Switzerland’s Bell AG gets Smart for the future

SWITZERLAND - Bell AG, the largest supplier of meat and meat products in Switzerland, recently opened a new, state-of-the-art hatchery in Aeschlen using future-focused Smart hatchery systems from Pas Reform.
calendar icon 1 May 2006
clock icon 3 minute read

Erb Hatchery, which is the first in the country that employs Pas Reform’s innovative Smart technology, has opened in July last year, with the capacity for up to 16 million hatching eggs per annum. Investment in the new hatchery, owned by Mr. and Mrs. Erb, is a reflection of the Bell Group’s continuing expansion in poultry and poultry meat products in Switzerland, and will further consolidate the company’s leading position in the Swiss poultry market.

Pas Reform has been contracted to deliver a tailored combination of SmartSet™ setters, SmartHatch™ hatchers, SmartDrive™ incubator controls and a SmartCenter™ hatchery information system, to the project. The Dutch company has also been responsible for planning the new project, including hatchery’s layout, routing plans, floors, drains, ceilings, ventilation, water and electrical systems. Mr. Michaël Kampschöer, Pas Reform’s Sales Manager in Switzerland, will manage the Erb project team.

‘We understand that every operation is unique’, he says, ‘and our team has worked hand-in-hand with Mr. and Mrs. Erb, to develop a hatchery-specific strategy that optimises the most efficient, performance-enhancing combination of incubators, hatchery automation and hatchery climate control systems, while at the same time supporting highly optimised workflows within the operation’. ‘By taking the time to learn about the hatchery and Bell’s business objectives, we have b ecome well placed to ensure that the hatchery is ready and able to meet tomorrow’s needs’.

Bell’s poultry market segment has contributed significantly to the Group’s market-leading position, to become one of the Group’s core divisions in recent years, thanks to innovative product development that is carefully aligned to evolving customer requirements. ‘This decision has not been taken lightly’, says hatchery owner Mr. Erb. ‘We have studied the options available in the marketplace against our current and future requirements in great detail, to decide which incubator system to place in this hatchery. In the final analysis, we selected the newly developed Smart Incubation System from Pas Reform for a number of reasons, and most notably, it was the short spread of hatch delivered by the new incubator that decided the project in Pas Reform’s favour’.

The SmartSet™ setter is divided into small, separate units, each with its own climate control to provide uniform incubation conditions that support equal, synchronised embryonic development for each individual egg within the machine, a factor of fundamental importance to achieving a narrow spread of hatch.

‘A large spread in hatching time, and consequentyly in the duration to first feed/water intake, causes poor uniformity in day olds, which complicates farm management and undermines performance and results’, explained Mr. Schatzmann, Head of Bell’s poultry production group. ‘Minimising spread of hatch is crucial for optimum results’.

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