features application mapping capabilities that documents product and application rates throughout the field. The maps can be exported and layered with the 20|20 mapping on the planter.
“It gives you great viability into what your sprayer is doing, how you’re applying and how the system is working,” Robinson said.
Symphony is a retrofit solution for different sprayers.
“Our goal is to be able to put this on any make and model. Most of them will be compatible. You’ll be able to put it on anything with a three-quarter inch or one-inch boom,” Robinson said.
“The system as a whole is very serviceable. All of the harnesses jump from one module to the next. So, if something gets pinched or broken, it’s one simple replacement.
“The computer chip that’s controlling the valves is separate from them. So, if you have to replace a solenoid or a nozzle body, you don’t have to pay the cost for kind of the brains behind it, as well.
“It’s pretty economical to rebuild or replace parts in that solenoid. The installation is also very simple. It’s a few harnesses that run in parallel with each other down the booms, and then changing the nozzle bodies out. Two can easily install this with teardown and installation in a day.
“It’s also been designed to not have to service it with tools. For some systems you have to have a special wrench or something to take it apart. It has like a clip that sticks in there and you can pull it out with your fingers and pull the solenoid out and service it without a tool.”