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23 June 2023

Why is the PowerFlex system the best rain protection system?

Why is the PowerFlex system the best rain protection system?

A question we regularly get is: ''why are you the best'' or "Why is your system the best?" We fully understand this question. When you have to invest a lot of money you look 3 times at the price and  20 times at what you get.

So what is the best rain protection system? That depends on what you are looking for, and in this blog I want to tell you all the technical secrets of this rain cover. So that you can decide whether this rain canopy suits you or not.

This blog contains many links to other pages on our website. To get a fair idea of whether this system suits you, I recommend reading the whole blog first and then the links. 

I want to discuss with you the following factors:

  1. Gutter
  2. Insects
  3. Lifetime
  4. Add-ons
  5. Price
  6. Distances
  7. Winter/summer mode
  8. Mounting
  9. Our promise
  10. Technical data sheet

Did you know that: there are also Kanzi apples under the PowerFlex system? Click here for more information!

Kanzi apples rain protection

History

But before I discuss those factors, let me tell you the history of this system.

The PowerFlex system was designed and further developed by 2 apple growers. These 2 Austrian apple growers had already designed a hail net system out of dissatisfaction with the then quality hail net systems. When the hail net systems were just entering the market, they were not tested. So it was a regular occurrence for systems to collapse.

After much frustration, the apple growers designed a system themselves, but more importantly, thoroughly tested and calculated, by trial and error. After the hail net systems proved to be a proven construction, the growers also designed a rain canopy with the same vision: affordable, proven fruitsystems that protect.

There have now been almost 25 years of continued development of the PowerFlex system. The first systems were 'double' systems. First a layer of foil, and above that a layer of hail netting. So the cherry trees could first be protected from hail and birds, by the hail net. And when the cherries were almost ripe also from rain.

There were growers who closed the foil very early, to bring the cherries forward. The foil went into summer mode almost at the same time as the hail net. This is where the first system emerged with hail netting in the gutter instead of above it. The hail net could not yet disappear completely because birds still had to be kept out of the system.

Then came the Suzuki fly. Anyone who works in fruit growing knows that this is a real disaster for many soft fruits. As a result, the system was now also implemented with suzuki netting. Soon it was decided to replace the hail net around the plot with insect netting. And insect netting in the gutter also became the standard. All the insect netting made the system insect-proof. This is positive if you want to keep insects out. But not if the system needs to be vented properly. A clever gutter solution was thought of for this.

After all these years, the PowerFlex system has remained a proven system, and expanded into an ultimate protection system.

The 10 measuring points whether this rain protection systems suits you

1. The ridge and gutter

The ridge of the PowerFlex system is quite unique. 2 strips of film are mounted on the ridge with a special protective film. As a result, there is actually no chance of your cherries, through the ridge, getting wet.

Many growers, and ourselves, worried years ago whether this system would air. Because the ridge is so tightly sealed, no air can escape either. Fortunately, our Belgian friends at PC Fruit investigated this. This research can be read here.

The rock-solid gutter construction allows the system to blow through, but perhaps more importantly, the system still protects the cherries from rain.

Does the system fit you checklist:

  • The cherries have to stay dry.
  • I think it is important that the system is tested.
  • My system must be able to air out, but without damaging my fruit.

regenkap duitsland

2. Insect and bird proofing

Actually, every measuring point is connected.

The ridge, gutter construction, foil, etc. all ensure that this system is insect-proof. Other rain covers are often insect-proof as well. So why is this point among them?

Insects are a big problem in fruit farming. And that's why FruitSecurity has put a lot of time and attention into developing this system for years. So making the system insect-proof is very important to us.

The system can be equipped with a sliding door, corridor or motorised door without any problems.

All this to prevent the canopy from being exposed to insects more than necessary. 

The debate about whether Suzuki flies only fly into the system from the side, or also from above, took a while. We prefer to protect both. Around the plot insect netting, and in the gutter. The extra cost involved is very small compared to the damage it can cause. But, we let you put together the system yourself, with our advice.

If the system is insect-proof, it is also bird-proof.

Does the system fit you checklist:

  • My system must have optimal protection from insects.
  • My system must be accessible, but not open more often than necessary.
  • My system protected all around the system, and in the gutter.

Rain protected cherries

3. Lifespan and maintenance

Innovations are nice. But nobody buys the latest, most expensive pruning shears that last 2 pruning cycles.

Lifespan depends on very many factors. How much wind blows in your area, do you maintain the system properly, do you tighten the system every year, do you repair things that are broken immediately, etc.

The PowerFlex system is low-maintenance. So how much work does it take per year?

If we don't include rolling up and unrolling the system, (You can find more information on that here) these are important points that do need to be done every year:

  • Unwinding the system
  • Repair any damage

In the construction is the strength of the system, if the wires are not properly tensioned every year, the construction is weak, and the system may not work as it should.

If all goes well, it never has to. Repair damage. But it is always possible that a picker pokes a step through the foil, a tractor hits a pole, or the foil does rub against something. Repair this immediately. Small holes become big holes. And big holes mean fewer cherries.

Does the system fit you checklist:

  • I am willing to maintain my system because it is a significant investment. Or I'll call FruitSecurity to fix it.

4.Add-on’s

As mentioned earlier, the PowerFlex system is never really finished. Just like fruit growing! Problems come and problems go. (Unfortunately, in fruit growing, we see them coming more often than going).

