Drainage pipe sizing added to Farm Works Surface Software

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Trimble announced that it has added automatic pipe sizing to its Farm Works Surface software. The new feature allows contractors and farmers to improve accuracy and increase efficiency when designing farm drainage systems. 

Farm Works Surface is an analysis and design tool that works with the Trimble® WM-Drain® farm drainage solution. This new feature provides recommended drainage pipe sizes for an entire system design, as well as an estimate on cost and material required for the project. With this feature, drainage contractors and farmers can quickly and efficiently produce optimal drainage designs while also reducing project costs. The designs can be imported to in-field drainage equipment for automated installation using the Trimble FmX® integrated display.

Diameters are recommended for all pipes within the user’s drainage network based on the terrain, depth, pipe materials available for the project and drainage coefficient, which represents how much water will be drained from a field within 24 hours. The customer has the choice to use the recommended pipe sizes or manually assign different pipe sizes. Users can view a chart of where the pipe is placed (terrain level, maximum depth, recommended depth, pipe size and length) as well as where constraints need to be modified to ensure optimal performance. The system also provides a report to help customers determine the required length of pipe, the cost of connection supplies and the total system cost.

Benefits of automatic pipe sizing include:

  • Designing an efficient drainage system to remove excess water from the soil in order to enhance crop yield
  • Decreasing errors with a simplified design process that eliminates manual calculation
  • Achieving cost savings by ensuring the correct size of pipe is installed in the right place in the field

“The addition of automatic pipe sizing to our Farm Works Surface software provides real benefit to contractors and farmers because it sizes the drainage pipe based on input from the entire drainage system and not just a tile line at a time,” said David Fitzpatrick, Water Solutions business area director of Trimble’s Agriculture Division. “This new feature can contribute to increased system efficiency due to optimal pipe sizes, and can also help contractors provide a more accurate quote to their customers, while enabling them to know exactly how much material to purchase.”

“The way most pipe sizing calculations are done today is time consuming and inaccurate,” said Joey Schlatter, who designs drainage systems for family-owned businesses Schlatter’s Inc. and West Central Water Management, LLC. “The new automatic pipe sizing feature in Farm Works Surface is saving me significant time in the drainage design process. For an average size job it might take me a couple of hours to design it and at least 30 minutes to an hour to manually calculate pipe size properly. With automatic pipe sizing, the calculation time is now literally down to minutes.”

Automatic pipe sizing is currently available as a feature of Farm Works Surface software.


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