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... or common questions we have an answer for!

Questions about the MATRIX potting machine

1. Basics and design

What makes the MATRIX potting machine special?

After more than 30 years of experience in horticulture and developing rotary potting machines for other companies, the MATRIX potting machine was developed as a new type of potting machine, designed from the ground up to eliminate most of the problems and weaknesses of rotary potting machines.

The TASPO expert committee has also selected the MATRIX potting machine as a finalist for the TASPO Awards 2021 and 2023.

What types of MATRIX potting machines are available?

The MATRIX potting machine is designed as a modular potting machine and is available in different versions depending on the requirements. The main versions are

  • Single or double row design
  • One, two or four synchronous drilling motors

Other extras are available. A small excerpt would be multi-row pot magazines (electrically adjustable in height), fertiliser dosing (in the hopper, after the hopper or after drilling), configurable hopper size, etc.

We will be happy to advise you and recommend the optimum configuration for your nursery.

Does the MATRIX potting machine have a solid framework?

Yes, the extremely robust support frame of the MATRIX potting machine is made from solid powder-coated steel and provides

  • a stable, double-sided support for the installed technology
  • complete enclosure and protection of the entire working area
  • easy and safe handling, especially for loading, unloading and transport

2. Questions about the hopper

How big is the soil hopper on the MATRIX potting machine?

The soil hopper on the MATRIX can be made as large or small as the customer requires. It can be filled manually, by forklift truck or with the aid of a big bale shredder. The soil level in the hopper is measured by a laser continuously.

What makes the soil hopper so special?

For the first time, the soil hopper on the MATRIX potting machine can measure the amount of substrate being fed. This means that only as much soil is fed into the machine as is actually needed. A positive side effect is that blockages or large forces caused by soil pushing up are prevented.

Are stainless steel blades available as an option for the MATRIX?

Of course. These are available in either standard single or double allocation.

3. Questions about the pot magazine

Is the pot magazine height adjustable?

Yes, the MATRIX's pot magazine is electrically height-adjustable at the touch of a button as standard, allowing quick and accurate height adjustment.

How quickly can you change pot sizes on the pot magazine?

Thanks to the MATRIX Easy-Switch system, changing pot sizes is faster than ever! With just a few hand movements, the pot magazine can be changed from one pot to another in seconds!

  • On all MATRIX models, the axis of the magazine remains unchanged.
  • Only the jaws open and close symmetrically to match the shape and size of the pot.

4. Questions about the pot track

What tools are required to adjust the pot track side guides?

None. This is done in seconds - electrically, at the touch of a button.

How long does it take to change the pot carriers to a different pot size?

Unlike the side guides, which can be adjusted at the touch of a button, the pot carriers on the MATRIX automatically adjust to the pot size being used once a programme has been selected. This means that drilling is always centred. Manual adjustment of the pot drivers is no longer necessary.

Can I use a planting robot with the MATRIX?

Yes, our team is in close contact with engineers from leading planting robot manufacturers. As a result, the MATRIX potting machine has also been optimised to work perfectly as a system in combination with a planting robot. 

Why is the MATRIX ideal for the use with planting robots?

If required, the MATRIX potting machine's potting tracks can be extended so that the planting robot can be operated directly on the MATRIX's parallel potting tracks.

The advantages are obvious:

  • Increased system performance in combination with the planting robot
  • Uniform closing of the robot arms. The outer arms do not have to travel further than the inner arms, as is the case with rotary potting machines.
  • Easy access and sufficient space at the potting machine and the planting robot.

5. Questions about drilling and pot processing

How many drill motors does the MATRIX have?

Depending on the configuration, one, two or four drill motors are available on the MATRIX. Each drill has its own drill motor. Gear reduction increases the torque enormously.

How quickly can the drill bits be changed?

Drill bits can be changed quickly and easily using 2 Allen screws.

Can the drilling process be stopped?

Yes, the drills on the MATRIX are computer controlled and can be individually adjusted via the 10.1" touch screen unit.

The drilling unit with the drills on it can be fully raised and the drills deactivated - even during operation and without the use of tools.

Which other drilling features are available?