Here is a list of what we call Add-ons:

  • Corridor
  • GT Net protector
  • Annual maintenance by FruitSecurity
  • Row numbers
  • Weather sensors
  • Tools
  • Manuals
  • Installation video
  • 3D videos
  • Frost Ovens
  • Gravel trunks
  • Bayco wire
  • Mounting aid
  • Irrigation 
  • Support 

These extensions can be bought immediately upon purchase. But also afterwards to spread the costs. We do not offer most extensions as standard, because part of our vision is to deliver affordable systems.

Does the system fit you checklist:

  • My system must be affordable.
  • My system is the basis for optimal protection. After this, it can always be expanded.
  • I want to be in contact with a supplier who has all the crop protection in house.

5. Price

Again, all the points fit together nicely. That is our vision: affordable, tested systems that optimally protect crops.

We are transparent about the price of our systems (check the current price here). This means you know where you stand even before you have contacted us. As far as we know, our rain hood is not the most expensive. If it is, we would like to see the proof.

The system can be made as expensive as you want. But not cheaper. This is because it must remain a tested system, so smaller anchor distances, or larger post distances are not possible.

Does the system fit you checklist:

  • I want a supplier who knows what can and cannot do. And who doesn't deviate from it to drive the price down.
  • I want an affordable system.
  • I want a supplier who communicates openly and honestly about the price of the system.

This video clearly explains the price of a PowerFlex system. (English subtitles)

6. Distances

Our systems are tested. Every post spacing, every anchor spacing, every clip, etc.

Can't I use fewer clips then? Everything is possible. But we FruitSecurity have tested and calculated it so that you can be busy growing the best fruit. Because of this, it is not desirable to use a different clip, or a different spacing. Every component is made to become 1 whole together. Petrol in a tractor can cause a lot of damage.

Optimal protection and complete turn-key is what we at FruitSecurity call it. You are busy growing the best fruit possible. We are busy with protecting fruit!

Does the system fit you checklist:

  • Above all, my system must do what it was built to do: provide years of optimal protection.
  • I want to be relieved of worry in this. (Even if I build it myself, I want to know system parameters. This ensures I never make the mistakes that have already been made).

7. Winter/summer mode

Rolling up and rolling out a system takes time. (See here how much). Because your time is precious, it is always too much time.

As mentioned earlier, this rain hood is designed with a vision: affordable, tested system.

1 of the important factors in this is user-friendliness of the system. Compared to other rain covers, the PowerFlex system has a slightly longer assembly time. These extra hours are needed to make the system more user-friendly. This makes rolling up and unrolling the system easier and faster.

You might ask yourself, there are also systems that are rolled up with a pulley or drill right? That's right! We cannot compete with all these systems when it comes to user-friendliness.

So the choice is yours. A good affordable tested system, or a bit more expensive system that is more user-friendly.

Does the system fit you checklist:

  • I understand that a rain hood cannot have everything, which is why I choose affordability, and tested systems.

Checklist for not buying:

  • For me, it is more important that it rolls up quickly. I am marketing my fruit at an excellent price so I can also invest more.

Did you fill in the 'don't buy' checklist here? Maybe our fully automatic rain canopy is something for you! The PowerFlex system is not the only rain hood we supply. Want more information about that canopy? Get in touch with us!

Check out the PowerFlex system in winter mode and Fall Creek about this rain hood here.

8. Installation

We would be happy to assemble the system for you. But I don't want to talk about that here now.

FruitSecurity Holland has made efforts in recent years to train fruit growers to become fruit canopy builders. This through manuals, 3D videos, assembly videos an extra project leader, training our inside sales team, etc. to be able to guide you as best as possible in building our canopy.

Click here to read all about assembly and self-assembly provided by us.

Does the system fit you checklist:

  • I want my system built by an experienced team/I want an experienced team to help me build my system.

Did you know: FruitSecurity Holland has built nearly 400 projects worldwide.

9. Our commitment

We care about global fruit growing. Through our years of contact with fruit growers, we now know better than anyone else what it must be like for you to see your crop fail with just one hailstorm. That is why we have now roofed over 6,500,000 m2 in 24 countries and we work closely with the best partners in global fruit growing.

What to make of this story?

Nothing. It is a promise we make to you as a FruitSecurity Holland customer. We will always be there for you, and as far as we can try to help you grow the best fruit.

We will keep you informed of developments in the world of protection. Come to you for an appointment. And think along with you.

Does the system fit you checklist:

  • I want an equal, win-win relationship with FruitSecurity Holland.

protected berries

10. PowerFlex datasheet

In the previous chapters, I have given you technical information about the system. But also what we can do for you.

Even more technical information is here, in this datasheet.

Does the system fit you checklist:

  • The system I understand in the basics.
  • I have confidence in this system.

Regenkap

Is this your rain protection system?

Is this the system that suits you? We have put a lot of time and thought into this blog to coach you as best we can in your choice. Still not convinced? We will be happy to talk to you to clear up any further doubts. Didn't help? Is this rain hood just not your rain hood? Then we will be happy to help you find the supplier that does suit you.

Are you really ready to take the next step?

Get in touch with us!


Wilbert Hendriksen    

Wilbert Hendriksen

Productspecialist fruitprotection

My mission and duty is to help as many fruit growers as possible get a good harvest.

So that fruit damage can be prevented, no delivery problems occur

and that fruit growers can harvest successfully!

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