Revitalize your sprayer: ARAG precision retrofit solutions
Jul 31, 2023
ARAG targets both OEM market and parts to update older sprayers.
With precision spraying technology on a meteoric rise, it may seem like your equipment is falling behind. Some available upgrades could mean you don’t have to put your sprayer out to pasture just yet.
The Italian company ARAG Precision Technology recently opened a distribution subsidiary in the United States in a move to expand operations. In June, ARAG signed an agreement to be acquired by Nordson Corporation to expand the company's presence in the North American market.
The company works with original equipment manufacturers (OEM) for first fit and also produces aftermarket parts to retrofit older sprayers, spreaders, and planters. Its catalog has more than 12,000 items, including GPS and computer monitoring systems inside the cab, nozzles, valves, and spraying tips.
“If you look at our catalog, it’s as thick as the New York White Pages,” says Jeff Happe, North American president for ARAG. “We provide a solution for every-thing from touch to tip.” In addition to work done for manufacturers, ARAG also designs parts to update old spraying machinery to meet the standards of new precision systems.
“A sprayer that was built five years ago is not going to be as technologically advanced as one that launched today, but it’s still a great piece of equipment,” says Happe.
Stewart Bell, technical sales manager for ARAG, works as the liaison between ARAG and OEM sprayer manufacturers in North America. Bell has been in agriculture his whole life, growing up on a black Angus beef farm in Radford, Virginia. He graduated from Clemson University with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural mechanization and business, and he later earned his master’s degree in agricultural sciences.
Bell was drawn to this position while developing an automated nitrogen fertigation system on a lateral-move irrigation system in college. Due to the specificity of the work, he spent a lot of time on the phone with the sales representative who sold him the parts.
“If I had an issue on a tractor while I was working on a research plot, he’s who I would call,” says Bell. “I always thought it was neat that even if it was 7 o’clock at night on a Friday, and I was alone in a field, I could call my sales rep. He was my lifeline for technical help.”
In his role, Bell says he helps to maintain a constant flow of communication among ARAG and the OEM’s engineers, sales, and purchasing groups, with the overarching objective to provide an innovative product to the farmer.
“My job is to put the best precision ag equipment I can bring to the market in the hands of the OEMs that ultimately makes it back to the farmer,” says Bell. “I take into consideration at the end of the day, this section valve or rate controller is going to bring value to their farm.”
The company’s design and manufacturing departments, located at the ARAG headquarters in Rubiera, Italy, are always looking for potential solutions not currently provided by the market. By gathering customer-specific data, the team aims to develop parts that are cost-effective, intuitively designed, and easy to use without com-promising the product’s life span, quality, or function. ARAG keeps a close eye on cutting-edge trends in the precision ag space to try to deliver a comprehensive solution tailored to each OEM customer.
“Farmers tell us about what they’d like to achieve on their farm — how much input they want to deliver, and the speed they’d like to do it at,” says Happe. “We use our engineers, experts, and salespeople to help communicate with the farmer to understand what they need and what’s achievable. If something’s outside of the scope, maybe it drives a development project. That’s how you launch new products.”Title:Resides In:Hometown:Education:Expertise: Contact:BackgroundEducationREAD MORE: The advancement of precision tillage technologyREAD MORE: How Wright Implement helps farmers adopt new technologies