Automated equipment sales increase | Homeland

Poultry equipment that automates certain tasks or simplifies them is in high demand this year, note several representatives of poultry equipment companies.

“Our sales are exceptional,” comments Daniel Laboissonnière, agronomist consultant for the Vencomatic Group. For example, he reports that a recently released palletizer that automates tasks such as lifting and stacking eggs onto pallets is particularly popular, with sales increasing by just over 50% per compared to normal.

Sylvain Dubois, marketing manager at Robovic, also observes an increase in requests for this type of equipment lately, “even if the trend had already been established for a few years already”, he qualifies. According to him, the situation is partly due to government subsidies that help producers modernize their facilities, and partly to the difficulties of recruiting labour. This last explanation is also the one put forward by Mr. Laboissonnière. “When you robotize the facilities, the investment has to make a difference, whether to replace a labor force that is difficult to recruit or to simplify the life of the workforce that is already there”, specifies he.

Some repetitive tasks like bending over to pick up and stack pallets of eggs are less appreciated by the workforce. Photo: Archives/TCN

For the sales representative at Jolco Equipements Michel Dion, this desire to reduce repetitive tasks is also linked to the increase in demand for artificial intelligence systems, which allow automatic control of elements “such as opening or closing ventilation hatches” or which can “automatically adjust the temperature according to the humidity level or other variables”, he gives as an example.

Delivery delay

However, there is a downside. All these products take twice, sometimes even three times longer to obtain than before. Different situations, “such as the difficulty in supplying electronic chips, the scarcity of containers, China’s zero tolerance for COVID-19, which imposes a complete closure of certain industrial villages for seven days”, ensure that that the delivery times for equipment have lengthened, lists Mr. Dion. “We were talking before COVID about four to five weeks; we are talking today on average of two or three months [de délais] “, he illustrates. Several other imponderables, such as rising transport costs, also have an impact on prices, he adds, noting that the phenomenon could even be accentuated with the war in Ukraine. “We have some German suppliers who need wood to build their products, and that wood came from Ukraine,” he says.

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Automated equipment sales increase | Homeland

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