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Johannes Kohne, Technical Manager, keeps an eye on the performance data of all vacuum pumps on the large screen in his office. Source: Emsland Frischgeflügel.

Saving on Maintenance Costs with Digital Services

Emsland Frischgeflügel GmbH (Emsland Fresh Poultry GmbH)

Saving 70 percent on maintenance costs and receiving a 30 percent subsidy: How Emsland Frischgeflügel GmbH succeeds with its new vacuum system from Busch Vacuum Solutions and why its technicians can now sleep soundly on weekends.

Johannes Kohne and his colleague look attentively at the large screen in his office. What they see is the current performance data of all their vacuum pumps. "Everything is running smoothly," says the Technical Manager of Emsland Frischgeflügel. Each pump's data is available in real-time on the tablets of all 60 company technicians. This means that they always know the system’s current condition and can intervene if something does not run properly. Just a few rooms down, the 36 MINK vacuum pumps from Busch Vacuum Solutions are purring away. Very reliably, they supply the site’s transport system with vacuum. This ensures that waste from meat production, as well as ready-to-eat products, can be transported from Point A to Point B safely, effectively and hygienically by pneumatic suction conveying.

Quality right from the start

"We don't throw anything away; everything is processed – for human consumption or as high-quality animal feed," emphasizes Kohne. The unconditional quality standard applies throughout the entire company: in their vacuum supply and products, as well as working conditions and animal welfare.
That’s why Emsland Frischgeflügel keeps an eye on the entire process chain – from feed to meat processing. In addition to three compound feed plants, the Rothkötter group also includes a hatchery and two chicken slaughtering and cutting plants. Franz Rothkötter laid the foundation for the compound feed plant in 1959. In 2003, Franz-Josef Rothkötter built the production facility in Haren, Emsland. Around 2,500 employees process chicken pieces from blade to fillet for food retail and further processing in various weight and packaging units.

Funded by the German Federal Government

At the beginning of 2022, Kohne had the old vacuum system with oil-lubricated rotary vane vacuum pumps exchanged for the new MINKs.
The advantages of Busch claw vacuum pumps are obvious to him: thanks to their dry operating principle, they do not require operating fluids in the compression chamber and operate nearly maintenance-free.
Kohne calculates, "Not only have we saved an unbelievable amount of time tending to the systems, but we have also saved 70 percent of maintenance costs. Specialists spending hours cleaning pumps and changing oil on the weekend is now a thing of the past!" What's more, thanks to the state-of-the-art IE4 motors that drive the MINKs, around 274,500 kWh of energy can be saved in one year.
Another advantage was the 30 percent of the purchase costs that Emsland Frischgeflügel was refunded from the Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control (BAFA), which supports the conversion to state-of-the-art, energy-efficient technologies in Germany. Busch experts helped with the application for the reimbursement.

OO – digital services from Busch

But that's not all! Kohne also took advantage of digitalization for the changeover and had all 36 MINK pumps fitted with OO, the digital service innovation from Busch. In other words, they permanently send performance data such as pump temperature, vibrations, and inlet pressure to the cloud, which can then be accessed via PC, tablet or smartphone. "How high the transmission oil temperature is, whether the inlet pressure is constant, how high the exhaust air temperature is – we didn't know all that before. And now, thanks to OO, we even have it on our tablet via the app," says Kohne enthusiastically. "And thanks to the excellent cooperation between our IT department and Busch experts, the installation in our system has also worked extremely well." Emsland Frischgeflügel has also signed an Active Service Contract for maintenance with Busch and trusts the vacuum specialists from Maulburg for maintenance. Through targeted, predictive maintenance, excessive wear and premature failure can be prevented. And in the event of a problem, Busch technicians can also connect to the system remotely.

Reliable and fail-safe

Reliability and fail-safety are crucial for Emsland Frischgeflügel, as otherwise, manufacturing would come to a standstill and – in the worst case – allow food to spoil. On the processing lines, all cut chicken pieces fall through collection hoppers into dedicated vessels. A ball valve opens every six minutes and the contents are extracted. Busch MINK claw vacuum pumps provide the vacuum required for extraction, transport and the cleaning process at the end of the production shift. Based on the data that is permanently sent to the cloud, standard cycles are calculated. These are used to align with the actual pressure profile to detect deviations in advance, allowing company technicians to act ahead of time. "We want to fix the problems before they actually arise," explains Kohne.

Fit for the future

Other central vacuum systems from Busch are also in use at Emsland Frischgeflügel in Haren. They provide additional transport systems with vacuum. 25 special oxygenated versions of the MINK vacuum pumps are used for packaging under protective gas with an elevated oxygen level (MAP). All 135 existing pumps will be retrofitted with the IoT kit in the near future. In its sister company in Wietze, Lower Saxony, all pumps are already fitted with OO. "Then our vacuum supply is state-of-the-art and we are fully digital. It was the right decision to modernize and digitalize our plants together with Busch! For us, OO is both convenient and profitable," Kohne says enthusiastically.