Seed World

Barenbrug Invests in New Coating Line

Peter Hüser, PETKUS leader key accounts seed; Marcel Wolbrink, Barenbrug head supply chain management; Jos van der Wielen, managing direcor of Barenbrug Holland; Khaled Raed, PETKUS innovation manager. Photo: PETKUS Group.

It has to deliver exceptional quality. It has to be highly reproducible. It has to have the option to develop complex individual coating recipes. It has to set new standards. These were the parameters the team at Barenbrug put in place when the decision was made to upgrade the company’s seed processing technology.

“We are not satisfied with keeping an already very high status-quo, but are steadily aiming to work out the details to serve our clients at the absolute highest level,” says Marcel Wolbrink, head of Barenbrug supply chain management.

Their attention was drawn to the PETKUS MultiCoater “CM.” The coating line project was more than implementing a new coating machine; it was about developing a customized technological coating solution, explains Khaled Raed, PETKUS innovation manager. Several intensive test series with alfalfa, agrostis and rye grass were conducted in PETKUS’ own testing facility upfront. Under real conditions, the performance of the MultiCoater was thoroughly analyzed.

“We were excited by playing around with recipes by trial and error,” shares Ryan Coonen, coating operator at Barenbrug. For example, when encrusting alfalfa with bacteria such as Rhizobia, the dosing of the bacteria has to be highly precise and in a definite layer to ensure a maximum mode of action.

After seeing the coating homogeneity, seed-to-treatment coverage ratio, flowability and capacity, the coating line came from testing to implementation status at the Nijmegen facility, where Barenbrug is headquartered. The installation was in strict accordance with high engineering premises (environmental, health and safety). Project management was oriented to supporting the complete Barenbrug team, from top down to bottom up.

Teaching and learning about the working principles of the CM led to an optimized recipe, which in turn surpassed the expected coating capacity by approximately 30 percent. Jos van der Wielen, managing director of Barenbrug Holland, says: “This coating line project was a prime example of how to improve our seed coating quality and efficiency by closely cooperating with the technology provider and to profit from each other’s experience.”