Major investment meeting growing demand
Dutch sprayer manufacturer Agrifac has invested heavily in a brand new factory to meet increased demand for its high performance sprayers. David Williams was at the official opening. Agrifac’s Condor self-propelled sprayers have become a common sight on UK farms, offering high performance and accurate application. Regarded as premium specification they appeal to contractors and larger farms, and command strong trade-in values due to high demand for used examples, so despite their premium price tag they remain affordable. During 2015 Agrifac Milan trailed sprayers joined the line-up sharing control and spray technology with self-propelled models. Approximately
25 were sold through Dutch dealers in 2017; their first season of limited availability, and the new model was launched in the UK at Cereals last year and is generally available for the coming season. Now a larger Condor Endurance 2 self-propelled sprayer has also been added to the range following successful trials, to meet demand from larger farms.
State-of-art production Until now sprayer assembly has been in low-roofed workshops which hindered production and extended
lead times for customers, but now a brand new factory with almost twice the floor area has been constructed with space for booms up to 80m to be tested and produced, although 36m booms are the most popular currently. During the past eight years, sales of Agrifac sprayers have increased by 600 per cent, with more than 200 self-propelled sprayers built each year. But this hasn’t been sufficient to keep up with demand and the new factory will allow production of up to 500 per year, enough to keep pace with predicted demand for the next three years. “We need to be building an average of more than 1.5 sprayers per day to prevent lead times becoming longer,” explained director Roeland Coopman. Fastest sales growth is currently from the UK and Australia and more than 200 Condors are currently working in the UK. The new building was constructed over the previous workshops so production could continue and extends to 14,000m2 compared with 8,000m2 previously. Rainwater is collected from the roof for tank and spray testing and 5,000m2 of solar panels makes the factory selfsufficient for electrical power with excess sold to the grid. There are two assembly lines with space to build up to nine self-propelled sprayers at a time on one line, while the other builds sugar beet harvesters. The new factory opening was the perfect opportunity for Agrifac to announce its latest flagship selfpropelled sprayer, the Endurance 2 as well as a host of new options for the Condor and the Endurance to improve productivity and accuracy.
Condor Endurance p An all-new Condor Endurance high capacity sprayer was shown for the first time with a more powerful engine, new cab and control layout, improved spray circuit design and a host of new options to boost accuracy and productivity. u The official opening was carried out by (l-r) Mayor of steenwijkerland Rob Betts, Agrifac Machinery CEO Peter Millenar; Excel Industries chairman of Agrifac and Holmer Daniel Tragus.
The new factory is 14,000m2, up from 8,000m2 previously.
The first Condor Endurance was launched in 2015 and the factory estimates that in excess of 7.5M ha have been treated by the sprayers. The new Endurance 2 has an 8,000-litre tank and is available with booms up to 56m currently, but 60m versions will become available later in 2018. The cab is from Claas, with full suspension, and features new control layout and an improved seat. Power is from a 420hp Cummins engine replacing the previous Volvo power unit. The Endurance 2 has a new layout with the front section dedicated to the operator and used for filling. This includes the induction hopper and main tank fill point, the clean water tank, plus diesel and Adblue. The centre section contains tanks and storage and the rear is mainly pump systems and electronics. Agrifac
The Condor Endurance 2 has an 8,000-litre tank and is available with boom widths up to 56m currently but wider booms will be available later.
explained this concept maintains a clean, safe work area for the operator during spraying and maintenance and reduces opportunity for contamination or errors. Electronics and liquid plumbing are on separate sides of the machine to keep electrical systems clean and dry. Mudguards mounted to the wheel assemblies pivot during turns for extra mud protection. The main improvement for operators in terms of controls is EcoTronicPlus 2, which features a new integrated armrest and a joystick for greater ease of use. One screen is for both spray control and GPS guidance although only relevant information for the current task is displayed at any time. Agrifac’s StabiloPlus chassis is retained providing superb stability and ground clearance even on steep slopes and with the new fully suspended cab, operator comfort is described as excellent. Starting price is £300,000.
GreenFlowPlus An improved GreenFlowPlus pump and spray system is fitted, with simpler and shorter pipework for reduced residual fluid. Track width adjustment is 100cm with widths from 190–460cm. Increased ground clearance of 138cm results from the new chassis design and availability of wheels up to 230cm diameter. Turning circle is the same as that of the Condor, despite the larger tyres and the company claims reduced compaction compared to smaller self-propelled sprayers of other brands, through the increased tyre contact area. Maximum travel speed is 60kph.
Improved performance New options for Condor and the Endurance 2 sprayer include StrictHeightPlus height control. This replaces the Norac height control option available previously, and is designed and manufactured by Agrifac. continued over...
March 2018 www.farmersguide.co.uk 75
60-87 ROP Mar.indd 75
Farmers Guide Magazine March 2018 Issue