Puck Enterprise's LightSpeed™ Pro Vs. Bazooka Farmstar's NEXUS

Posted by Sydney Greiner on

How Do They Stack Up?

It's no secret, Puck Enterprises and Bazooka Farmstar are two reputable, manure handling equipment manufacturers that compete head-to-head in just about every facet of their businesses, and their pump control technology is no exception. Two questions that consistently surface in the marketplace are:

  1. What are the capabilities of each pump control system?
  2. Which is better and/or more reliable? 

We will let you be the judge regarding the latter of the two, but we are here to provide an unbiased comparison of the capabilities of LightSpeed Pro and NEXUS to help you come to a conclusion all your own. The answer, by the way, will be different from end-user to end-user based on current equipment set-up, future aspirations, etc. Both manufacturers have worked toward solutions that allow end-users everywhere to maximize flow rates, protect their pumps, and add a level of safety to their operations. Our sole purpose of this blog is to inform because we understand the importance of reliable pump control in ANY dragline operation. 

Disclaimer - We want to quickly note there are more features and intricacies to both pump control systems than what's covered in this blog, but we've provided a high-level baseline to get the conversation (and research) started.

Now, let's get down to the nitty-gritty.

NEXUS Vs. LightSpeed Match-Up_FINAL

OK - The list above is nice for all the technical gurus of the world, for those currently working with LightSpeed™ Pro or NEXUS, and for the hand full of those who have worked with both pump control systems in the past. No matter your status, we are going to break down some of the features and capabilities listed above to better express why you should care about what both manufacturers bring to the field...or to wherever you want to control your operation from.  

THE TANGIBLES:

LINE BREAK DETECTION & SAFEGUARDS: 

Here's the situation:
  • You're working on a two-man crew.
  • You're five miles out from the manure source.
  • You're pumping 3,000 GPM.

All is well until a supply hose in line breaks and manure starts to quickly cover the surface of the field. The line break detection and safeguard feature (integrated into both LightSpeed Pro and NEXUS) can detect the change in pressure that's occurred and will instantly send a warning notification to the pump operator, so they can react appropriately and in a timely manner.

Simply stated, this feature safeguards your pumps when the unexpected happens.

AUTOMATIC PRESSURE THROTTLING: 

The automatic pressure throttling feature maintains intake and discharge pressure targets, reducing the complexity of running multiple engines at once. Both LightSpeed Pro and NEXUS are sophisticated enough to allow crews to set said inlet and outlet pressure targets and trust the control system to hold the desired PSI's.

Essentially, operators can 'set it and forget it' and trust the system to detect pressures throughout the line that dip too low or soar too high from the accepted range, and automatically adjusts the engine to maintain the set pump pressures.

FULL-SITE MAPPING CAPABILITIES:  

This is one area Puck's LightSpeed Pro currently has the upper hand on NEXUS. LightSpeed Pro can provide users a full site map of their jobs at hand, which allows crews to see the bigger picture and confidently layout their hose and booster pumps efficiently. This feature could come in handy at sites a crew has never pumped before.

In the site map shown below, the lighter green areas with hashed lines around them are the fields that manure will be applied, the small blue icons symbolize booster pumps, the yellow lines indicate supply hoses, and the orange lines represent drag hoses. If a user expanded their map view, they would see blue hashed lines outlining the manure source and red hashed lines that indicate and outline obstacles.      

Site MappingThis screenshot was taken from a video produced by Puck Enterprises Sales Representative, Alex Saunders.     

REAL-TIME ASSET CONTROL FROM ANYWHERE: 

The ability to monitor from anywhere, puts you, the operator, in command at all times and you can expect results no matter where you are...even if that means from the comfort of your own home that is hundreds of miles away from the site that is being pumped. Flow rates, pressures, pit levels, temperatures, and all other operating parameters from the site are communicated through LightSpeed Pro and NEXUS alike, so you can be confident everything is working the way you intend it to be.  

Murcal.final-MINThis analogy holds true for LightSpeed Pro users as well, we just wanted to paint the picture for you.

From the status of each fuse, relay sensor, and power consumption of each outlet, to setting service reminders for the crew, the detailed diagnostics delivers real-time information to ensure any pump problems that arise can be addressed immediately and commanded instantly with the simple touch of the interface screen. As soon as a command has been received and acknowledged, the operator will receive an on-screen verification to indicate everything is running properly again. The detailed diagnostics feature also gives operators the ability to pull a running list of data (whether it's active or past trouble codes) to pinpoint and diagnose any major issues if they arise.

At the end of the day, the purpose of providing a multitude of elements in real-time is to provide an instant experience for a more efficient and effective solution for end-users. 

DATA PLANS: 

To have real-time control from anywhere at any time, an internet connection is required. Here's how the two company's address the internet integrations within their pump control systems. 

LightSpeed users must purchase the system's hardware and pay a supplementary monthly fee to connect their preferred internet service provider's cellular plan. The end-user is responsible for managing the cellular plan and should expect to purchase a sim card for each unit, a modem, and a hotspot for the tractor to complete their LightSpeed integration. 

