There have been numerous devices produced for checking the flow from boom sprayer nozzles over the years.  Up until now the majority have all required that the device is securely located over the orifice of the nozzle with a flexible cup so that none of the spray liquid escapes.  This has proved very difficult to achieve.  This new piece of equipment (FlowCheck) eliminates the need to seal the nozzle to the device.

Throughout the EU the regular testing of sprayers is now either mandatory or voluntary.  Under the SUD (Sustainable Use Directive*) from November 2016 all sprayers will require testing every five years until 2020,  from which time the interval will become three years, or as in the case of the UK an annual voluntary test will be carried out.  One of the components of the test is the flow rate of the spray nozzles.  Under the SUD all nozzles on a boom will be required to be tested whereas in the UK at least one nozzle on each boom section shall be tested for flow rate compliance.  Nozzles are required to be within +/- 10% of the manufacturers supplied data for that nozzle.  In the UK nozzle testing is carried out using a measuring cylinder and a stop-watch.  Nozzles are tested for 1 minute. This is both time consuming and inaccurate.  Inaccurate because, unless there is a flat horizontal surface on which to place the measuring cylinder errors may occur in viewing the position of the meniscus and in the case of the timing it is virtually impossible to remove the cylinder from under the nozzle at exactly one minute.  Only 1 second beyond or before could result in an error of +/- 1.66%.  The alternative is to remove all the nozzles and to test them on a dedicated device.  Whilst this is accurate it is nevertheless very time consuming.

What is FlowCheck?

BFS FlowCheck is a simple, low cost, but extremely accurate piece of equipment that enables the operator to check the flow output of a sprayer without the use of a measuring cylinder or stopwatch.  It has been tested for accuracy by the NSTS and has been given approval to be used as part of their tests.

FlowCheck allows quick, accurate and simple testing of the nozzles, in-situ on the boom.  Set the dial at the base of the FlowCheck to the nozzle size being tested e.g. 0.3, hang the FlowCheck(s) on the boom below the nozzle, several nozzles may be checked at the same time by using a  FlowCheck for each nozzle, turn on the pump, set the pressure to 3 bar and the FlowCheck will accurately measure the flow.

The FlowCheck consists of two concentric tubes, the inner one being open at the top and the outer being a clear plastic, with a graduated transparent nozzle flow rate chart fixed to the outside, just below the top.  The scales are colour coded and graduated for eight sizes of ISO nozzles. At the bottom of the tube is a rotatable disc with eight precision moulded orifices corresponding to the eight ISO nozzle categories 01,015, 02, 025, 03, 035, 04, 05, which are required to be tested. These nozzle sizes are visible on the disc and may be selected by rotating the disc to the appropriate position.  

The chosen orifice is then in the correct position to allow the device to be used to measure the flow from the selected nozzle size. This device simplifies and speeds up the checking of nozzles during a sprayer test.  

Many individual farmers will want to use the device to self check their nozzles prior to the start of the “season” or before the sprayer test is due.  If something is simple and quick to do, it is more likely to be done.

If you have any questions or would like to place an order, come and visit stand 181 at CropTec.

CropTec 2016

We also have over 140 exhibitors at the event displaying the latest science and technology across the trade stands, while CropTec’s well established seminars and hubs will feature the latest thinking on a range of key arable topics delivered by leading specialists.

The event is free to attend for those visitors that pre-book their tickets. ALL visitors will be charged £15 on the day.