2013-12-04   facebook twitter rss

New Steketee IC Automatic Weeder for Lamma 2014

All set for a LAMMA 2014 launch (Stand 501, hall 5); the new Steketee IC is a fully automatic weeder capable of operating at speeds of up to 3.5km/h.

The new machine represents a major step forward for this technology, offering the potential for huge labour cost savings with efficiency and performance not seen before. Developed in conjunction with Wageningen University in the Netherlands, the Steketee IC is now available to UK and Irish growers from Steketee importers Standen-Reflex.

Steketee IC Weeder

Steketee IC Weeder

The Steketee IC ‘sees’ the crop, with four detecting cameras set inside an enclosed hood which prevents sunlight or shade from affecting performance. Incorporated LED lighting enhances cultivation precision, and allows night operation.

From camera images the computer is able to decipher the height, width and colour shade of the crop, and control the time delay of blade entry and exit between the plants for precision hoeing at up to 3.5km/h. The weeding process is carried out by reciprocating blades which open and close at six times a second, power is provided by a P.T.O driven screw compressor for maximum reliability.

The system has been under development for several years; Steketee is particularly proud of its in-house computer and software technology, developed specifically for the IC. Currently, software programs are available for detecting green or red plants, but additional software updates will be offered for more crops as development continues.

Telemetry allows remote interrogation and monitoring of the IC by the manufacturer, with the potential to install software updates directly from the factory.

A control console is Wi-Fi equipped, so the machine can be controlled remotely by a tablet computer. Adjustments available on the console include compensation for the height and width of plants, colour shade and the blade entry and exit time delay between plants. Other information displayed includes the hours worked and compressor oil temperature.

Coupling to the tractor is just a simple matter of attaching the linkage, flow and return hydraulics, and an electric plug. The streamlined guarding with its lift-up tailgate acts as a dead stop when raised, and also houses LED lights.

Standen-Reflex, Salad & Vegetable Machinery sales manager Geoff Wright will be staging a demonstration roadshow for the new Steketee IC in 2014, interested growers are invited contact Geoff for further information on 07796 444096.


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