Nexus users receive one flat, all-encompassing fee when they purchase the control system. The cellular plan that comes standard with Nexus is 250MB a month and is covered with a yearly subscription fee on the Verizon network. The yearly subscription fee includes a sim card, continuous updates, and 24/7 support so the end-user does not have to manage the cellular plan(s) running their pump control system.

THE INTANGIBLES:
There are some things you can't put a price tag on, and we wanted to bring a few of these things to light as well. 

SIMPLICITY: 

There is something to be said about simplifying technology for end-users sake, especially when it comes to something of high importance with a low tolerance for error. - Like pump control. For this reason alone, each manufacturer has created a control system interface that is user-friendly and simple to navigate and start-up from a single screen. Puck and Bazooka have developed interfaces that are slightly different from one another, but with user-intuitiveness front-of-mind.

NEXUS vs. LightSpeed_ScreenModes.2

Puck's Interface:

  • Has separate tabs for pumps, engines, gates, auto-throttle information.
  • Has an all-encompassing dashboard tab with all information listed above. 
  • Utilizes blues and greens consistently throughout their interface to bring attention to pressure, pump, and engine information. This helps ensure their end-users know where to make desired pump control changes.
  • Utilizes reds and yellows intermittently to bring attention to operators for different warnings, closed valves, etc.
  • Has stop all, idle all, run all features clearly displayed at the bottom of the dashboard as a convenience factor. 
  • Provides the ability to name each pump and move them around to reflect their true order in line to keep things organized. 

Bazooka's Interface:

  • Has a single screen for all pump units running through NEXUS. Each pump unit displayed includes toggle buttons to expose the pump, engine, gates, and automatic pressure throttling information for that specific pump unit.  
  • Utilizes reds, yellows, and greens consistently throughout their interface. The color scheme boils down to red means stop/needs immediate attention, yellow means use caution/warning, and green means go/things are running smoothly.
  • Has stop all, idle all, run all features clearly displayed at the top of the dashboard as a convenience factor. 
  • Provides the ability to name each pump and move them around to reflect their true order in line to keep things organized. 

RESPONSIVENESS & SERVICE: 

Have questions when you're in the field or shop? Puck Enterprises has recently introduced a direct call line end-users can dial (or text or video chat) in time of need to get things straightened out. Puck's online parts store goes hand-in-hand with their service model, with a dedicated staff that will ensure their customers get what they need. They have parts inventoried at several locations throughout the Midwest and on the East Coast in an attempt to expedite the amount of time it takes the customer to receive their parts in time of need. 

Quality, Innovation, and Service. Service is one area of business Bazooka prides itself, so much so, 'Bring It' is one of their core values and something every employee lives and breathes by. They have a committed in-house team of service techs and engineers, (that answer their phones more than they probably should) and a strategic dealer network that spans across the country to enhance the customer experience. BF places a high value on their dealer-based business model, as their official dealers serve as small extensions to their business by stocking parts and serving nearby customers in a timely manner. 

TENURE & EXPERIENCE: 

Puck Enterprises prides themselves on their family-rooted business, which started from a mere custom hay bailing and manure application business, that has since sprouted into the successful business as we all know it today. They don't just stand behind their equipment, they live and use their equipment every day and they understand the importance of building things that are made to last season after season. #BuiltToLead

Bazooka Farmstar started as two separate agricultural entities and was merged and developed by their parent company, Eldon C. Stutsman. Over time, BF has progressed and grown more independent, as Stutsmans continues their involvement with the company as an official dealer. The employees at Bazooka Farmstar may not be manure pumpers by trait, but they do work closely with the individuals who use their equipment (BF's national sales manager and several official dealers to name a few) to capture the information they need to innovate according to the marketplace demands. #Gamechangers

Despite their differing backgrounds, Puck Enterprises and Bazooka Farmstar have been in the manure handling business for 40+ years, giving both companies well deserved credibility in the industry.


And there you have it. A raw, unbiased comparison of LightSpeed™ Pro and Nexus functionalities and capabilities. The two pump control systems are very comparable to one another and we want to mention again that there are more features and intricacies to both systems than what we've covered in this blog. Our goal was to provide a high-level comparison of some of the main functions to address some of the industries curiosities. So, the answer to question number two? Up to you.  

 

...stay tuned for what's to come with Nexus in 2021.



We realize we've technically concluded this blog post, but we wanted to leave you with two additional notes regarding our Nexus control system while we are on the subject matter:

1. The QR code below takes users directly to the Nexus login page. #Handy (The code has been made into a sticker and magnet so the code can be placed in a convenient location for quick and easy access to the login page during pumping season. Want one or five? Let us know and we will ship them to your front doorstep.)

NEXUS QR Code-1
2. If this blog post intrigued you and would like to chat or work with a sales representative on a price or compatibility with your current set-up, we are ready and willing to assist.

Answer a few quick questions about yourself and we will be in contact shortly.  

 

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