The company used a tube laser when building its new Quantum drill, which produced stronger joints in the frame
REGINA — Morris Industries toolbars entered a new era with the launch of the Quantum drill at Canada’s Farm Progress Show in Regina.
“We used to build things using two tubes, weld them together and use fish-plates and gussets. That was the premise of how we would build frames,” said Ben Voss of Morris during the company’s product-launch event at the farm show.
“That meant it could only be so strong, if you wanted it stronger the only way to get there was to make it heavier.”
Morris recently brought a tube laser into its drill production line, which has changed its manufacturing as much as a flatbed laser did when it replaced punch and shear techniques back in the 1990s, Voss said.
The tube laser allows for more sophisticated and stronger joints in the frame, which were tested by a PAMI division called WESTEST during the frame design phase.
“We took a (previous model) frame structure and we put it in their stand and we pulled it until it broke, and we could measure that,” Voss said.
“Then we took parts that we made with the tube laser. We put it through the same test until it broke, until we got a design that was much, much stronger than the old design but without the gussets and the fish-plates.”
He said this new product design process is a game changer for the company because it enables it to move quickly from a concept through design and testing phases of new products.
Instead of being butted up to be welded, the tubes for new joints have housing cut into them.
“What we do is we cut a hole on one side of the tube, slide the tube through the other side and weld it on the other side, and that is 154 percent stronger than a traditional fish-plate gusset joint,” Voss said.
When the tubes are connected in this manner, they lock together and are easier to handle and weld and there are fewer pieces to work with, which makes manufacturing the frame more efficient.
During the testing phase a producer used a 70-foot Quantum drill fitted with 16-inch sweeps when fall banding.
“He set it at four inches deep and he started cultivating. He did that for 4,000 acres, and we didn’t break anything,” Voss said.
“I’m not going to recommend you use a Quantum to cultivate, but we did, and it worked.”
The Quantum uses chrome pins that slide into hardened steel bushings at the frame hinge points.
The extra strength provided by the new joints has lessened the need for gussets and fish-plates, enabling greater flexibility in row spacing.
“The three ranks you mount the row units on are wide open, so you can slide the openers along that frame to change the spacing,” he said.
“So now we offer 10, 12, and 15 inch spacing as well as metric spacing, all on the same drill without any modification of the drill.”
Row units are easily installed or moved on the frame by fastening one accessible common bolt instead of U bolts or clamps.
Voss said the ability to change row spacing without having to modify the toolbar will make it easier for dealers to sell second-hand Quantum drills.
With a simple change in the direction of the primary hoses the Quantum can also be configured to be a tow-behind or a tow-between drill.
Garth Massie, the top agronomist at Morris, said the newly designed air system in the Quantum drill has improved the capacity of the product rates that growers can deliver.
The diffusers that re-suspend product have a flat fan structure that directs seed and product into different fingers that lead to each opener.
“It’s a larger interior size than we were selling before,” Massie said.
“It’s 28 millimetres, so it’s going to be better for large seeds like fababeans, yellow peas and things like that so there is less chance of plugging, and the ability for faster fan speeds.”
He said the new design of the diffuser also reduces variability in rates from opener to opener.
“It’s pretty typical in the industry to see somewhere in the range of seven to 10 percent variance of what an average rate of seed in a given row would be,” he said.
“We’ve reduced that by close to three fold. So in the testing that we’ve done so far, we are in the two to three (percent) variance range.”
The three-inch primary hoses are flexible hose at the folding points and stainless steel fastened directly to the frame everywhere else.
Fixing the primary hoses to the frame enables tight folding of the tool bar because there are no towers to get in the way.
The Quantum is offered in 40, 50, 60 and 70 foot configurations, which are all based off a standard centre frame.
All drill widths are designed to be used in controlled traffic farming with three metre tire spacing.
“They can have their cart and their drill on a three-metre spacing, they can have their tractor wheel tracks, they can have their combine, they can have their sprayer on the same spacing so that they can limit the traffic and limit the compaction issues,” Massie said.
The same single castor 600/50-22.5 tire is used across the front and back of the machine.
Massie said growers can rotate the mainframe tires with some of the outside tires to extend their life if needed.
The Quantum drill evolved out of the Morris Contour series of drills, and many features have been retained.
“Parallel linkage with one to one opener to packer ratio … is the best for maintaining depth control in hilly country. It is less able to lose its depth control as you go over the crowns of hills, it doesn’t carve in a seed deeper,” Massie said.
“And the seed doesn’t lose its depth placement as you go through the draws nearly as readily.”
The system that separates seed and fertilizer also carries through from the Contour, but durability has been improved with the introduction of the Shield Core line of ground engaging tools and openers.
“(Morris) invested in a high tech robotic technology that is able to put a carbide coating on any surface of a ground engaging tool to be able to make it wear longer than traditional wear surface coatings, and we can also install traditional carbide on the front,” Voss said.
He said Morris plans to launch more Shield Core products.
The hitch on the Quantum has 20 percent more steel in it then the Contour series of drills had, and there is also a greasable hitch clevis designed to articulate and prevent wear.
The same depth cam and packing system is retained from the Contour, but there is now a shim in the depth cam that increases the depth range by a full inch when it is removed.
The new hydraulic system on the Quantum is compatible with the TopCon X35 control system. Users can easily control opener pressure and packing pressure.