Automating 3600 Egg Per Minute Poultry Farm Manufacturing
Have you ever seen an automated giant egg farm? Imagine a bustling farm where everything is robot-operated, except for the chickens themselves. While the image of robot chickens might conjure a humorous mental picture, the reality is a bit more grounded – and impressive. 3600 eggs PER minute, a tremendous development in the poultry farm manufacturing industry. In this blog, we analyze the case study of its past success with an esteemed egg farm.
A Glimpse into the World of Giant Egg Farm Automation
For most of us, buying a dozen eggs is a routine task that rarely prompts a second thought. However, behind the scenes of egg production lies a fascinating world of cutting-edge technology and meticulous care that ensures those eggs reach our tables.
Joe Sebastian, a knowledgeable voice in the field, and a resident Optimation specialist, was interviewed regarding this impressive advancement. While the term “robot chicken” might spark a chuckle, it’s important to clarify that the chickens themselves are not electric. However, nearly everything else within the egg farm has been optimized and automated to streamline operations and increase productivity. Imagine an egg processing machine that can handle a staggering 3,600 eggs per minute, an impressive record for the level of sophistication that automation has brought to the industry. That’s equivalent to handling five dozen eggs per second. This whirlwind of activity involves an array of advanced processes, including weighing, vision inspection, ultrasonic crack detection, washing, and even illuminating eggs to inspect their interiors. All of this happens in a fraction of a second for each egg. This, however, isn’t even considered a large-scale egg producer by U.S. standards, yet its level of automation is revolutionizing the industry!
Beyond the mind-boggling numbers, the conversation delves into the heart of the operation – the chickens themselves. Joe revealed that the egg farm in question has more than a million chickens on-site. The integration of cutting-edge technology has transformed what would be an arduous manual process into a highly efficient and precise operation. Joe emphasized how the treatment of the chickens directly impacts egg production. The care given to the chickens correlates with the number of eggs they produce. In a humorous exchange, Joe shares the insight he gained from his interaction with egg farm experts: “They’re all women, and you have to be nice to them to get what you want.” This simple philosophy underlines the significance of ethical and humane treatment in agriculture.
Re:Build Optimation’s interaction with the egg farm unveils the company’s dedication to both animal welfare and production efficiency. The team embarked on a journey to optimize their egg production, experimenting with various strategies to keep the chickens content and thriving. On top of traditional farming practices, they try everything from adjusting lighting conditions to even playing music for the chickens. This commitment to innovation and animal well-being reflects a holistic approach to modern agriculture. Here, everything from lighting to water treatment is meticulously automated, reflecting a commitment to optimal efficiency.
As the farm evolved, so did the automation system. Re:Build Optimation replaced the farm’s homegrown control system with cutting-edge industrial technology. Their collaboration led to a ground-up design that encompassed temperature control, lighting schedules, feed management, manure handling, and more. What was once managed through manual switches became a systemized automation, where every aspect of the farm’s operation was optimized for efficiency.
Joe explains the complexity of handling scenarios that span decades of operational experience. Every situation, from thunderstorms to equipment failures, was examined and automated to ensure a seamless process. The result is a system that anticipates and addresses challenges, leaving the farmers free to focus on higher-level decisions.
The depth of automation extended to other aspects of the farm. From monitoring water and air pressure to tracking egg quantities with pinpoint accuracy, the system left no stone unturned. Joe describes the intricate mechanisms employed to dry manure and control odor, fostering better relationships with neighbors and enriching the environment. This level of attention to detail underscores the farm’s commitment to ethical and ecological practices.
The automation is implemented and inserted into every facet of the egg farm’s operation from climate control to managing lighting schedules and even the feeding process. The result is an ecosystem that provides a nurturing environment for the chickens and optimal egg production.
Joe mentioned that not only did the technology and environment evolve, but their professional collaboration transformed into a genuine friendship. The mutual passion for refining the art of egg farming has created an interesting relationship instead.
PLCs and SCADA as the Heart of Control
Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) serve as the decision-making engines that drive the automation on the egg farm. While Human Machine Interfaces (HMIs) are present, their use is minimal. Instead, a comprehensive Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system takes center stage. This system enables centralized control of everything – from water pumps to backup generators, and even the egg washers. This advanced control structure empowers them to operate the entire farm from a remote location.
Integration of Data and Outputs
Joe explains how the farm carefully monitors a range of parameters, from egg production and feed consumption to environmental conditions and mortality rates. By merging these inputs with the nutritional requirements of the chickens, the system generates the optimal feed recipe and generates a cost-efficient feed recipe that aligns with these requirements. This optimized recipe is communicated to the feed mill’s PLC, where the feed is produced according to exact specifications, producing the perfect batch of feed for the chickens. The result? Chickens receive precisely what they need for optimal growth, egg production, and overall well-being.
The farm’s reliance on data-driven decision-making showcases the evolution of farming into a scientific art. The image of a traditional farmer with a bucket of feed is reimagined as a complex network of technology, data, and expertise. Joe aptly refers to this as “chicken trivia,” a fascinating tale that challenges conventional perceptions of egg production.
Joe underscores how automation not only maximizes efficiency but also empowers consumers. With automation handling each egg’s journey, from production to packaging, consumers receive eggs that have never been touched by human hands until they open the carton. This level of automation enhances food safety, quality, and consistency, creating a seamless connection between the farm and the table.
The final stage of egg production is packaging. With this, there are measures taken to ensure optimal performance, efficiency, and reliability.
