The BinTrac Feedline Control from HerdStar integrates feedline control with bin monitoring by operating feed lines, agitating bins, tracking feed usage and activating alarms when necessary. It works with new or existing feed delivery systems with little or no modifications.
“The Feedline Control is an extension of our BinTrac Bin Weighing System and a further step toward an integrated feed management system,” explains Bob Baarsch, Herdstar CEO. “It features smart alarms that help guarantee there won’t be any false alarms. Integration with feedline sensors allowed us to address several problems that producers may face. The move to improve conversion and use byproducts in feed has resulted in finer and more difficult feed flow. This system can reduce more than 75% of bridging and out-of-feed events.”
Both on-site and remote monitoring capabilities are available via smart phones or the Internet. When added to the BinTrac Bin Weighing System, the Feedline Control will detect interruptions to the flow of feed within seconds. The Feedline Control can auto-start augers after a feed delivery to quickly refill empty feeders. It can also shut down equipment to prevent wear or damage if feed is not flowing, along with activating alarms or agitators.
While the auger is running, the system monitors decreasing bin weight in order to verify that feed is being drawn from the bins. The date and time of each auger run cycle and feed usage, by line, can be logged over a 24-hour period. Four consecutive, 24-hour, feed-use periods on the BinTrac Indicator located on the bin or in an office can be viewed. The Bintrac.com online interface builds feed orders, schedules deliveries and monitors false or improper deliveries. The online interface also tracks feed consumption and monitors both alarms and responses. Error reports with a timestamp help make troubleshooting easier.
An out-of-feed alarm is activated when feed flow is not detected during an auger run attempt and when the bin registers empty. A bridged-feed alarm activates when load cells register feed in the bin, but no flow is detected. The control will attempt three auger starts before initiating an alarm. The system can also be wired to automatically start and stop a feed agitator to overcome a bridging problem. Smart agitation overcomes the negative consequences of over-agitation and packing associated with vibration-type agitators.
Producers can program the amount of time the auger can run after feed drops below the sensor level with a run delay timer. This protects the system from damage due to short cycling. The run delay is adjustable from 0 minutes to 99.9 hours.
An alarm control can be wired to activate common warning or notification devices.
The BinTrac Feedline Control sells for a retail price of $425.00.
The review panel agreed that having accurate feed delivery and feed-use information would help producers manage feed costs. “Scheduling feed deliveries at the right time is a real challenge producers face. If you could use consumption information and start planning when you would be out of feed, you could more accurately schedule feed deliveries well ahead of when feed will be needed,” Hugoson says. “If you used the information, such as the weight of the feed, and the consumption in a wean-to-market operation, for example, you could have the right amount of feed in place from Day 1.”
Patience noted producers could avoid leaving dollars on the table if they could see how much feed is delivered and compare it to their feed budget. “More accurate feed delivery would also help deal with the issue of having leftover finisher feed in the bin when you get a new batch of pigs. I can’t think of a worse way to get pigs started than to put a finisher diet in front of an 18-day-old pig,” he notes.
Pohl says being able to check multiple bins electronically could improve biosecurity risks that can come along with visiting multiple sites to check bins.
“I think they have done due diligence when developing this product. I like the wireless concept and the ability to get on the Internet or use a smart phone to get the necessary information,” he adds.