The climate in pig houses is increasingly regulated based on negative pressure rather than with a measuring fan that determines how much ventilation is required in the compartment. After all, ventilation based on pressure regulation is much more accurate, which has a positive impact on the welfare of your pigs. This accurate ventilation principle is called SmartFlow and can be easily implemented in any existing pig house.
With SmartFlow, the system measures the pressure differential between the compartment and the central duct. This is done with a negative pressure sensor that can be easily mounted in the central corridor. The measurements determine how much air is flowing through the compartments. The SmartFlow is not limited by minimal air speeds, which means this system is capable of more accurate ventilation, even at minimum ventilation.Download brochure
Converting an existing house to the SmartFlow system is very easy. The measuring fan is replaced with an ADU controller and pressure sensors are added. This applies both to houses with direct ventilation and those with a central duct.
Recently, two new modern pig houses have been realized with the latest technology. The pigs in these farm are produced with the Beter-Leven-Keurmerk 1 star. All departments have daylighting and each animal has at least 1 square meter of living space. The ventilation is very closely regulated, using the SmartFlow principle. The SmartFlow measures the pressure difference between the section and the central plenum to compute how much air is flowing in each section. The whole farm is equipped with dimmable and non-dimmable LED lighting. The complete control of the climate and lighting is done by the modern Thomas® system. The system is linked to the EasyButton, that can be used to select variouis phases per section.
In South Africa the Thomas® controls have been installed in trailers for pigs. The Thomas® system regulates the right climate for pigs during transport. This ensures a pleasant transport and a high health of the animals. The system is linked to a smartphone app, so that the climate can be controlled remotely.
At the end of 2015, a new boar barn was built in Vietnam. The new barn is one of the most modern barns in South East Asia. Hotraco Agri worked with VDL Agrotech to design the climate and feed control systems.
A pig barn in the United Kingdom has been fully automated to allow feed testing at the sty level. The barn has 24 feed silos and the feed is mixed and distributed to the various sties by two feed weighers.
Our Bulgarian dealer Agroconsult recently established a new operation for sows in Bulgaria. The operation consists of one gestation barn for 288 sows, four farrowing sections, each with 36 places, three nursing sections, each with 900 piglets and two sections each with 87 sows.
A large pig company for 1,500 sows has recently been completed in Belarus. Hotraco Agri, along with its local partner, designed the system for ventilation, cooling, heating and dry feed control. The entire operation comprises an insemination unit, gestation barn, six farrowing sections, nine nursing sections, 16 barns for fattening pigs, a barn for boars, two breeding units and also a quarantine room.
The Thomas® automation system for pig farming was introduced at EuroTier 2016 and has already been successfully implemented at a Dutch pig farm by our dealer E.T.B. van Heerdt. The Thomas® system guarantees perfect harmony between control computers and dry feed and ventilation systems. The system is linked to an app that allows the pig farmer to view and change any of the settings and operate all the control computers.
Another pig barn in South Africa has been automated with the Hotraco system. It concerns four barns with a total of eight compartments. Each compartment contains 1,100 piglets, weighing between 6 and 35 kg. The SIRIUS computer controls the ventilation, heating and extra cooling. The feed is registered via silo weighing. The computers are connected to the SMARTLINK-RM, which makes remote control possible. The SIRIUS computer can be controlled via a smartphone, tablet or PC using the Remote+ app. In this way, the staff are able to respond quickly to situations in the barns, no matter where they happen to be.
Hotraco Agri is participating in a study at Wageningen University and Research about LED lighting in pig barns. The study is being conducted by Wageningen Livestock Research at the Swine Innovation Centre (VIC), Sterksel. This is the multifunctional research centre for modern, innovative and sustainable pig farming. Hotraco Agri is working on this study together with the groups DLV Consultancy, Rofianda, Wageningen Livestock Research. The study is looking at the effect of LED light on the well-being, productivity and behaviour of pigs. Hotraco Agri is participating with the new Thomas® Automation System for pig farming. Thomas® controls the LED lighting in the barn and records the lux levels. Thomas® also controls the climate here. The CO2, NH3 and RV levels are measures and recorded. The study is fully underway, see the photos here.
Two brand new pig fattening barns are currently under construction in Odiliapeel, a small village in the province of Brabant. The new buildings will meet the very latest requirements for animal welfare, environment and fire safety. One of the two barns, which will house 1728 fattening pigs and 2304 piglets, was recently completed. Our dealer Van Boxtel Elektro installed the system there.
Pig farmer Louis Klomp is very positive about the Thomas® system in his barn. At the end of 2017 a major expansion was carried out at the Klomp pig holding in Moergestel (NL). Since the expansion the company has 1200 sows and about 6,000 weaners, and there is another barn in Heukelom with just under 6,000 fattening pigs. The Thomas® automation system in the new barn was installed by local dealer Wouters Klimaattechniek. This gives the pig farmer complete control over the climate and lighting within his company. ‘The system is the heart of the barn and easy to operate via the phone,’ Klomp says.
The Thomas® climate system has been successfully installed in the family Duppenthaler’s 9-room pig farm in the municipality of Melchnau, in the canton of Bern, Switzerland. The ventilation system for approximately 850 fattening pigs was installed by the firm JENNI Lüftungen AG from Ruswil.
Hotraco Agri is introducing a new software version of the Thomas® system which has been upgraded with new climate solutions and functionalities.
The new MODbus control makes it possible to determine the valve position in the ventilation duct more precisely.
As a pig farmer, it is important for you to be able to follow your animals' growth. To do this, you need to be able to monitor the pigs' weight development closely. Hotraco Agri's automatic animal weighing solution helps pig farmers continuously track animal weight and achieve the optimum sale weight as efficiently as possible.