In last month’s newsletter, PMSI shared the work we did to identify factors impacting Egg Count Accuracy and discussed steps that farms can take to improve the overall accuracy of their counts. In this month’s newsletter, we’re talking about egg counter brackets and how using the right bracket can dramatically improve both the consistency and accuracy of your egg counts.
You’re probably not surprised to know that egg flow systems rely heavily on consistent and accurate egg count data to function properly. That’s why PMSI uses IR E and IR ETN egg counters exclusively in all our Responsive Egg Flow system integrations. What you might find surprising, however, is just how significantly egg counter performance can be impacted by improperly sized or poorly designed mounting brackets. That’s why when it comes to maximizing the performance of your egg flow system, PMSI knows that even the smallest details matter.
Introducing Purpose-Built Mounting Brackets from PMSI. Over the past 12 months, PMSI has invested heavily in the design and manufacture of our proprietary mounting brackets. Our Purpose-Built brackets provide a superior mounting platform with greater stability than traditional one-size-fits-all style brackets. Plus, PMSI Purpose-Built mounting brackets are specifically designed to withstand the harsh conditions found in today’s cage free environments.
When we say Purpose-Built, we also mean system specific. PMSI currently offers Purpose-Built brackets for a variety of cage and cage free systems. Here are just a few of the systems we currently support:
With PMSI’s Purpose-Built mounting brackets, we’ve thought of everything. No more struggling to find the right height or angle for optimal egg counter performance. Our brackets are designed for straight forward installation of our IR E or IR ETN series counters; ensuring counters are mounted at just the right height and angle. With built-in height and angle mounting tabs, PMSI’s Purpose-Built brackets are engineered to ensure consistent mounting every time.
Tip Up Design
When it comes to cleaning and maintaining egg counter lenses, we’ve thought of that, too. PMSI”s Purpose-Built brackets are engineered with an easy access, tip up feature that makes lenses accessible for easy cleaning.
Simply tip our Purpose-Built bracket up to expose egg counter lenses for easy cleaning. Once debris and dust has been wiped away, simply rotate brackets back to their original position. Purpose-Built brackets come with built-in height and angle tabs to ensure egg counters are returned to their optimal working position each and every time – no tools or alignment devices required! The unique tip up design makes maintenance and replacement easier, too!
As the number of cage free houses have grown in recent years, so have the challenges of capturing consistentand accurate egg counts. Initially, it wasn’t clear whether the cage free environment itself was contributing to the lack of confidence in egg count data, or if the quality of the egg counters themselves were somehow to blame.
While PMSI has been using IR counters for many years with great success, recent conversations regarding count accuracy caused PMSI to look deeper into the issue and examine the factors that influence egg count accuracy.
Below are just some of things PMSI has done to both identify conditions leading to inconsistent egg counts and improve egg count accuracy.
Conducted a variety of tests including:
In-house testing across a wide range of counters from multiple vendors.
On-site testing with different equipment manufacturers.
Comparison testing against a state-of-the-art vision system.
Partnered with counter manufacturers to develop a wider variety of counter widths.
Collaborated with manufacturers to redesign counter housings for better mounting.
Improved frame designs to make cleaning counters easier for farm personnel.
Although some of these efforts are ongoing, we want to share some of the lessons learned as well as recommend actions you can take to improve egg count accuracy and consistency in almost any situation where PMSI’s IR counters are used.
Height & Width Factors
Our in-house testing has demonstrated that PMSI’s IR counters capture accurate counts when installed +/- 3/8” within the manufacturer’s recommended installation height and egg flow is reasonably smooth. When egg counters are installed outside this height tolerance, egg counts are less reliable. Eggs must also pass within the specified side boundaries of the counters. Of particular note is the width discrepancies between equipment manufacturers. For example, not all “10 inch” belts are the same.
Actions Farms Can Take: To improve egg count accuracy, install counters, brackets, and fasteners that are appropriately sized based on the actual width (not advertised width) of the equipment manufacturer’s egg belt. Installing the right size counter to manufacturer specifications reduces the number of variables contributing to poor counts. This ultimately increases egg count accuracy and requires less counter tuning.
