Seed Technology and BDC Systems create bespoke mixing plant

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Seed Technology has worked with BDC Systems to design and install a bespoke grass seed mixing plant.

Seedtech’s general manager, Nigel Whyte, said: “We had a small grass seed mixing plant which was very labour intensive and delivered limited output. We needed a plant that would allow us to easily, quickly and accurately mix up to 20 varieties of grass seed to meet the individual seed mixes our customers require.

“Andrew Lee, BDC Systems’ director and his team were the first on the team sheet for this project. We have a longstanding and trusted relationship with Andrew Lee and for a development of this potential complexity, we understood the value of being able to draw on his vast experience and connections across the grain handling sector.”

During the scoping for this new project Seedtech and Mr Lee evaluated existing seed mixing plants in the UK, Ireland and Denmark. After agreeing BDC Systems’ design for the plant, Seedtech then had to overcome the installation challenge, synchronising the timings across the necessary teams so that the new plant would be up and running ahead of Seedtech’s new season.

Mr Whyte said: “Lee and the entire BDC team provided both onsite and remote support and successfully liaised with all of the contractors to ensure the job of work was complete. As with projects of this size and complexity there were some time delays but the new plant was fully operational in time for the new season.”

Installation was conducted by BDC Systems’ established partner, Irish Grain Handling Systems Ltd, supported by Castle Facility Electrical Services Ltd, in the Autumn of 2022 and was commissioned early in 2023.

Mr Lee and the BDC Systems team have designed an automated grass seed mixing plant that enables up to 20 varieties of seed to be drawn from individual storage hoppers and then mixed to deliver specific mixes. He said: “We designed a PLC control panel for the plant which integrates with Seedtech’s warehouse management system (WMS) so that the necessary automation could be achieved.”

Mr Whyte continued: “Our new grass seed mixing plant has been fully operational for almost four months and whilst we are still adapting to the system, we are extremely happy with how it is working for us. But, more importantly the Seedtech employees who run the plant are happy and proud to be working in such a state-of-the-art facility.

“The automation has greatly reduced manual handling which is crucial as finding good quality employees is a growing struggle. Reduced labour costs, reduced overtime, increased accuracy in mixing and increased output, delivers significant savings to our business.”

Seedtech is confident that BDC Systems’ design of the new plant not only meets its current requirements but has enough built-in capacity to meet its forecasted growth ambitions.

“It pays to engage with a partner like Andrew Lee and the entire BDC System team. Andrew understands the importance of putting time and effort into the planning and design stage of any project. Plus, he brings a bank of knowledge and expertise to the table and can correctly interpret the feedback from customers, especially from those who will be operating at the coalface of the project. The end result is that everyone’s expectations are not just met, but exceeded,” concluded Mr Whyte.

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