To raise and care for hens, commercial egg producers like Michigan’s Schipper Eggs need to store, mix and move tons of grain to feed the hens.
The company uses an automated feed set up where raw grain, usually corn, is mixed with soybean meal, vitamins and minerals and then transported to the buildings that house the hens where automated feeders delivers the product.
With the feed mill operating 14-16 hours a day, Schipper Facilities Manager Dan Berghorst says additional oversight was necessary.
“We needed a way for the operators to have instant remote access including being able to monitor the mill’s operational status and also start, stop or modify how the feed was being mixed,” Berghorst says.
The solution for the company was the implementation of a remote monitoring system.
Initially, Berghorst switched the mill to an Opto 22 SNAP PAC control system, but he switched to Opto 22’s groov when it became available.
According to Berghorst, the setting up the operator interface was quick.
“Building screens was quick and it didn’t take long to get up and running,” Berghorst says.
Opto 22 develops and manufactures hardware and software for applications involving industrial automation and control, energy management, remote monitoring, and data acquisition.
Berghorst set up accounts for secure operation allowing feed mill operators to monitor and control the mill from their smartphones.
“I love the way I can change screens and it gets pushed to all the devices as soon as they refresh,” Berghorst says.