Of particular concern is egg roll-back, a condition that tends to be more prevalent with flat belt systems under heavy loads. Flat belts often stretch several inches when the motor is first turned on. When the motor is stopped, the belt can contract back towards the center of the house. This can cause eggs to travel back under the counter resulting in eggs being counted multiple times. This problem will be more acute on days involving a high frequency of starts and stops.
Actions Farms Can Take: Place egg counters downstream from the belt and utilize braked motors or VFDs to bring the belt to a slow controlled stop. One-way bearings or a similar mechanism are also an option.
Location Of Counters
One very important and often overlooked factor contributing to accurate egg counts is the location of the counters. Recognizing that counters need to be located as upstream as possible in order to provide information to the REF system, positioning counters near transition points or between converging conveyor systems or elevators can contribute to inaccurate counts.
Actions Farms Can Take: Place counters where egg movement is smooth. Avoid transition points between transport areas such as belts to rods. Avoid placing counters in areas where eggs are subject to roll-back or where eggs may move around under the counter. Avoid areas where eggs can back up under the counter. Simply putting the counter farther upstream from the transition may be all that is needed. Diverters that guide eggs to one side of the conveyor should also be avoided as these can cause backups or movement under the counters.
Egg count accuracy can be affected by the installation of counters that are either too small or too large for the surface area being counted. Fortunately, with the new widths available in the IR series, accurate egg counts can be achieved on any of today’s cage free systems.
Actions Farms Can Take: Install PMSI’s IR counters that are not less than 1” narrower than the outside edge of the trough or conveyor rail and never install counters that hang over the edges of the counting surface. Finally, always keep the outside pair of lenses at least ¼” from the trough wall to avoid false reads due to side wall reflections.
Mount Bracket Stability
Cage free environments can be especially hard on equipment. This is true even on the mounting brackets themselves. Vibration from daily operations or unintentional bumps in the course of day to day maintenance activities can cause brackets to move out of position or become less stable over time.
Actions Farms Can Take: Use PMSI’s new, purpose-built counter brackets that ensure proper egg counter positioning and allow for easy cleaning. These brackets are sturdier than previous brackets and make installation easier. Plus, PMSI brackets are designed to tip up to allow easy access to egg counter lenses for cleaning.
Cleaning & Maintenance
Whether you are operating a caged or cage free environment, managing dust and other particulates that travel through the air can be challenging. If allowed to accumulate on or around counter lenses, count accuracy can be compromised.
Actions Farms Can Take: Use a fluffy towel-like material for getting in between protruding lenses. Develop a schedule that incorporates daily cleanings ahead of each day’s egg run. Inspect counters frequently to ensure lenses are free of feathers or manure which can block counter lenses and lead to inaccurate counts.
For our full report on Egg Count Accuracy, contact PMSI at email@example.com
In this issue of “Tools for Tomorrow”, I highlight why and how to consider an upgrade for your older PMSI equipment. The ﬁrst point focuses on building a technological advantage. The second point is the evaluation process. A good rule to remember is that less efficient equipment performance leads to higher cost. A producer must manage ventilation, heating, and feed as economically as possible, and efficiently manage egg ﬂow from barns to processing to achieve the maximum income potential. Below we have identified 7 areas of improvement that can be achieved with the new CIII technology, which will help you to build a technological advantage.
When you upgrade to Command III (CIII) technology you can expect the following advantages:
Fewer repair costs and increased reliability due to new and improved technology.
Higher speed communications resulting in more responsive egg ﬂow and better environmental control performance.
CIII’s handshake with broadband connection provides you with faster and more accessible technical support.
The ability to view egg ﬂow and environmental control from any house with CIII, which allows managers easy access to production data and alerts.
Managed Network Switch helps provide stable communications and improved backup in the event that a ﬁber connection is lost, while also reducing the total fiber required per installation.
The new CIII and mux boards (for reading egg counts) are much more resistant to electrical noise.
Command III System rack includes “hot swappable” cards, resulting in less chance of damage when replacing components, and less downtime during repair and troubleshooting
Top bird performance relies on accurate environmental data. The CIII System scans faster and the data is much more accurate. Employees working the barns do not need to walk the distance of 8 or 9 buildings to ﬁnd out what is going on with the egg counts. All CIII locations have easy access to production and processing information. For example, you can be standing in barn 2 while viewing production information in barn 7.
