Fast loading times are critical for maximizing sprayer efficiency, but mistakes are also more likely to happen when loading in a hurry.
An Iowa-based company, Praxidyn, has designed a portable, modular system to shorten the time it takes to blend chemicals and refill the sprayer, while also reducing the chances of errors by automating the process and recording what’s going into the tank.
As CEO and owner Doug Applegate explains in the video below, the MixMate system measures volume by weight or flow, automatically recognizing when a jug is empty and reconciling actual volumes, accounting for residues left in a container (or a sloppy operator!)
He says the jug system can drain, weigh, rinse, record and reconcile the data from a jug in about 12 seconds.
“A common setup for a large sprayer would be one or more flow meters for chemicals, a flow meter for water, and an inductor to handle jugs and some dry products. All of that happens simultaneously, so it’s pretty common to load a 1,200 gallon sprayer in about five minutes,” he says.
The Android-based system records everything that goes through the MixMate and synchronizes it via Praxidyn’s Intersect cloud service, making it accessible from the office.
“You can go to the office, set up your work orders, your products and prescriptions, and then when you go the field, you just select that job, and hit go. It prompts the operator if there’s a jug to pour, when to do it, how much to pour, and they don’t have to calculate it,” says Applegate. “It helps a lot on potential errors of calculation, and errors where you don’t record things correctly.”
Rather than always filling a tank to the top, he says sprayer operators are using the MixMate to improve efficiency by only filling as needed to finish a field or so the tank is empty at the right end of long fields.
The MixMate received a gold innovation award at Canada’s Farm Progress Show in Regina last month, and a 2018 AE50 innovation award from the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE).