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All about drippers

Dripper choice
How to choose your dripper system

What is a dripper

Drippers are small plastic parts incorporated in a continuous formed tube called Drip tube.
The drippers are necessary to control water flow from the inside of the tube to the surrounding, allowing to have a regular flow on a longer tube length.
The definition of drip comes from the relative low volume of flow (dripping).
The method of irrigating via drip provides substantial savings in water and fertilizers relative to alternate irrigation methods.

Main applications are :

  • Agriculture
  • Landscape
  • Mining


How to choose the dripper system

THE Machines SA high performance extrusion systems are designed to produce irrigation pipes fully automatically, with highest dripper inserting rates and punching frequencies, perfect carbon black distribution as well as a high degree of inline quality control and automation. These achievements are possible due to the latest technologies in Laser punching, dripper sorting and state of the art process technologies.

THE produces machinery equipment for the production of 3 different families of drip-irrigation pipes(laterals)*.

  • with FLAT drippers
  • with TAPE dripper system
  • with ROUND drippers
*We can also provide solutions for the so-called Lay-Flat flexible water supply hoses: Lay-Flat hoses

      Pipe Flat dripper systems Round dripper systems Tape dripper systems

Compare the different pipe production Systems THE can provide

Tape production line

Special features:

  • Simultaneous production of the labyrinth and the pipe
  • Wide range of labyrinths (0.5; 0.75; 1.0; 1.5 l/h) can be produced
  • Quick and easy change of the mould for the labyrinth
  • The same labyrinth with 10cm water outlet spacing can be used for 10 - 20 - 30 - 40 - 50cm etc.
  • The same labyrinth with 15cm water outlet spacing can be used for    15   -   30   -   45 cm   etc.
  • Outlet spacing by simple programation of the mechanical/laser slitter to adapt the outlet slit distance
  • Process control with product recipies and reel label printer
  • Different inline quality checks (option)
  • Cooling water cleaning system (option)

Of course you need more material for the dripper system by using the tape solution as it is like a "continuous dripper", but the weight of material used is only a few gramms per meter.

Besides of the fact that for the "separate drippers" solution you need to take a great care of the dripper production and supply, there are some indicative values that can help if you need to make a choice:

  • For small distances between the holes (e.g. 10cm to 15cm) tape would be more attractive
  • Even more, for high distances between the holes (e.g. >30cm) the drippers are more interesting (micro, flat, cylindrical)

In fact, not only the mass of plastic used is giving you an indication of the efficiency of your drip-irrigation pipe production system. You should also take care of the effective line speed that can be used to produce your pipe.

Your line speed will be principally limited by the following factors:

  • maximun gear speed of the different equipments of your line (Haul-off, coiler)
  • maximum capacity in drippers per minute of the inserting system (in case of "separate drippers"(not "tape"))
  • maximum capacity of the drilling system (could also be punching or slitting, mechanically or by Laser)
  • maximum capacity of the in-line quality check system
  • And don't forget to check that the throughput of your main extruder is sufficient corresponding to the melt quantity needed, given by the pipe section (wall thickness & pipe diameter) and the line speed during production, unless you will have to reduce your production speed for some specific products...

Drip-irrigation production lines with cylindrical dripper cannot be compared to the other types of dripper systems, as their running speed is far lower, mainly due by the concept itself and fact that it is more often used in combination with thick wall applications.

Lay-Flat pipes production lines:

Lay-Flat pipesDownload PDF brochure...

Lay Flat water supply production lines LFP 150

These pipes are used for irrigation, mines and construction as water supply main pipe.

In Irrigation, they are part of the water-supply circuit feeding the multiple laterals.

Their main advantages are:

  • Easy to handle, because they are flexible and not too heavy
  • As they are flat when empty, they can be rolled-up or spooled on a drum
  • As they are flexible and resistant, they are used on portions allowing the farmer to pass with his tractor

Lay-Flat pipe

Typical Drip irrigation field configuration

Main topics of a production Line for Lay-Flat pipes:

  • Tandem Extrusion process with inner layer, yarn (polyester, glass roving, Aramid or similar) Hot melt(optional) and outer layer.
  • Constant yarn tension during operation
  • Cop size 300 diameter and 300 lengths
  • Yarn break and low tension detection
  • Pneumatic emergency break and pressure air failure detection
  • High production speed due to high rotating speed of the armouring machines
  • Special surface protection on all parts in contact with the yarn
  • Possibility of mixing polyester and glass roving cops with same or different diameters
  • Very smooth and accurate operation with low noise level (<76dB)
  • Rotating machines completely encapsulated and exhaust system to be connected to customers extraction system
  • Winding of the finished product on Jumbo coils with self-traversing take-up

  • Standard pipe (hose) diameter is 150 mm

Lay-Flat pipe production line

T.H.E. MACHINES also delivers turn-key solutions to produce Drip irrigation pipes starting from the plastic pellet to the finished packed, tested and palletized product.


Our sales staff will be pleased to inform you, in a personal discussion, in more detail about these features and to explain the cost calculation in comparison to the investment level for each solution.