PMSI CAN HELP WITH YOUR EQUIPMENT TRANSITION WITH THE FOLLOWING STEPS:
Schedule a visit to your site to help to plan the transition
Observe the existing control system to make certain we understand your needs.
Review the control panel design to be sure that we have all the necessary elements of monitoring and control.
Discuss the logistics of removing the existing system, and switch to the Command III system while minimizing interruption to your daily operations.
SUMMARY OF BENEFITS WHEN UPGRADING TECHNOLOGY:
New technology responds faster to sensors.
A wider choice of strategies for ventilation, feed, and house control.
Better equipment quality helps eliminate noise issues and provides better protection from lightning.
Speed of communications with NOAH controller (200 – 800% faster) and more responsive to house conditions.
“We switched everything over in one day, shut down the old system, and hooked up to pre-hung boxes.
We were able to use some of the old boxes, contactors and relays.”
EQUIPMENT SUSTAINABILITY FOR THE LONG HAUL
The controlled environment that birds live in plays a major role in determining what kind of egg production a ﬂock will have. In this equation, housing and equipment are essential to success. Egg producers have a strong interest in uninterrupted production and processing. The history of computers and electronics shows that they eventually fail, and advancements in technology provide improved choices, directly effecting efficiencies in production. It becomes apparent that the facility with the least down time and most efficient equipment will realize the benefit of lower production costs.
AUTOMATIC WELL MONITORING AND CONTROL WITH YOUR COMMAND III SYSTEM
Well monitoring is essential for assessing the operation and condition of your well and water levels.
PMSI CIII system can include special features to continuously monitor the water levels inside of the well. This is done in order to ensure the water levels in the well will meet your requirements, such as bird drinking water. Pump repairs mainly result from the well running low on water, which can cause problems such as low water supply and poor water pressure. As monitoring data is collected over time, informed decisions can be made on scheduling preventative maintenance and repairing or replacing any deficiencies.
Key benefits are listed below:
Real-time well level
Track changes in well levels from anywhere access via smartphone or computer
Leak alerts auto notify
Ability for well management and control
Identify existing or potential changes in flow
Receive alerts when set levels are hit
Water level monitoring and water level graph
The top feature is the alarm capability for level and pumps. Next would be to see tank level through the C3 and to monitor gallons used per well. Also, the switching capability so we can rotate wells.
The items we are monitoring on the well are tank level, alternating pumps and water meters. I get alarms for low tank level and motor overloads.
Rigtrup Egg Farms
One of the key elements of well monitoring is to record water level measurements on a regular basis. The water level graph is used to display time, date and water rates. You will be able to see times associated with water levels and identify changes in the water flow.
CIII Display below provides helpful information to identify potential problems
Tank level 1
Tank level 2
Old well 1 flow
New well 1 flow
New well 2 flow
In a typical well we monitor power status, water level, pump running, VFD fault, switch “auto” position. automatic well monitoring can help keep a well at its very best while also helping producers save money on repairs along the way.
The new PMSI Web-Based DASHboard for web browsers can help managers easily access production and processing data for all company wide complexes.
How can DASH help?
Use a mobile device, phone or tablet to access production/processing dates at any location where internet is available Compare the quality of feed, water and temperature between company sites Intuitive interface to help generate the quickest impact on bird performance What if you could pick up your phone and see real-time production data (feed, temperature, water, etc) on every complex in your company? You can soon!
With multiple sites collecting and monitoring production data, the PMSI web-based dashboard allows access from virtually any computer, phone, or tablet. This access provides a way for management to quickly look across operations and prioritize areas of improvement.
Now easier than ever to collect data and monitor production: Back in the 70’s there was very little automated production information available. We used clipboards, notepads, and sometimes would make use of a computer spreadsheet. As time passed, data collection and control over the barn has dramatically improved. The new PMSI web-based DASH provides a way for management to quickly see multiple operations in a single glance.
Because data is stored in the cloud and/or a central location, managers can easily access pertinent production information or a report via their smart phone or tablet. In a matter of seconds, they can turn data into production improvements.
