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PMSI selected to work with Michigan State University on poultry research project

In this article PMSI highlights new features available with the Command III system, including support for tools that use standard dimming techniques and modulate light color.

Included in this issue are:

The old playbook no longer works. Turning data into knowledge can improve an egg producer’s approach to producing eggs. - By Dan Henslee

The versatile and adaptable Command III System proves to be the best for a Michigan State University Study. The MSU research project hopes to discover useful scientific data on bird performance and characteristics. At the Lansing, Michigan based research facility, PMSI’s role is to help automate the process of controlling and monitoring bird production and to provide documentation on how a bird responds to its environment. The Command III system gives the researchers a tool for verifying research and development. For this type of analysis, precision and accuracy is important. Each customizable Command III unit was configured to monitor and control 6 different research rooms.

Part and parcel to this approach is the evaluation of different types of bird housing. The facility will be equipped with Enriched colony systems from Chore-Time and Big Dutchman, as well as a Big Dutchman Cage-Free system.

In addition to the installation of bird housing equipment, the PMSI system will automatically control and monitor the 12 research rooms, while alerting of any out-of-tolerance conditions. It will also provide hard copy reporting. As with the PMSI system, the ability to automatically track, analyze, and share data can greatly improve the accuracy of research findings.

PMSI systems monitor and controls the following:

CIII will monitor:
• House Temperature
• Static Pressure
• Light Schedule Verification
• Water Consumption

CIII will control:
• Fan Staging
• Heater Control
• Baffle/Inlet Control
• Light Schedule
• Light Dimming Intensity

CIII will alert:
• Temperature out of tolerance
• Static Pressure out of tolerance

The documentation of the bird’s responses to environmental variables provides a road map for future success. The CIII system is designed to help producers positively effect their operating efficiency. A primary goal for producers is to produce a hearty bird with efficient feed conversions while making the most of energy and labor.

Darrin Karcher, Ph.D., Poultry Extension Specialist at Michigan State University is very excited to work with the PMSI system. "I know there is history between PMSI and MSU and was excited to know they were willing to work with us on this facility. I am anticipating that the CIII will help reduce the environmental variability between rooms, and provide a new level of control that we have traditionally managed by hand. While the initial research projects may not directly involve the CIII system, the ability to monitor water consumption will play an extremely vital role in future projects."

The initial projects will look at bird density in the enriched colony systems, and floor access in the cage-free aviaries. In addition to production data, welfare and microbiology aspects will also be incorporated into the study.

PMSI Provides Training:
Technology is a driving force in how businesses operate today. However, technology without proper understanding can be inefficient. Without a knowledge transfer from developer to end user, the poultry production tool will likely not be used as intended.
We recently provided training sessions for Michael Foods in Minnesota, and Trillium Farms in Ohio. Our goal was to provide information for those that needed it, and develop the skills of users. The Michael Foods training included managers from nearly every Michael Foods location. Gerald Muller, General Manager of Husker Pride says, “Training benefits everyone, especially users seeing the same instruction at the same time. “
Training programs are most effective when customized for each individual company. These trainings can include topics ranging from “The Basics of Operating Your System”, to “Trouble-Shooting Hardware at the Most Technical Level”. Tyler Peters, Production/Farm Manager of Michael Foods, commented on their training session in Minnesota, “One thing it gave, for some of those who are not familiar with the components, was a good overall intro to the CIII system.”

Below is a sample of a recent training outline:
Question: When should you participate in a training session?
Answer: When knowledge and skills aren’t properly transferred from the developer to the everyday user.
Consider these additional reasons for training:
• Labor force turn-over
• Upgrades to your system
• Increase the value of your work force
• Use the most innovative tools efficiently
• Encourage employees to take ownership of the production tool
With a well-trained staff, the effective and efficient utilization of PMSI tools has a greater chance of success. Users that have adequate training feel comfortable working with our systems, and are better equipped to manage the birds environment.

In summary, our value based training can provide:
• Increased productivity and performance improvement
• Improved employee satisfaction
• Increased employee morale and retention
• Increased revenue
Simply put, our training sessions can make your organization more effective with PMSI tools.

New addition to PMSI staff:

PMSI is pleased to announce the addition of another programmer to our staff. David Munro joined us this year as a new Software Engineer. David will be working closely with Senior Programmer Eric Hansen and assisting with Atlas’ new feature suite. He will also be working on a variety of source code projects related to new content for egg flow and environmental control. In the future David may provide some technical support with our tech staff.
In his most recent position, David gained 3 years of consulting experience when he owned his own consulting firm for web development, and managed content hosting. He has a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Lake Superior State University and a master’s degree in Computer Science from Central Michigan University.

David’s education combined with professional experience gives him current skills that will enhance our team's effectiveness to provide customer solutions. David’s hobbies include gardening, fishing, hiking, canoeing/kayaking, and computer gaming.

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