In the family business Wessels-Vetker, Sander Vetker already represents the third generation. His grandfather Henk Wessels (87) already had a breeding farm for parent animals and Sander (25) still does, together with his father Frits Vetker (57). His mother Erna-Vetker-Wessels (56) used to do the administration. Sander: "She doesn't do that anymore. But in fact she still takes care of our company; of the inner human being to be precise".
The Wierden-based company Wessels-Vetker has 50,000 animals (46,000 hens and the rest cocks) and stands for three generations of breeders who have all opted for a Prinzen pack. The latest installation they now have is an Ovoset Pro with an Ovograder and a Trolleyloader. Sander also fully agrees with the recent purchase of the new installation. The service offered plays an important role in this. Sander: With the installation of Prinzen we hardly ever have any problems. And if there is a malfunction, we call and you can usually make it yourself on their instructions. This way you can move on quickly because the eggs don't wait; they just have to be collected seven days a week. And if it doesn't work over the phone, they will come running. Like when the pump with which the eggs are sucked up didn't work anymore. Then you really have a problem because then you can't do anything anymore. It wasn't the relay so the vacuum pump had to be broken. In case of sunshine, they will come and fix it immediately."
According to Sander, Prinzen's thinking is solution-oriented; they never say that anything is not possible: In 2007 my father had a hernia. At that time the choice for a Trollyloader was quickly made. But there was no room for placement in one line of a packer and a loader. They came to have a look and then the Trollyloader was placed next to the line by developing a sideshift system especially for our situation.
Sander is pleased with the expansion possibilities of the Prinzen installations: We have been able to give our old packer from the PSPC series a place in our new line. We can now pack hatching eggs, small hatching eggs and table eggs. The small hatching eggs are packed by the old PSPC packer. We have had this one overhauled and now it just comes back in. The old packer still looks good but that is also because it was already made of stainless steel. The stainless steel makes the whole installation easy to clean. By the way, it does not have to be spotless to run the installation, because if you lubricate the moving parts regularly, it will all continue to work properly. But I want a clean machine because it fits in with our hygiene protocol. And then stainless steel is ideal because you can easily spray it clean; two to three times per round. Because with 30,000 eggs you overlook some weakly shelled eggs.
More egg classes
Future-oriented; that's how Sander describes Prinzen's installations: they lead the way and you can see that especially at the Ovograder. If you compare it to Prinzen's first weigher, the Elgra, the Ovograder has become much faster. With the Elgra we were able to weigh 15,000 eggs per hour, now 30,000; well in theory then, because in practice there are always some empty spots on the tyre. Furthermore, with the Ovograder it has become more accurate. If, for example, a feather sticks to the load cell, the weigher corrects itself so that you always have the perfect protein movement. But the most important thing, in my opinion, is that the Ovograder can handle more egg classes. This is important to us, because it enables us to remain interesting for our customers as a propagator. I do not yet know exactly how that will go in the future. But I do know that being able to supply different egg weights will lead to an increase in quality and a better return on investment, also for our clients.
So is the Prinzen pack really a ideal installation? Well, if you're a pig farmer or dairy farmer, I wouldn't choose it because it wouldn't be of any use to you, jokes Sander Vetker.