A wide variety of analysis capabilities:
Thanks to cloud technologies, producers can collect production data from multiple plants and store it centrally in the cloud. With all the data in one location, producers are able to accumulate and summarize information in an assortment of ways, providing managers meaningful insight across operations. They can compare the quality of variables, such as feed, water, and temperature between company sites. This helps the managers to minimize bird environment differences and maximize profits for the owner. A global view of bird health with the objective of continuous process improvement can give a distinct competitive advantage for today’s producers.
The 70’s called and they want their notepad back
Intuitive information: Managers can see at a glance how each site is performing. They can prioritize improvements depending on which will generate the quickest positive impact on flock performance.
PMSI’s new DASH is easy to understand and simple to navigate: By making use of PMSI’s web-based dashboard, managers can better determine if they are on the right track. Using a browser to check conditions in the house against predetermined target levels will provide feedback to make improvements and corrections to the birds’ environment.
Native app for fast and easy access: The native app for the phone will allow you to easily tap and open the app and access all the information you need quickly.
Poultry Management Systems, Inc. (PMSI) is pleased to announce the addition of Brandon Mulnix to our team as Project Manager. Brandon will help manage customer projects from beginning end.
Brandon’s focus will include process-focused tasks to improve the customer experience and build efficiencies into the product delivery. New projects are handed off from the sales team to Brandon who will manage it through to completion. He will be customer focused and communicate all project changes to the customer and PMSI team.
Favorite part of Job: My favorite part is working with the great team at PMSI and with egg producers across the United States.
Hobbies: Riding my Can-Am Spyder, trail running and hunting turkey and deer.
Previous employment background:
1 ½ years in manufacturing of electrical accessories as a PMP certified Project Manager responsible for new product development and continuous improvement projects.
20 years in emergency medical services as a manager and paramedic responsible for saving lives and the logistics management of the service.
Please join us in welcoming Brandon to our PMSI team. You can contact him at 616-265-0752 or firstname.lastname@example.org
PMSI STAFF TACKLES CUSTOMER ENGINEERING CHALLENGES TO IMPROVE VENTILATION, AND BIRD COMFORT.
- Dan Henslee
PMSI, headquartered in Lowell, Michigan, produces and sells automation and controls for the egg layer industry throughout the United States.
Our company, which builds and markets seven different products, also supplies and services our automated control systems in over 250 layer and pullet sites across the United States.
PMSI believes in putting customers firmly first
Hegins Valley Farm in Hegins, Pennsylvania, was looking for a way to improve their ventilation design. During a PMSI system installation, it was discovered that the current ventilation design would benefit from some improvements. Conversations with the Hegins’ staff evaluating the equipment, environment, and birds, led to possible solutions. While the changes needed were beyond the normal scope of a PMSI installation, our Service Manager, Sean Ryan, made the determination that, “Above all, we had to help the customer find a long term solution.”
“We are very pleased with the air distribution, instead of the air dropping straight down, this new solution provides us with a nice spread, and we plan to move forward with this option in our other buildings. I also wanted to mention I appreciate Sean’s professionalism and courtesy”.
- Deb Martz Complex Manager, Hegins, Pennsylvania
The decision to modify the house ventilation design
Sean went to a local supply house and purchased readily available materials to make a rough prototype. Once installed and tested, everyone agreed it was a good solution. Plans for the final version were then determined and the process for having it manufactured locally were arranged.
Hegins not only needed the right amount of incoming air, but also enough velocity to propel the incoming cold air across the ceiling, allowing it to mix with the warm inside air. This is critically important as it prevents cold air from falling onto the birds, and helps achieve and maintain uniform temperature throughout the house.
Intake chimney with mixing fans. Prototype by Sean Ryan
How the inlet and chimney work
Chimney intake and mixing fans are one of many options for layer houses. The chimney inlet is designed to improve the airflow and will help to capture cool attic air. It draws fresh air from the attic and/or inlets, and directs it to the center aisle of the bottom level where it makes its way to the sidewall fans. The airflow is directed down the aisle like an inlet and not directly at the floor, allowing better temperature balance between the top and bottom levels, as well as improved air quality on the bottom level.
Poor inlet efficiency can cause temperature differences of 20-25 degrees. Good inlet management can help mitigate costs that result from poor ventilation, resulting in improved egg production.
Inlet directs fresh air, thus air mixing
TECH TIP – A simpler shortcut for environmental management
Work faster and more efficiently by using the Command III shortcut below
The Command III has been a flexible control system from its beginning, and as such, allows adjustment of the data that is tracked and stored for later review. The ability to choose several data points to review together allows known related data to be reviewed as a whole, and new relationships to be discovered. For example, you are able to display outside temperature data alongside zoned temperature averages to see how colder temperatures affect a particular building.
Sets added to Command III Historical Data Visualization
As the systems have grown more complicated it’s become apparent that simply allowing items to be selected wasn’t enough; users were often selecting the same 5, 10, or even 20 items for display. To simplify the process of selecting related items for review we’ve added the ability to select and save a set of items for reuse in the future. These sets can be named and then easily restored when future review is warranted. Making data analysis out in the building almost as easy as it is back at the environmental or egg flow server.
Jump to your predetermined set of sensors
Do you often want to view all temperature data together? Save them as a set and load them in just three clicks. Save Average Temperature, Feed and Water Rates, and a few other commonly reviewed items into a single set to allow at-a-glance review anytime you are interested.
We are working to keep our customers ahead of the technological curve. Our tech staff visits the majority of egg laying houses in the industry. One aspect that appears to be changing is the enforcement for UL 508 listing for control panels. So far, the states we are seeing this happen in are MN, NE, WA, TN and OR. It seems the UL 508 listing is getting some attention.
So what is UL, and what does UL listing mean?
UL stands for Underwriters Laboratories, and is the leading nationally recognized testing authority in the U.S. A product that bears the stamp of UL listing has been tested and verified that it meets UL standards for safety. UL tested panels can include any assembly of relays, push buttons, motor controllers, etc. PMSI motor control panels, for example, fall into this category.
PMSI is a recognized UL 508A panel shop. We are allowed to independently design and produce UL 508A labeled panels to meet known product safety standards and reliability. Our shop makes it convenient to receive a UL approved panel while allowing maximum flexibility in panel design. We build the control panels to the UL 508A standard.
WE CAN IDENTIFY YOUR TECHNOLOGY NEEDS NOW AND WE THINK AHEAD TO IDENTIFY FUTURE NEEDS
Time spent executing the basic steps below could save you money, delays, and extra costs in the long term.
Demonstrate to your insurance company that your controls are designed and built to a third party safety and protection standard, thus avoiding risk and potential liability.
Establish compliance with NEC Articles 90.7 and 409.
Prove that all power components meet UL standards.
Verify that your panel builder is staying up to date on current requirements.
3 POSSIBLE CONCERNS:
Issues with insurance companies due to motor panels which are not UL listed.
Unexpected delays and expenses resulting from electrical inspections.
In worst cases, an unqualified or low cost builder could create fire or human safety risks.
A PMSI control panel addresses each of these steps and concerns. Getting a UL 508A listed product enables the manufacturer to provide a safe and dependable control panel. It also helps to increase the probability of a safe installation. If you are interested, please ask us about our UL listed motor control panels.
BinTrac Installation Tips
When installing the BinTrac bin weighing system, it is important to remember a few things to ensure accurate and reliable weighing. With proper installation, BinTrac requires minimal maintenance.
Be sure the bracket assemblies are facing the leg correctly, and are centered.
The bracket assembly should be approximately 3/8” away from the leg.
Make sure all the legs are lifted evenly.
All cabling should be neatly tied up and out of the way so it does not get cut or pinched.
PRODUCT OVERVIEW // 2018
THE MOST ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY AT YOUR FINGER TIPS!
PMSI announces software and hardware enhancements, as well as new features to support the future of our industry.
PMSI addresses some of the new and upcoming enriched options with its litter delivery auger controls and light dimming control. CIIIe automatically distributes feed to your scratch pad with timed feed distribution. This is an easy to use, operator-determined scheduling feature. The CIIIe also helps manage your light dimming needs along with managing light intensity during simulated sunrise and sunset.
Familiar REF-Style timeout egg alerts are now available for the Command IIIe display. A timeout alert occurs when the time since the last egg was counted is greater than the alert delay value.
The CIIIe user-interface is engineered exclusively for the poultry industry. CIIIe hardware features include simple snap-in service and expandability, as well as removable data storage for backing up entire flock histories.
An integrated solution from the industry leader in poultry house controls.
PMSI is proud to offer a complete line of custom motor control panels in addition to our standard Command IIIe poultry house controls. This means it is now possible to order all control panels from one source, helping to ensure that everything will be designed to work together as a complete, integrated system.
AUTOMATED IDENTIFICATION SYSTEM
AIM helps to reduce labor costs, hand coding, and labeling expenses by printing the pack / expiration dates, product codes and customer name directly onto the shipping case.
PMSI environmental control helps the manager achieve the best performance by maintaining optimal conditions for bird health, feed efficiency and production. The PMSI environmental control system will help managers automatically maintain temperature uniformity in the house positively affecting feed intake, body weight, and your bottom line.
HACCP Automation Ensures Food Safety: Industry leaders recognize that HACCP automation in the processing plant is a key to ensuring food safety. Automated solutions like PMSI’s CIIIe HACCP system helps prevent food-borne illnesses by making monitoring and reporting easy.
PMSI offers a wide range of tools – including a unique family of sensors – to improve information management for producers of everything from poultry to eggs to bakery products. The latest addition is the 6” and 8” image detecting sensor for individual egg belts that accurately and cost effectively counts eggs without single filing.
RICE LAKE LOAD SCALES
Rice Lake Load Scales allow managers to quickly and efficiently track feed weight, and thus feed intake. High-quality scale weigh modules that are consistent, accurate and durable; they weigh from 5,000 to 200,000 pounds.
Poultry Management Systems, Inc. (PMSI) announced plans to relocate to a larger office and warehouse space in Lowell, Michigan, by late August 2017, and to hire additional employees for panel design, field service, Autocad design, and software development.
“The new 15,000 sq. ft. building is under construction at 890 O E Bieri Industrial Drive, Lowell, MI 49331”, said Poultry Management Systems President Doug Powell, who added, “It will be approximately twice the space we currently have.” The additional office and warehouse space is part of the planned changes needed to keep pace with growth in the poultry industry that PMSI has experienced during the past 8 years.
PMSI is recognized for taking biosecurity seriously and continues to strongly support the biosecurity policies of customers. Currently, PMSI’s main office is located at Herbruck’s Ranch in Saranac, Michigan. However, once the poultry industry signaled a shift to stricter biosecurity standards, PMSI secured a lease on a building in Lowell, Michigan, away from all poultry operations. The building is currently used by all traveling PMSI employees. The new space in Lowell is a longer-term solution and will include both clean and dirty areas for returned customer parts.
MORE WAREHOUSE SPACE
PMSI’s growth during the past few years has meant more products coming and going through its warehouse doors. With the new larger warehouse space, storing products will be more systemized, and inventory control will become more efficient. PMSI’s Warehouse Production Manager Eric Winslow is especially looking forward to the extra space for moving and storing products. Winslow described the move to Lowell as “more room to work and stock parts.”
FASTER AND VERIFIED SAFE INTERNAL NETWORK
Since we are moving to a new location we also plan to upgrade our internal network as well. Eric Hansen, Senior Software Engineer describes the upgrade, “it will be faster and split so that machines that come back from customers are in a divided region until they are verified safe.”
HOW THE RIGHT INSTALLATION WILL ENSURE BETTER PERFORMANCE
Poor installation can seriously degrade counter performance. For maximum performance, you must give equal consideration to the quality of the egg counter and to the installation.
THE MOST EFFECTIVE WAY TO GET GOOD COUNTS IS A PROPER INSTALLATION AND THE CORRECT MOUNTING FRAME:
Mount the counter using the correct mounting frame.
Adjust the counter for the correct incline.
When mounting counter over a rod type conveyor the incline is a necessity. When mounting counter over a belt type of conveyor, mounting at an incline may not be necessary.
Eggs must be motionless on the belt. If they are rolling across the belt as it travels under the counter you will get double counts.