For the first time on a potting machine, the following parameters can be set as required:

Drilling speed, stroke speed, drilling direction and drilling pattern (single/double). If no drilling is required, the drilling function can be deactivated at the touch of a button - even during operation!

What happens if the drill goes too deep into the pot?

Thanks to the crash-stop function of the MATRIX potting machine, the drill hole is never too deep and the possibility of incorrect operation by the operator can be completely ruled out.

6. PLC control and touch screen questions

Does the MATRIX potting machine come with a touch screen?

Yes, it has a bright, vibrant and colourful 10.1" touchscreen. The size, colour fidelity and brightness are comparable to a premium tablet display.

In the MATRIX, the touchscreen is not just a display unit, but an industrial HMI (Human Machine Interface) with its own processor. The entire unit is designed specifically for industrial environments and is resistant to both temperature and dirt.

Does the MATRIX have a built-in computing unit?

Yes, in addition to the HMI, the MATRIX potting machine has a powerful PLC. This central computer control unit is an industrial computer.

This type of computer is specially designed for industrial applications and is used in agriculture, the food industry, power stations or the automotive industry - areas where maximum precision and continuous operation are required.

Can I order an optional counter for the machine?

This is not necessary, because the MATRIX's PLC offers much more than a simple counter function. Various day counters, job counters and more can be set or recalled.

The MATRIX pot and soil management programme can also tell you how much material (pots and soil) and how much time you need in the selected programme to achieve the desired and set target quantity.

Can the MATRIX be serviced remotely?

Yes, the MATRIX has a built-in modem that is connected to your company network via a LAN cable as standard. If desired, the MATRIX can also be connected to your network via WIFI. If neither a LAN cable nor WIFI is available at the location of the MATRIX, an optional 4G (LTE) connection is also easily possible.

Is the Internet connection secure?

The MATRIX is integrated with your network and the Internet to the highest security standards. The technology used is ISO 27001 certified and based on the latest standard technologies.

Non-intrusive outbound connections mean that no changes to the existing network are required. Machine LAN isolation ensures that users can only access the target machine during remote maintenance. If you wish, you can activate the modem only when remote maintenance is required.

If you have any questions on this subject, please contact us for further information.

Other use cases and questions

How should the pot handover be set?

With the MATRIX potting machine, there is no need for pot transfer - in other words, the pot transfer is integrated into the pot conveyor. Whether intermittent or continuous, the pots are gently pushed out onto the conveyor belts without changing direction.

Can the MATRIX be run continuously instead of cyclically?

Normally, filling without drilling due to cycling reduces the output of rotary potting machines.

The MATRIX can also run continuously. If you set a certain output, you can assign the function of the pot magazine to that output from the touch screen. In this way, you can also fill continuously - without cycling.

On my potting machine it is particularly difficult to clean the blades. How can I clean them on the MATRIX potting machine?

Cleaning the blades on the MATRIX potting machine is very easy. There is no need to climb into the soil hopper! You open a side door on the elevator and can clean bucket by bucket at an optimum working height.

A special START/STOP programme is available for separate operation of the elevator and therefore also for maintenance of the blades.

I have a conventional potting machine with a turntable. When I change the drill bit, I sometimes have to change the drill sleeve as well. The access is not optimal and I need several tools and a lot of time. I also have to be careful about the depth of the hole so that the drill does not go into the pot holder and destroy the pot. Does it take twice as long to use the matrix with two or more drills at the same time?

No, on the contrary. The drilling portal of the MATRIX potting machine moves to the upper end position at each "normal" stop you initiate and is ready for a quick drill change.

As there are no different drill sleeves and all the drills are the same length, you simply insert them as far as they will go and tighten the setscrews. Done.

When I change the output or the pots on my current potting machine, I also have to readjust the output belts and the soil hopper. Even though I have marked the positions with a coloured pencil, it never works. Too little or too much soil comes out and sometimes the pots on the conveyor are pushed together. How does this work with the MATRIX potting machine?

The MATRIX potting machine does this automatically. This means you can do without the coloured pencil in the future. The control system makes the necessary basic settings for both the conveyor belts and the soil hopper all by itself.

If fine adjustments are needed, they can be made quickly on the touch screen - even during operation.