Optimised Nitrate Distribution

Codegate software maximises nitrate application for the farmer

The amount of nitrogen in a given amount of 'cake' varies widely between sewage treatment works (STWs). It is in the interest of both Water Company and Farmer to ensure the maximum amount of nitrogen is delivered and applied to each farm. Codegate’s cake tracking solution does exactly that – by using rugged Ultra Mobile PCs (UMPCs) to record the nitrogen content, delivery and spread of cake from STW to field.

Ultra Mobile PC (UMPC)

Accurate field data is collected by the Stockpiler and Spreader using an Ultra Mobile PC (UMPC). The UMPC incorporates touch screen technology meaning that the user can use a stylus in the same way as a mouse is used on a desktop PC. All on-screen controls are sized to be ‘finger friendly’. The sequence of simple, clear data collection screens can be tabbed through in sequence to reduce input time to a minimum.

Collected data is sent back to the server automatically at pre-set intervals. The system is designed to cope with a lack of GPRS connection – the application will continue to function and locally stored encrypted data will automatically synchronise when a good connection becomes available.

How it works

Active permit information for individual farms is synchronised with an external system and can be allocated to area based sales operatives. STW data including current nitrate levels are similarly synchronised. The sales operative can arrange collections from appropriate STWs and delivery to farms with an active permit. The Stockpiler will be on hand to receive deliveries and uses the UMPC to acknowledge delivery and record the amounts.

As the system knows the average load sizes for each vehicle and the nitrate content of each STW an accurate record of the total nitrate delivered against a permit is build up. The stockpiler can order new deliveries from local STWs until the permitted limit has been reached. That means the delivery route, time and cost can be kept to a minimum and the nitrate delivered is at a maximum. As the system records, times and date stamps each delivery the administration task of verifying delivery contractor invoices is greatly simplified. The Spreader also uses a UMPC to record activity as the when the stockpile is dispersed. GPS tracking and spread rate data are used to store an accurate record for each farm against each permit.

Codegate used Wireframe to rapidly develop the functional specifications

Benefits

The system uses the latest nitrate level data from all STWs and so delivers maximum cake to site. Therefore the STWs deliver maximum cake whilst the farmer deploys maximum nitrate.

The application prioritises STW deliveries by nitrate level and locality.

The number of deliveries and distance travelled to collect and deliver loads is kept to a minimum.

GPS tracking is used during spreading. The resulting controlled spreading offers best yields.

The system is easy to use and maintain. So much so that the water treatment company achieved payback within one year of deployment.