When the belt stops there should not be any back winding of the belt or the egg could get triple counted.
The egg counter can be mounted on both the egg belt and the cross conveyor. When mounted on a cross conveyor, the egg counter should be positioned where the eggs cannot move sideways. Moving eggs could be double or triple counted.
Intense light, direct sunlight, and bright fluorescent light can influence accuracy. Place the egg counters out of direct light or shield them.
A very high percentage of counter support issues can be directly attributed to improper installation as well as a lack of maintenance. Each mounting frame is designed for a specific counter and is a result of engineering efforts.
SOME OF THE ISSUES WE SEE FROM IMPROPER INSTALLATION:
PMSI provides step by step instructions. Once all the steps are followed and completed the installation will be complete. Incomplete or improper installation can lead to poor egg counts. If the installer is unclear or uncertain regarding any of the steps, they should contact PMSI Support for clarification at 616-642-9050.
TEN CAGE FREE ENHANCEMENTS PMSI WILL AUTOMATE FOR YOU
- Dan Henslee
SIMPLIFY BY USING POULTRY MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS TO BRING ALL OF YOUR CAGE-FREE AUTOMATION TOGETHER
The face of the industry is changing as egg farmers install the latest production systems. Multiple producers are implementing some form of cage free system. Almost all production and processing managers rely on automation to improve performance of egg laying hens. PMSI systems, which enhance this new technology, is versatile enough to help improve these changes in the industry. As new tools emerge and existing capabilities such as variable speed manure blowers, inside humidity, litter scraper control and light dimming (to name a few) require the ability to monitor and control with precision accuracy, PMSI helps to make this a smooth transition.
Custom egg counters – 6” and 8” image detecting sensors count eggs accurately without single-filing on the new aviary systems. PMSI went back to the manufacturer and requested these custom counters to help monitor and control eggs produced by the latest cage free systems.
Variable speed control of feeders – The addition of variable speed drives to chain feeders allows for two primary functions:
Gradual increase in feed chain speed from stopped to full speed over the course of a minute. This can improve the lifetime of the system, and reduce maintenance on the feed chains and sheer pins.
In pullet systems, feed chains can be run at reduced speeds, allowing young chicks the ability to leave the feed trough when a feeding starts.
Egg batching with encoder monitoring – Independent speed control of each house allowing for specialty eggs. Gather eggs from houses individually in order to keep products separate from one another on the main conveyor system.
Light dimming – Sunrise and sunset schedules help birds to know when to come out and when to lay eggs. It encourages the birds to lay in the nest instead of on the floor. Slowly increasing light intensity in the morning and decreasing in the evening simulates natural lighting.
Zoned temperature control – When birds migrate and pile, as they can in a cage free building, the ability to adjust the air in specific regions of the building is much more important.
Heat map, simple temperature visual feed-back – Quickly identify anomalies and uneconomical temperature patterns using historical and real-time data.
Litter scraper control – PMSI provides pushbutton start/stop and monitoring sensors for litter scraper control.
Nest door control and monitoring – We can monitor and track the history of system doors with PMSI controls, and can provide custom door opening verification and hard copy reporting.
Variable floor heating (radiant heat) – PMSI controls in-floor radiant heating which helps with uniformity in winter. This technology uses circulating fluid to transfer heat from one or more boilers directly to the floor of a building.
Cage free temperature graph – Perching, foraging, dust-bathing, cage design, functional space, perching space, and nest boxes are all things which can affect the bird’s behavior and that need to be fully monitored. Monitoring the cage-free temperatures can help in understanding and adjusting for bird behaviors.
RAISING THE BAR WITH ATLAS SOFTWARE
Cage-free flock behavior makes it even more important to automatically monitor and control conditions throughout the barn. PMSI’s Atlas software is flexible, which enables us to meet the needs of changing production systems. On top of that, we’re constantly making improvements and additions to it’s features and abilities. New egg flow batching, egg indexing, localized egg flow control and improved reporting features are just a few of the things we’ve been working on. We also provide customized reports for easier adaptation to client needs. We know you want to utilize your flocks to their full potential, and these tools are designed to do exactly that.