Global agribusiness to explore potential of innovative spray technology
Product design and development firm Cambridge Consultants has signed a licensing agreement, to evaluate its innovative Vortik spray technology, with global agribusiness Syngenta. The Swiss-based company – which operates in more than 90 countries – plans to evaluate the potential of the technology for agriculture and lawn-care applications.
Vortik allows different liquids to be mixed at the point of spray without altering the spray characteristics – giving instantaneous control over chemical composition and enabling more precise application of products such as pesticides.
Conventional atomisers use either a high pressure or high air flow to create a spray. Vortik combines low-pressure air and liquid in a specially shaped cyclone chamber. Shear between swirling air and the liquids creates the desired droplet size for spraying.
“Vortik opens up a range of new possibilities for crop protection and treatment,” said Nathan Wrench, head of industrial product development at Cambridge Consultants. “As well as the benefits of in-nozzle mixing at the point of spray, the technology can be combined with a network of sensors to enable variation of a formulation based on real-time feedback. It also allows spray quality to be controlled over a wide range of operating flow rates.
“We are delighted to have signed this non-exclusive evaluation agreement with Syngenta – a world leader in agrochemicals. We believe the innovative Vortik technology, combined with our extensive experience in industrial sensing and control, could make a significant impact on agriculture. With a complete range of engineering disciplines under one roof, we are uniquely placed to help clients such as Syngenta develop real breakthroughs in their industries.”
Spraying systems using the Vortik technology are less prone to blockages than conventional nozzles as the outlet is large in diameter compared with the droplets being created. The technology allows for tight control of fluid concentration and for a wide variety of liquid flow rates – reducing wastage. The particle size of spray droplets can also be controlled to reduce drift depending on the weather, vehicle speed or crop types – a key benefit in the European Union, where regulation requires agriculture to reduce the risk of spray drift.
“One of the most rewarding things about working at Syngenta is that our actions and products can help address one of the planet’s most challenging dilemmas – how to grow more crops from less resources,” said Leslie May, head of solutions innovation at Syngenta. “Collaborating with partners to explore combinations of technologies that may address the challenges growers face is an important way of bringing added value to our customers.
“We are keen to explore the potential of the Vortik technology developed by Cambridge Consultants as part of our ambition to bring winning innovation into the hands of growers.”