Hergen Smid (60), together with his wife Jenneke (55) and sons André (22) and Dirk (22), has a company with 100,000 laying hens. On their site www.eiboerderij.nl it says that they have 35,000 free-range and 48,000 free-range hens, but by now there are 47,000 and 53,000 respectively due to a change in barn capacity. Since a few years, the Smid family works with the Speedpack 110.
Hergen Smid: "Chickens have been kept here since 1979. My wife Jenneke and I are mainly occupied with collecting the eggs. André and Dirk mainly do the checks and actually do all the work. The boys are all-rounders , they both have their driving licences, André has completed the training in Horst, Dirk is still following the training in Horst".
The Speedpack 110 functions at the Smid family as part of a complete line including the inspection roller track and the PS4 Tray Stacker from Prinzen. Hergen: "But the special thing about this packing line is that the Prinzen machines are combined with existing parts such as the Kletec tray buffer and the Kletec ANT 30, which places the stacks of eggs on the pallets. That also says something about how flexible the Prinzen systems are".
"The Speedpack looks easier to install than other types of packers. And if it's simpler to assemble, I think you also have fewer malfunctions. If a machine is more compact and therefore simpler to build, there will also be fewer breakdowns. Because of this way of building, you can also easily reach everything to remedy any malfunctions, or to clean everything thoroughly with air or by sweeping."
No earplugs needed
Hergen has worked with other packers for decades, but is happy that he has now chosen the Prinzen Speedpack. "Especially because this packer is the quieter machine. With other brands you need earplugs, not with the Speedpack. But what I find at least as important: this machine looks easier to install than other brands' installations. And if it's simpler to assemble, I think you'll have fewer malfunctions. Because if a machine is more compact and therefore simpler to build, less can go wrong. Because of this way of building, you can also easily reach everything to remedy any malfunctions, or to clean everything thoroughly with air or by sweeping."
"The packing line has integrated bins in several places. Those trays are now needed for the broken eggs because I have hens over eighty weeks old. That means more shrubs which we collect when sorting on the inspection roller conveyor. Sorting is very easy with this conveyor anyway. Suppose there is a cap in the packer, it stops and indicates that there is a malfunction. You can then clean up the mess and move on quickly.
Hergen hasn't had any real failures with this packer yet; that would be strange because the system has only been running for a few months. But the aspect of troubleshooting did play a part in the choice of this machine: "Prinzen also has mechanics at the dealers. In my case, there is a breakdown technician 20 kilometres away, who will be with us quickly if there is anything".
More ease of use
Hergen Smid notes that the packer is slightly more expensive than systems from other manufacturers with lower capacities: "But in the end I don't think that price is that important. In any case, there is little left of such a price difference if you spread it out in fifteen years' time. And I think it's much more important that I have a good machine. That gives me greater ease of work, and that's what it's all about. After all, you have to work four hours a day every day for years; then quality is the most important thing."
Egg vending machine
At the 'Egg farm' of the Smid family there is an egg vending machine where the egg lover can buy eggs at any time of the day. The vending machine is always filled with the freshest eggs. Wouldn't it be nice if there were a branch from the Speedpack; directly to the egg vending machine? Hergen smiles. "It's a nice idea, but the number of eggs dispensed is not that high. No, such a Speedpack 110 only becomes profitable with larger numbers. If you have 5,000 chickens, it's an expensive machine," says a satisfied Hergen.