The barn is controlled by app

Markus Möhler
Markus Möhler

It is well known that digitalization has also made its way into the field of agriculture. Various functions and processes, especially around the barn, are controlled and influenced. With its SBE Farm Management System, the Ertingen-based company Lock offers new, innovative possibilities for the farmer, whereby all parameters can be networked with each other. This is cross-manufacturer, with only one app required for all controllable functions.

Also beneficial to animal welfare

For the user, this means on the one hand a cost saving and on the other hand an unlimited possibility to further expand the system accordingly. "A forward-looking development, which above all takes into account animal welfare and increased efficiency, as well as the health and relief of the farmer," said Tobias Jäggle, Sales Manager Agricultural Technology at Lock, at the presentation of the SBE system.

Important expansion of the portfolio

The Ertingen-based company Lock is the global market leader in drive technology for ventilation systems. Now, with the new control system, another milestone has been added to the company's existing portfolio. With it, the farmer makes his barn digital, which brings enormous improvements for animals and people. For example, the temperature in the barn, the humidity and wind direction are recorded via special sensors. The same applies to the brightness in the barn or the ammonia content. The data is recorded, analyzed and linked. Programmed processes are then triggered via the SBE control system. "We offer the farmer individual modules that he needs for his operation. Our app is able to take on a cross-manufacturer optimization of the control infrastructure, compressing all existing or new building blocks such as ventilation system, lighting or other functions," says Tobias Jäggle. Whether in an existing barn or in a new building, the app provides detailed data reporting on all existing building blocks.

A global pioneer

The software was developed by a team at the Ertinger company Lock and also takes a pioneering role worldwide. "The know-how comes from within the company and we are the only manufacturer on the market that is compatible with every system." The focus of Lock SBE farm management is on proper ventilation of a barn. Ridge or side ventilation via so-called curtains are controlled digitally, as is proper lighting. A cow shower and the use of fans as well as the automatic cleaning of the walking surfaces also serve animal welfare. At the same time, the farmer has the option of monitoring all functions via his cell phone or laptop at any time and also influencing them individually. The use of cameras in the barn or in the surrounding area is also of great importance. "How are the cows lying? Is the lighting optimally adjusted in terms of time and brightness? These are just a few examples of what camera monitoring offers," explains Tobias Jäggle: "The farmer can shape the future digitally with us."

An example of where digitalization has made inroads was then offered during a tour of the barn at the Müller dairy farm in Allmannsweiler. About six weeks ago, said farmer Karl Müller, they moved into the 90-meter-long barn with 150 cows. The cows have enough space and room and visibly feel comfortable in the bright, light-flooded and almost odor-free barn. They silently eat their tasty silage and make a relaxed, satisfied impression. You can feel the optimal indoor climate, which is also created by the interaction of the technology in the barn. "We also wanted to expand cow comfort through the extension," reports the farmer, which is achieved through various building blocks in the barn and with the two milking robots.

Thus, the side and ridge ventilation are controlled via the indoor sensors, the feeding stations are controlled and, above all, the LED lighting provides a relaxed atmosphere. In addition, the feed auger of the concentrated feed silo is controlled. But that is not all that is still installed and digitized via the Lock App. The manure agitator is also controlled by the app, and a cow shower and fans in the area of the two milking robots will follow. "I would have had to have at least six different controls for my barn, but that's not the case with the Lock SBE farm management system. I can monitor everything on my app and adjust it to my needs, and I am always informed if any function is not being carried out," Karl Müller tells us.

Another aspect of relying on this system for digitization is that this app is compatible with all existing systems and parameters and can be expanded. In addition, the app is easy to operate and change, and with Christian Weiß and a team from the Ertingen company Lock, a contact person is always available in case of problems. He can only confirm that the SBE Farm Management System takes animal welfare into account while increasing efficiency, sustainability and saving working time. "At the same time, the health and relief of the farmer is also an essential part of the control system," says Tobias Jäggle. Since this can be expanded indefinitely, digitalization can also move with it in the direction of the private sector.