King Agro, who are exclusively partnered with John Deere have opened a new plant facility in Picassent, Spain, which is dedicated to producing the revolutionary carbon fibre spray boom introduced last year. It was first shown on the new R4050i self-propelled sprayer.
The plant represents an investment of €8 million by the company and will work alongside another existing factory to produce booms for John Deere sprayers built in North and South America and at Horst in the Netherlands. Production will be boosted over the next 18 months creating job opportunities with up to 100 people set to be employed at the site. Annually a maximum of 1800 carbon fibre spray booms will be manufactured.
Precision moulds are used at the beginning of the manufacturing process, made using a five-axis, computer controlled CNC plotter. Carbon and Kevlar fabrics are cut to precise sizes and shapes using a CNC cutter before lamination in a controlled, dust-free environment. The carbon composite components are cured under high temperatures and pressures of up to 5 atmospheres. The booms are finished off with machining, painting and final assembly making them ready for installation on the sprayers.
Speaking at the opening of the new plant, King Agro president Guillermo Mariani said: “Our goal is to change the paradigm of steel in agricultural machinery. We believe that carbon fibre spray booms are just the beginning of a trend that will offer innumerable advantages linked to increased productivity, lower costs and reduced soil compaction.”
King Agro carbon fibre spray booms are six times stronger and more than five times lighter than traditional steel equivalents. Highly durable and resistant to the corrosion and fatigue that affect steel and especially aluminium spray booms, carbon fibre offers a long working life and lower operating costs.
The material’s light weight allows overall sprayer weight to be reduced, resulting not only in less soil compaction but also lower fuel consumption. In addition, the spray boom’s low inertia benefits ride performance, providing improved boom control for increased crop coverage and reduced spray drift.
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