CRF Costruzioni S.r.l.

- Potting Machine

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The innovative potting machinery, model POT & GO, represents a new vision of the concept of potting : optimising logistic efficiency and minimising labour cost. The machine was designed and built to enable potting operations as near as possible to the work area in greenhouse or land area in order to optimise time and number of operators required. The machine conveniently operates on varied land surfaces, including flat plains and sloping areas. It does require electrical power cables due to it’s hydraulic operation. Ideal for medium to larger sized companies and contractors.

WORKING PROCESS

Once levelled and stationed alongside the main work areas of the nursery or greenhouse, supply of peat, pots and seedlings must be added, operators can then begin the potting process. As the photograph demonstrates, one or two operators repot from their work stations on the turntable while two or more workers use the optional conveyor belts to off load the pots onto the ground with sufficient distance between them.Side view of the turntable during the potting phase with 15 litres pots (28 cm of diameter).

ADAPTABILITY

The machine has been designed and built to include the potting of a varied selection of pot sizes : ranging from 1 litre pots (12 cm diameter) to 25 litres (33 cm diameter) when utilising the standard turntable function.
For pots with a larger capacity or large tubs, a semi-circular seed hopper–cochlea system (positioned transversely under the loading hopper), and a mobile deflector (funnel) to evenly distribute the peat can be utilised.

HOLE EXECUTION

The image shows the Screw auger during the hole creation process. The holes as shown, are well centred and of a suitable depth that enable the operator to repot the chosen seedling easily and efficiently. As indicated, there are always two pots under the peat discharging hopper in order to guarantee adequate replenishment including those of larger dimensions. The profit flight with an adjustable height, removes the excess peat to facilitate the screw auger hole.View of the Hydraulic potting system POT&GO.An operator positioned at the turntable work station during the seedling potting process.Near the conveyor belt, there is an expulsion lever, which moves the pot onto the conveyor belt and transports it off the turntable, enabling a continuous potting process.

POT PLACEMENT

Utilising the supplementary conveyor belts, the operator is able to easily and efficiently place the pots on the ground, allowing adequate distance between them.

PEAT SUPPLY

The peat supply is added from the rear by the use of a front loader.
Additional optional side panels can be added to increase the peat capacity.

SEEDLING AND POT SUPPLY

The supply of seedlings to be potted is added from the front of the machine by way of baskets. A single operator is able to follow the seedling and peat supply, and when necessary the pot replenishment positioned alongside the greenhouse.

SEEDLING OR PLATEAU CONVEYOR BELT

The use of the optional seedling or plateau conveyor belt, guarantees a continuous seedling potting process.Image of an emplacement of 10.000 m2 of pots just repotted by the machine POT & GO at the Mates Plants greenhouse in Albinia.

PEAT CARGING HOPPER

The potting machine is equipped with a wide charging hopper with a load capacity equal to 5 m3 of peat.
This capacity can be further increased with the use of the additional optional side panels.
In the lower section, lies the peat conveyor belt, which is commanded by a connecting rod of ratchet gear.

POT REPLENISHMENT

View of the blade conveyor belt used for filling the pots during the turning of the turntable.
As the photo shows, there are always two pots under the charging hopper so as to obtain an adequate filling for a range of pots including those of larger dimensions.

SCROW AUGER

The screw auger is one of the fundamental components of the potting machine: it is imperative that a well centred hole of adequate depth is created to enable the operator to pot the chosen seedling. The screw auger must be changed according to the pot size and seedling used.
The screw auger mechanism is synchronized with the turntable by a connecting rod-crank handle system: when the turntable moves a position, the screw auger moves upwards along two vertical guides; while the pot is stopped under the screw auger, it moves downwards to create the required hole.

As the screw auger rises again, the turntable rotates again to acquire a new pot full of peat in which it will create another required hole.
The screw auger is also equipped with a clay-pigeon which presses lightly on the pot whilst on the turntable which simultaneously avoids the collapse of the borders around the hole.

POT TURNTABLE

The potting machine is equipped with a large turntable for pot handling: in fact, there are a series of arms with clay-pigeons attached that aid in supporting the pots, guide rails for containment, and a series of cleaning arms that clear out the turntable base and transport the excess peat back into the hopper itself. Adjustable external and internal guide rails control the movement of the pots during the rotation.
The rotation speed of the turntable can be adjusted according to pot dimension and the number of operators available.

EXPULSION LEVER

The working mechanism of an expulsion lever is synchronized with that of the turntable and therefore the pots are transferred onto the conveyor belt. Utilising additional optional belts, the pots can be transported a considerable distance from the machinery itself. Each time the turntable moves a position, the ejector lever directs the pot onto the conveyor belt and away from the machine, enabling a continuous potting process.

DRIVER'S PLATFORM

The driver’s platform is on the front left hand side. All commands, levers, the steering device, the brake pedal and the hand brake are ergonomically positioned to facilitate operation. The image shows the cylinder command levers utilised for machine levelling.

HYDRAULIC SYSTEM

The gasoil tank and the hydraulic oil tank are placed on the right machine side, in the central zone; the diesel motor, is fixed in the rear right part, far from the work station.

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