The focus sharpens on a high-stakes scenario – a multimillion-dollar machine that processes a staggering 3,600 eggs every minute. Joe paints a vivid picture of the challenge: delivering eggs to this behemoth machine at a rate that maximizes its potential. The goal isn’t simply to feed it with eggs; it’s about ensuring that the machine runs at peak efficiency. Delivering fewer eggs than its capacity results in underutilization, increased labor costs, and extended operation hours.
The equilibrium of egg delivery becomes the driving force behind the operation’s efficiency. The automation’s design hinges on delivering the perfect number of eggs per minute – a number that aligns with the machine’s capacity and minimizes labor requirements. By achieving this balance, the farm optimizes operational efficiency while minimizing costs.
In-depth discussions reveal that the packaging process isn’t solely about automation; it’s a synergy between automation, labor, and logistics. The machine’s automation manages the core process, but the human element remains vital. Operators load boxes, manage fork trucks and oversee the overall process. Beyond the operational phase, cleaning, sanitization, and maintenance become critical components, prolonging the life of the machines.
Growth and Expansion
Currently housing twelve-layer house buildings, the farm is set to add three more, solidifying its position as a significant player in the industry. This expansion hints at the continued convergence of technology and agriculture, with automation becoming the backbone of modern egg production.
Smart Alarming Through Connected Systems
The concept of smart alarming is where the farm’s automation system is equipped to reach out and communicate when anomalies occur. The system is strategically designed to provide a layered approach to alarms. First, the internal SCADA system on-site is programmed to generate alerts via various methods, such as text messages and calls, when issues arise. From high-temperature warnings to equipment failures, the system’s innate ability to notify relevant personnel ensures that no critical situation goes unnoticed.
To further bolster the reliability of alarm notifications, the farm leverages its existing security system. This integration serves as a parallel path for alarm communication, adding a layer of protection. Joe discusses the utilization of security sensors for essential parameters like high and low temperatures and water pressure. If an alert from the control system is overlooked, the integrated security system steps in to ensure that no critical condition goes unaddressed.
This system of interconnected alarms highlights the farm’s proactive approach to ensuring responsiveness in critical situations. The discussion underscores the farm’s commitment to reliability, safety, and animal welfare, as well as its keen understanding of the potential consequences of system failures.
Joe’s insights emphasize the importance of relationships in the world of automation and control. The farm’s partnership with Re:Build Optimation underscores the trust and loyalty that can develop over time. This collaboration has enabled the farm to implement a smart alarming system that truly aligns with its operational needs and goals. The system’s ability to reach out for assistance in case of alarms exemplifies the farm’s dedication to keeping its automation infrastructure robust and responsive.
With the vast metal structures of the buildings inhibiting traditional radio communication, the decision was made to tap into the existing fiber optic cabling network. This innovative solution brought WiFi to the buildings, allowing technicians to communicate seamlessly across the farm, regardless of location. The story underscores the farm’s commitment to continually improving its operations by adopting cutting-edge solutions.
As the interview takes a nostalgic turn, Joe recounts an incident from the early 2000s that illustrates the remarkable progress made in technology and remote accessibility. Facing a potable water pump issue, Joe was able to troubleshoot the problem remotely while waiting for his child’s school bus. This anecdote showcases the significant transformation in accessibility and real-time monitoring that has occurred over the years, positioning modern industries to tackle challenges with high efficiency.
The journey of automating a poultry farm to handle a staggering 3600 eggs per minute is proof of the power of technology, innovation, and a commitment to both efficiency and animal welfare. This remarkable feat not only highlights the potential of automation but also emphasizes the importance of collaboration between experts in various fields.
From its inception, the egg farm’s partnership with Re:Build Optimation showcased its dedication to finding holistic solutions. The farm’s journey from manual operations to a sophisticated automation system integrated seamlessly with data-driven decision-making reflects a fundamental shift in how agriculture is approached in the modern world.
The heart of the farm’s automation, PLCs, and SCADA system, serves as the backbone for managing everything from climate control to egg processing. This interconnected network of devices and sensors enables real-time monitoring, precise control, and the ability to proactively address issues before they escalate.
But it’s not just about machines and technology; the story of the egg farm’s automation emphasizes the crucial role of human expertise and ethical practices. The care given to the chickens, the optimal feed recipes generated from data analysis, and the commitment to maintaining humane conditions speak to a well-rounded approach to agriculture that considers both productivity and the well-being of animals.
As the egg farm expands, it becomes evident that automation will continue to play a central role in modern agriculture. The fusion of technology, data, and expertise has reshaped traditional farming into a sophisticated and scientific art. The farm’s ability to maintain relationships, whether with technology partners or the animals themselves, underscores the interconnectedness that drives success.
The journey of automating a poultry farm to handle 3600 eggs per minute isn’t just a story of increased productivity; it’s a narrative of progress, collaboration, and the pursuit of excellence. It showcases how automation can revolutionize industries, transforming them into efficient, data-driven, and ethical enterprises that shape the way we produce and consume food.
In a world where technology continues to evolve, the story of this egg farm serves as an inspiration, reminding us of the potential to leverage innovation for positive change. As we move forward, the lessons learned from this remarkable endeavor will undoubtedly continue to influence and shape the future of agriculture and automation.
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A fun and important note… this blog’s images are all AI-Generated, none of which are to be taken as indicative of the actual IP and environment within which the chicken population lives nor how the systems work. These are fun, imagination-inducing images AI generated by C47 Film Associates, our partner in creative play and storytelling.
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