The Ramseier family operate their farm in the municipality of Eggiwil in the Emmental Valley. Several years ago, they decided to raise chickens according to organic guidelines. This meant they were breaking new ground as a producer of organically fattened chickens. An interesting new business line – but one that also presented challenges.
The Ramseier family has six chicken-fattening pens. Distributing over 70 tonnes of feed each year was bound to be a very laborious manual job: even with two people working, each feed took half an hour. Urs Ramseier, the operations manager at the farm, believed that the feeding process could be optimised. He is a farmer with an innovative mindset, so he turned to the Weiss+Appetito Group for support. When he phoned the Suction+Pressure Blowing business unit, a discussion quickly established that a vacuum vehicle would not be the right solution. A good example of cross-divisional thinking: Urs Ramseier was then passed on to the Special Vehicle Construction experts at Weiss+Appetito SEM AG.
From the original idea to the machine
There are many cases where a standard machine cannot deliver optimum performance for the intended purpose. Weiss+Appetito SEM AG responds by including individual solutions in its offering. Our Special Vehicle Construction Division headed by Simon Johner is responsible for these services. He and his team are always very happy to respond to individual requests, and they take on a vast range of different assignments. Following an in-depth discussion with Mr Ramseier, ideas for optimising the feeding process were developed. The solution would be a machine that could convey the feed from a hopper into the feed troughs with no need to move the feed hopper into the pens every time. The hopper was to remain in position outside. Other points also required consideration: noise emissions had to be kept as low as possible and dust emissions had to be limited to the minimum.
Requirements and restrictions – but they presented no problems for Simon Johner and his team. They developed a unique system that will make it much easier to feed the birds from now on. Its name: the Pneumatic Feed Conveyor. This novel machine consists of a feed tank that protrudes into the rotary valve. The rotary valve meters the feed to the side channel blower, which uses the injector principle to convey the feed through a hose to the hand-guided blow-out nozzle. The centrepiece of the system is the specially developed blow-out box that was produced entirely with our company's own 3D printer. Thanks to this new system, the feed troughs can now be filled mechanically with virtually no dust emissions. After less than half a year, we were able to hand the newly developed machine over to its proud owner – ready to operate for the first time. We'd like to thank the Ramseier family for this exciting contract and we wish them all the best.