Building on its experience in the seed breeding business, Croonwolter&dros decided three years ago to look into the development of seed technology. The large Dutch technical services provider established its own brand with Premium Seeds Machines. In their first year of existence they already built and delivered complete seed enhancement systems.
The firm has recently brought an innovative, patented seed dryer to the market. This specific machine will be showcased at the international seed technology exhibition 'Seed meets Technology' in Zwaagdijk, the Netherlands, from 28 until 30 September 2021. Jaap Reijntjes, director of Premium Seeds Machines, the new brand of Croonwolter&dros, told us more about it and outlined the plans of this new player in the seed technology market.
In its short history, the brand has already made its mark. In fact, the technical service provider, which has its roots in automation and installation technology, has spent years developing climate systems for greenhouses and laboratories, among other things. This immediately connected with the world of seed breeding. Croonwolter&dros saw opportunities in this market, especially now, that with a growing world population and on-going climate change, a great deal is demanded of seed breeding companies.
The first machines
Production of the first machines began in 2018 with a team full of specialists at the ready. Talks with potential customers were also immediately held in order to identify needs in the market. The first machines were delivered that same year. They were seed disinfection machines, "quite straightforward for a machine builder," according to Jaap. He says that this first step as a new player in the market is important. "As a team we wanted to show that we deliver high quality systems."
Electrical engineer and mechanical engineer from the team of Premium Seeds Machines
Meanwhile, the company continued exploring the market. A thorough market survey was carried out which showed that there is a great need for new drying techniques and product optimization.
A seed cleaning line was developed for a Dutch company. It brought several cleaning components together in one line. "Consequently, the customer got a very orderly installation with a more efficient use of floor space. It allowed it to achieve higher production quality and to increase output fast and good."
An NLPD seed dryer
Patented seed dryer
For the next project, which Premium Seeds Machines started after consulting the market, the focus was not on speed. The name Natural Long Process Dryer says it all. The NLPD seed dryer that it developed uses natural air currents and aims to dry the seed slowly in a closed environment. A drying time of between 24 and 72 hours can be selected.
Jaap says that "our innovative, patented technique does not necessarily speed up the drying process, but ensures that the seed dries slowly and in a controlled manner, so that the seed does not experience any stress and therefore retains optimum germination capacity. Off course is faster drying also possible and part of our expertise."
Drying properly with weight measurement
Drying in the NLPD dryer can be managed with a control and information system based on the seed's weight measurement. Prior to drying, the weight is measured and at the end of the process, in which, for example, a priming agent or water is added, the seed must go back to that weight. Sensors in the installation continuously measure the process, so we can determine the results via our software.
Jaap says that "if required, it is possible to have all this data analyzed by data specialists from within our organization in order to identify the cause of a particular effect and improve the product quality ultimate. In this way, it is possible to optimize continuously."
Anyone walking across the exhibition floor at Seed meets Technology will see a compact drying machine for the processing of high-quality seeds at Premium Seeds Machines. Jaap says that the machine is "about 1 desk wide" and about 1.60 meters high. "This gives the machine capacity for 6 kilograms of seed. Larger machines with the same technology can dry up to 120 kilograms at a time."
A seed cleaning line
Either combining techniques in one installation or the custom development of installations are possible for Premium Seeds Machines. However, Jaap sees a better future in the development of new techniques together with the customer, or as he describes it, "preparing modules and then configure to customer's specifications. We combine our knowledge about installations with the one about seed treatment."
Premium Seeds Machines will be at Seed meets Technology from September 28 to 30 in booth 32.