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Jan van Nieuwkerk, RedStar:

"We want tough, tamper-proof spraying robots"

In the Netherlands, RedStar cultivates tomatoes on 27,5 hectares. Jan van Nieuwkerk is the crop protection specialist for RedStar's three sites. Recently, he decided to replace one of the 12 spray robots, which had been tirelessly performing its duties for 15-20 years. Jan again chose a Meto. "I like that these Berg sprayers are tough and, as importantly, tamper-proof," he says.

Jan approached Steenks Service, where Sander Zuidgeest told him about Berg Hortimotive's spraying robot's improved technology. It has been further developed, and its retractable rod makes it easy to lift the spray trolley when the robot needs to move to the next path.

Berg also considered hygiene: the reel is housed in a container that has brushes that first clean the hose before it is coiled. The wheels are also better protected; dirt cannot reach them as easily, so they stay cleaner. And the user-friendly control computer has been further expanded; you can now spray specific areas.

But Meto trolleys are not all standard. Berg designed them to be entirely adapted to growers' cultivation systems. At RedStar, that means modifying the tube rail size (550-45) and mast height (255 cm) and affixing a sliding instead of a fixed mast. That mast has eight nozzles aside and seven in front.

Jan does not do the spraying; he does, however, require critical feedback from his colleagues. And? It is going well. Everything's working as it should. "Besides, should something go wrong, we can often fix it ourselves. With the Technical Services' help, we usually figure it out. We try to do as much as we can ourselves before making that call," he concludes.

For more information:
Sander Zuidgeest
Steenks Service
1 Jan van de Laarweg
De Lier, the Netherlands
Mob: + 31 (0) 651 687 505
Tel: +31 (0) 174 510 266 

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