Innovation and quality control in internal laboratory
Mardenkro leads the way when it comes to innovation. But Mardenkro isn’t innovating all by itself. In order to continuously innovate and ensure constant product quality, the Mardenkro laboratory works with leading worldwide research centres, universities and growers.
Quality control is important
During the development of ReduSol in 1988, the company’s former owner contacted the RSB laboratory in Tilburg. By combining practical and chemical knowledge the first removable shading solution was created. In the meantime we’ve moved on nearly 30 years and the RSB laboratory has for many years been an important department within Mardenkro.
The Mardenkro laboratory has an important function in monitoring the quality of the ReduSystems products as they are manufactured. The quality control starts by testing the incoming raw materials that will be used in the production process. All raw materials are sampled and then checked for specific properties. Various advanced analytical methods are used for this. Only when the raw material has been approved is it used for manufacturing.
The laboratory also checks the end product. ReduSystems coatings are first examined and assessed on a number of their physical properties. Then a sample from every production batch is applied to a glass plate to assess its ability to form a layer. In order to simulate practical conditions as best possible, Mardenkro uses a climate unit to accelerate the aging of the glass plates by applying UV radiation and artificial precipitation. The final step is to test the removability of the old layer with ReduClean.
Only when a product has passed all the controls it is released for use in practise. Each sample that is checked is stored and kept for a period of at least one and a half years. In that way if there are any remarks from users it is always possible to carry out further research on the production batch concerned.
Product development and the laboratory
In addition to monitoring product quality the Mardenkro laboratory plays a leading role in the development of new products and the improvement of the current assortment. During the development of new products, it is important to closely follow horticultural research. For this reason Mardenkro is a member of Club of 100 at Wageningen UR.
A good example is the development of the diffuse coating. Not long after the first scientific papers demonstrated the value of diffuse light, Mardenkro started to develop a removable type of diffuse coating. This coating had to turn a large portion of the light into diffuse light while light transmittance didn’t or hardly decreased. Developing a product with these conflicting properties turned out to be quite a challenge but through intensive cooperation with suppliers, research institutes, customers and extensive testing we were able to reach a successful end result: ReduFuse. Meanwhile ReduFuse has found its place in the market and is used worldwide.
Into the market
Only when a product is fully developed it is accepted within the range. In some cases a strong marketing campaign is developed to get news of the new product into the public eye, as quickly and as best possible.
Mardenkro wants to deliver products that offer real added value to the user. It’s Mardenkro’s task to provide evidence for this. For this reason we use independent institutes to determine the properties of our products so that users are given a fair presentation of the facts.
Coatings and high-pressure misting keep crops growing
More and more growers are using high-pressure misting systems. In combination with coatings, this is an excellent way of keeping crops active and productive in hot summers.
How much light does my crop need?
There is an optimal amount of light for every crop. Too little means that production will be low. But too much will put pressure on the yield and quality. So custom work is always key.
Don’t block the light - manage it!
The ReduSystems variety of coatings has grown significantly in recent years. Growers are leveraging the possibilities to develop a customised approach for their crop. A number of growers is switching over to another coating, while others have every reason to stay with their current choice.