5 Things Customers Can Do To Improve Egg Flow

Jun 25, 2024

5 Ways To Improve Egg Flow Article

We get it, everyone wants the ideal situation of an egg flow that is optimized to perfection. But how do we actually get there?

When your poultry operation system was set up, we went over all of the necessities. Of course as time goes by and you get into the daily grind, it’s easy to lose sight of some of the important ways to optimize your egg flow. In case you have forgotten over the years, here’s a refresher on some of the basics. In this article we are going to go over the advantages of:

  • Understanding rate diagnostics
  • Performing sample checks
  • Maintaining counters
  • Optimization drivers
  • Establishing regular systems

Let’s get to it!

#1 Understand and utilize the rate diagnostics graphs within the egg flow system.

Everyone wants to have that optimal eggflow without an excessive amount of stops. But how do you limit the number of stops from getting out of hand? This is where understanding your rate diagnostics graphs within the egg flow system comes in handy.

Taking a look at this graph allows you to get a big picture of how your egg flow rate is progressing. The goal is to find a sweet spot between your short term scans and your average scans. Shortening your scans gives a better look at the ups and downs in your data. Just using longer average scans will give you data that doesn’t always realistically reflect what the egg flow is. Typically, the way to find that balance is to establish a base, and then manually adjust the slider bar between the two and fine-tune until you reach a good balance.

#2 Perform routine sample checks and verification of various egg counters.

The last thing you want after a nice egg run is to find out your egg counters are not counting accurately. Performing routine sample checks on your egg counters ensures you are getting accurate counts. Doing this is relatively easy. With an infrared counter (IR), a good routine would be taking a flat of 32 eggs and running them past the counter to see if the counter accounts for all 32. This is a simple and easy way to see if your IR counter is accurate. When performing this test, you first want to make sure the counter is placed at a slight angle with a leading edge out, and that there is the right amount of light needed for the IR.

For IR 6, IR 8, and above you will want to perform a more substantial high speed count. For this count, you want to run at least 10 flats or 320 through. It’s best to put them all in one bunch on the belt to see if the IR counter can accurately account for all eggs. Even with the new Prism EggSight counters, performing routine checks ensures everything is working as it should.

You can determine the best routine, but if you want optimal egg flow, it is important to perform routine sample checks monthly. If you suspect an issue with the counters you should go ahead and perform a sample check as needed.

#3 Proper cleaning, maintenance, and mounting of the IR-style counters.

So, you are looking at your rate diagnostics and performing sample checks. Both of these are going to be inaccurate if your IR counters are off proper mounting, dirty, or just need maintenance.

With the wear and tear of everyday use, it’s not uncommon for an IR counter could be knocked out of optimal placement. When checking on the counters, make sure the counter is properly mounted. With the larger counters, our team measures a block that is calculated to reach the optimal height for the counter. If you are unsure about the optimal placement, you can always reach out to our team for a refresher.

Thankfully cleaning your IR counters is an easy task, and can be done with a soft feather duster or dust-repellent rag. You don’t want to use a solvent, just soapy water. It is best to clean the sensors weekly. Of course, the dirtier the environment, the more frequently you will want to ensure the dust and gunk is off the sensor. It is good to establish a routine with your crew to make sure it is getting done.

For camera egg counters like our EggSight, you want to use a light feather duster, as you don’t want to touch the camera lens. We recommend this feather-like duster from Amazon.

#4 Verification of analog speed of each drive in each house.

Even if your egg counters are accurate, if you want to achieve that prized optimal egg flow, you want to make sure your Variable Speed Drives (VSDs) are functioning properly.

This process involves verifying the analog speed of each drive across different settings (1%, 50%, and 100% belt speed) to align with optimal operational requirements. Typically, VSDs have a range from 10 to 80 Hertz, allowing for adjustments within a 50-point spread.

It is good practice to have an annual routine of checking your VSDs. If you replace an old drive with a new one for any reason, you will definitely want to perform an analog speed check for the new drive. While basic speed checks can be managed by skilled personnel, making micro-adjustments to get things dialed in can be a little more involved. Our team at Prism is always happy to help talk through dialing in those adjustments and can provide you with Egg Belt Encoders which make it easy to see daily belt travel.

#5 Evenly empty each house every day at the same amount of run.

This last tip on optimizing your egg flow is less about fixing a problem, and more about knowing your system’s needs. Egg collection can be done in many ways, and each farm has different reasons for how it is done.

In extreme temperature regions, some farms prefer to completely empty the belts of eggs daily to make sure the eggs stay fresh. When extreme temperatures are less of a threat, some farms choose not to completely empty belts each day. Instead, they might run operations until a predetermined amount of eggs, such as 60% of belt capacity is collected. Other farms only run until 30% to 40%, because they watch for a convergence of X where the short-term scans start dropping off and the belt speed starts to increase.

Overall, the goal is to avoid inconsistent delays in egg processing the next morning, and in turn, cause issues down the production line.

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These are 5 important ways to increase your egg flow each day. If you are disciplined to keep up on these 5 areas, you can expect that your egg flow will remain effective and keep your eggs moving at an optimal rate.

Our team of engineers is always ready to help get you optimized. Don’t hesitate to contact our team with any questions, concerns, or even ideas on how to keep your operation as top-notch as you are!

 

Authored by Kelly Fears