Manufacturing capacity at the UK headquarters of Vitax drew praise from a Swiss delegation visiting the turf treatment and technology specialists to learn more about their linemarking machine assembly and paint production plant.
The force behind the pioneering SWOZI GPS linemarking technology that Vitax is delivering to the UK turfcare sector, Mario Hutter of SWOZI AG, flew in to meet managing director Daniel Wilkinson and sales & marketing manager Mike King this week. Their mission? To view first-hand the purpose-built machines equipped with the GPS driven technology that allows turfcare professionals to mark out sports pitches with pinpoint accuracy without aids such as tapes, string or laser.
Mario Hutter was delighted to learn of the overwhelming interest in the linemarking system, marketed here as Supaturf SWOZI, when it was unveiled at Saltex last November. “Vitax have the facilities to deliver what customers need,” he said. “The company has the expertise to design and develop machines and paints that help them provide reliable, professional results for sports turf.”
The scope of the Vitax manufacturing facility at Coalville, Leicestershire, also drew praise from the visiting VIPs, who remarked on the efficiency of the linemarking machine assembly area, paint formulation facility and design functions.
“The clear vote of confidence in our capacity to roll out the Supaturf SWOZI as state of the art technology enabled by our purpose designed and built linemarkers is vital in delivering what is the most advanced system of its kind available,” said Mike King.
Vitax is currently organising demonstrations for the Supaturf SWOZI GPS system throughout the UK.
Vitax Evensprey machines make life easier for One Leisure (Huntingdonshire District Council) sports grounds, and an East London Housing Association (Poplar Housing & Regeneration Community Association)
The Groundsman – One Leisure
Vitax granular and liquid amenity fertilisers are used to great effect on Cradley Heath bowls green, where a programme of fertilisers has been put together and given to the Head Groundsman.
Cradley Heath Bowls Green in Bowls International
Marking out hazards on golf courses can prove a right pain in the grass. Crondon Park Course Manager Steve Thorne thought so, which is why he changed his approach to traffic management at the Essex 18-hole proprietary parkland course.
“We used literally hundreds of wooden marker posts to stake out the several water hazards and out of bounds areas on the course,” he recalls, “but these were unsatisfactory for several reasons. Hazard posts relied solely on line of sight to judge when a ball was out of bounds and our greens team had to keep climbing off the turf machines to lift posts out of the ground to cut the grass, which was inconvenient to say the least.”
Steve approached the club manager with his concerns and received the go-ahead to adopt a more practicable method of managing course traffic – linemarking. He purchased a Briteliner Arrow linemarking machine from Vitax distributor Indigrow and has never looked back since. “The price was right and the Arrow really comes into its own in the summer months, when we can apply out of bounds lines clearly and quickly and refresh them every two to three weeks as necessary. We’ve reduced the 20 to 30 posts previously needed around a water hazard to just six or seven – a major saving in costs and in time for the greens team in pulling out posts to mow the grass, while the lines provide crystal clear guidance on when a ball is in or out of bounds.”
Walk this way . . . To stand A2 at BTME Harrogate next Tuesday to Thursday, when Vitax will be talking traffic management and how their Briteliner Arrow is helping managers rethink what can be a frustrating aspect of course maintenance.
Go with the Ultraflo when hydrophobic conditions strike the course
Rain may fall in bucket-loads but if the sward turns hydrophobic it’ll be like water off a duck’s back. Having Vitax Ultraflo Advance in your programme will give your greens the best chance of coping with stress.
This long-term, non-ionic wetting agent promotes deeper rooting and discourages dry spot caused by drought stress. Not only that, it can reduce the course irrigation load by up to 30% to boost green credentials and cut the water bill.
Available in liquid, tablet and granular form, Ultraflo Advance restores the soil’s natural ability to attract and retain water, ensuring it is evenly distributed throughout the rootzone, alleviating issues of localised dry spots. Improved water penetrating formulation also helps reduce runoff from slopes and the risk of waterlogging that may result, while a dilution rate of just 1:19 allows the team to deliver far greater coverage from a single tank.
Talk to the team at BTME
Vitax has announced the appointment of a new Managing Director following a company restructure. Daniel Wilkinson has taken over the helm on 1st January 2016, replacing Paul Gooding who has stepped aside to concentrate on his role as Chairman.
With over 20 years’ experience in the professional and consumer horticulture sector, Daniel will concentrate on driving the business forward, growing it both organically and through acquisition. “Over the past few years Vitax has gone from strength to strength, and Daniel’s appointment confirms our commitment to the brand and our customers” says Paul Gooding, Vitax’s Chairman. “With an already experienced and well respected sales team, Daniel will be well supported as he looks to consolidate Vitax’s position in the market and expand into new areas.”
Daniel joined the company eight years ago following the acquisition of the Nutrel Group. As the former owner and Managing Director of Nutrel, Daniel continued with the business as Commercial Director, responsible for its growth both nationally and internationally. “Vitax has experienced growth year on year and we need to keep that momentum going. 2016 will see a range of new products hit the market and plans are already well under way for the 2017 season” says Daniel. “The challenge is how to take an already established brand and build on its success. Vitax already has a first class reputation, we just need to continue to innovate and work with our customers to ensure we have the right products to meet demand.”
BIGGA education partner Vitax Amenity is promoting the new opportunities for linemarking technology on golf course traffic management at the show in January 2016.
The next generation Briteliner Arrow, unveiled at BTME 2015, is already being applied successfully for a range of duties at clubs across Britain, including boundary, hazard lines and driving ranges. The benefits of speed, accuracy and cost efficiency that linemarking machines bring to course management are compelling reasons for greenkeepers to commit increasingly to this technology.
GPS is transforming the world of linemarking with the Supaturf SWOZI linemarking system – introducing heightened accuracy to one of the most fundamental groundcare duties. Launched to wide acclaim at Saltex recently, the specially developed linemarking machine carries an onboard computer that can be uploaded with software for marking areas for whichever sports are required. A GPS receptor positioned on the pitch talks to the onboard computer via Bluetooth, which triangulates Swozi’s position with help from its own GPS unit, directing the linemarking machine to the appropriate line selected.
To view a video of SWOZI in action: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ig3gQsDYCE8
Marker paints deliver durable lines for any synthetic surface. Formulated in Vitax Amenity’s manufacturing facilities, Supaturf Artificial Surface Paint has been specially developed for marking out all manner of synthetic surfaces. Blended high quality ingredients deliver paints that produce professional, extremely durable white lines that can be applied by line marking machines such as the Supaturf TFS25 tank free system, brush or roller.
For multi-sport applications, create your own colours with the Supatints range, perfect for applying with Supaturf Artificial Paint, Supaturf Ready-to-use or any diluted concentrate. SupaTints are available in blue, red and yellow in 0.5 litre bottles.
Saltex early booker Vitax Amenity have heaped praise on the show after recording major success at the event. Sales & Marketing Manager Mike King booked stand space almost as soon as he heard of the move to the NEC – faith that has been more than justified, he says. “The IOG has got everything right: A two-day show, attracting high-calibre visitors to a centrally located venue.”
Products flew off the stand, he adds: “Our offer of a Briteliner Arrow linemarking machine and SupaStadia marking paints was a real hit, and we had massive interest in the Supaturf SWOZI GPS-guided linemarking system as well as our new range of artificial surface paints. The buzz extended right through the first day and well into the second, keeping us busy from early doors to close.”