Like a flying carpet from the fairy tale of 1000 and 1 nights, the Roofmaster roof washer 'flies' between the greenhouses. With this roof washer, or greenhouse deck cleaner from Heerhugowaard, growers have been cleaning their roofs and gutters since its introduction thirty years ago.
The machine moves over the roof with rotating brushes and then uses a platform to get to the next peak. Or to another greenhouse. Manufacturer Besseling Techniek has developed a unique concept for this, which will soon be on display in China. Jorien Schouten-Plak explains.
"Although every platform is unique, there are situations that call for a bit of extra customization and work from the engineers. As companies try to make the best possible use of the ground, there is sometimes very little space left between the greenhouses. In that case, the platforms may not be able to move past each other, or an investment in two systems is simply too much to ask."
For this, the engineers at Besseling Techniek came up with a crossing platform. "Some customers call it a 'hover platform' because, with a little imagination, it looks a bit like a flying carpet flying between greenhouses. The platform is connected to the two top rails and thus glides with the machine onboard, along the facades."
The advantages for the customer are obvious: with a single installation, both greenhouses are washed, a machine with a platform does not have to be moved from one greenhouse to the other, and there are also savings because there are no duplicate items to be purchased.
The first versions of this type of platform were installed in the 1990s and were then still equipped with a small scissor elevator on the platform, with which the machine was lifted and turned in order to be able to move forward again. This is not always possible due to lack of space or because lifting a 500-600kg machine at the height of 5-7 meters is subject to many safety regulations. That is why the designers got back to the drawing table and created a modern and safe solution.
The 'old' version of the crossing platform
By equipping the machine with so-called mirror software, the Roofmaster can wash the opposite greenhouse without being turned around. "After all, forward becomes reverse and vice versa. This has resulted in a safe and above all efficient way of working that has proven itself already."
New and 'old' side by side
Dozens of such Roofmaster installations have found their way to growers, including well-known names of Dutch growers such as Agro Care (Middenmeer and Tunisia) and Hoogweg Paprika Nurseries (Luttelgeest and Marknesse), Van Gennip, Red Harvest, Kwekerij Andijk and Tas Paprika. "Many other growers at home and abroad have been able to experience the added value of the crossing system."
Recently, Besseling Techniek signed an agreement with Chinese greenhouse builder Kingpeng for the delivery of three Roofmaster crossing installations in northern China. "Because we as Besseling Techniek have the ISO 9001 certificate, give a three-year warranty on the installation and have a local team ready for the installation, the builders expressed their confidence in us. The safe way of working, combined with efficient washing and a cost-saving on the entire project compared to the usual platforms, were reasons to purchase the installations, which are still unique to China."
The Roofmasters will enchant growers with this innovative way of working, Jorien is sure. "After all, it is similar to the flying carpet from the fairy tale with 1000 and 1 nights. This time, however, not a fairy tale, but reality from North Holland soil."
For more information:
+31 6 14 72 06 93