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Injection Pump Calibration

Introduction

We recommend the following field procedure to check or calibrate the injection pumps. This procedure requires a catch basin or container of at least 60 oz with graduation marks. In this example we will collect a 56 oz sample. There is nothing special about the 56 oz number, in fact, collecting more material leads to smaller measurement errors. It is important to get a very accurate measurement of the volume of fluid collected. In this example we will calibrate pump 1. The procedure is the same for all pumps.

We suggest doing all calibrations using water to keep the procedure as simple and safe as possible. However, it may be necessary to calibrate with the actual chemical if it is an extremely thick, heavy, or viscous fluid.

Procedure

Check the current pump calibration number and application rate of the pump being calibrated. Also check the and Test Speed and Boom C width values. These should be typical for your sprayer operations. If not, reset them to a typical value, refer to Norstar Typical Calibration Numbers to find good starting values.

Perform the following procedure with the vehicle stopped and the main carrier pump not running. To safeguard against back flushing and siphoning, shut off the suction line valves at the water tank. Thoroughly flush all injection lines and fill tanks with clean water before performing the calibration procedure.

  1. Fill the chemical tank(s) with clean water, more than enough to complete the calibration procedure. Ensure connection to the proper injection pumps. Turn all booms off.
  2. Set the RS6000 control console switches as specified:
    • Master Switch: Off
    • Boom Switches: Off
    • Rotary Selector: Auto
  3. Set the TASC control console switches as specified:
    • Power: On
    • Mode Selector: Operate
    • Display Selector: Chemicals, Chem Applied
    • Pump 1 Switch: On (center position)
This will display the accumulated volume for pump 1.
  1. Select SET-UP with the Mode Selector switch. The console will now display the current pump calibration number.
  2. Go back to the pump and perform the flush operation.
  3. Install the calibration hose on the quick disconnect on the calibration valve. Turn the handle on the calibration valve so the arrow on the handle points towards the quick disconnect.
  4. Open the cover on pump 1. Press and hold the Calibrate Button (MT500 pump) or place the magnet on the module (50/150/200 pumps).
  5. Allow the pump to run until the lines are flushed and filled with liquid.
  6. Release the button or remove the magnet.
  7. Return to the control console and switch the mode select to operate.
  8. Use the INC/DEC switch to zero the accumulated volume for pump 1 and switch back to setup.
  9. Now go back to the pump and perform the test.
  10. Direct the discharge line from the injection pump into the graduated container.
  11. Press and hold the Calibrate Button, or place the magnet, and allow the pump to discharge into the calibration container. Release the button, or remove the magnet, when enough material is in the calibration container.

Finish with the same amount of water in the calibration tube as you started with.

  1. Measure the amount of liquid dispensed into the calibration container.
  2. Return to the TASC console and change the mode switch to Operate. The number displayed is the indicated volume for pump 1.
  3. Compare the indicated volume from the TASC to the measured volume in the calibration container. If they match the pump calibration is good. If the measurement varies more than about 1% use the following equation to calculate a new calibration number.

pump tube calibration equation

For Example:

Assume we collected 56 oz in the calibration container. The TASC console shows it dispensed 53 oz. The current calibration number for pump 1 is 145.0. Putting these values into the equation, we end up with a new calibration number of 153.2:

pump tube calibration example equation

  1. To adjust the calibration number, change the mode switch to SET-UP and use the INC/DEC switch to adjust the number.
  2. Switch the mode switch back to OPERATE. The volume displayed now should match the volume collected in the calibration container.
  3. Turn off pump 1. Turn the handle on the calibration valve so it points towards the rear of the calibration valve.
  4. The pump is now ready for normal operation.

Calibration Tips

  • Perform calibrations with test speed set at normal spraying speed, Boom C (calibration width) at your maximum spray width in inches, and the desired application rate.
  • If the measured volume is continuously lower than the indicated volume it is possible the pump tube is worn and needs to be replaced. 
  • Only use the clear calibration hoses supplied with the machine. They allow you to see any air bubbles that could cause inaccurate results.
  • Repeat the calibration procedure to ensure consistent results.
  • The injection pumps are considered calibrated at an error of 1% or less.
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