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Photo report “10 years opticon technology”

Deutsche Tiernahrung Cremer (DTC) has been experimenting with extruding and expanding of soy cake and rape seed cake for ten years now in their patented 'opticon' process.

The idea was to create a bypass protein for dairy cows that would increase milk production, encourage health and be profitable. The product has become successful and DTC is now already running eight extruders in their plants in Germany and one at a franchise in Croatia. To celebrate a decade of innovation a seminar and plant and farm visit was organized in the area of Herzberg, south of Leipzig in eastern Germany.

Photo

  • Deutsche Tiernahrung Cremer incorporates several brand names of which 'deuka' is the largest and most well-known.

    Deutsche Tiernahrung Cremer incorporates several brand names of which 'deuka' is the largest and most well-known.

  • The plant in Herzberg is a former East German collective plant, which is still visible from the outside view of the office building.

    The plant in Herzberg is a former East German collective plant, which is still visible from the outside view of the office building.

  • DTC runs 12 plants in Germany and has an annual production of 2.5 million tonnes. The plant in Herzberg produces around 170,000 tonnes.

    DTC runs 12 plants in Germany and has an annual production of 2.5 million tonnes. The plant in Herzberg produces around 170,000 tonnes.

  • The bypass protein deukalac udp 39 is an extruded mixture of 50% HP soy cake and 50% rape seed cake.

    The bypass protein deukalac udp 39 is an extruded mixture of 50% HP soy cake and 50% rape seed cake.

  • The product mix is run on an extruder. At Herzeberg two have been installed.

    The product mix is run on an extruder. At Herzeberg two have been installed.

  • ...this extruder has been modified so much it is impossible to recognise the original brand. However, the brand of the extruder is not so important. The process is called 'opticon' and is patented. Once a new machine is installed the supplier is sent home and DTC's own technicians convert the machine to their own standards and parameters.

    ...this extruder has been modified so much it is impossible to recognise the original brand. However, the brand of the extruder is not so important. The process is called 'opticon' and is patented. Once a new machine is installed the supplier is sent home and DTC's own technicians convert the machine to their own standards and parameters.

  • On the top floor of the mill a dedicated mixer is used to supply the extruders and to avoid any cross contamination with other production lines.

    On the top floor of the mill a dedicated mixer is used to supply the extruders and to avoid any cross contamination with other production lines.

  • During the years several products were run through the extruder and some are very successful and produced for dairy and pig feeds.

    During the years several products were run through the extruder and some are very successful and produced for dairy and pig feeds.

  • Thomas Schulze is production manager at the Herzberg plant. He started shortly after deuka purchased the plant in 1991 after the fall of the Iron Curtain. The plant has been built in 1971.

    Thomas Schulze is production manager at the Herzberg plant. He started shortly after deuka purchased the plant in 1991 after the fall of the Iron Curtain. The plant has been built in 1971.

  • Some remains that remind passengers of the socialistic period.

    Some remains that remind passengers of the socialistic period.

  • Apart from feed production the plant also has an 80,000 tonnes grain storage, where much local grain is stored.

    Apart from feed production the plant also has an 80,000 tonnes grain storage, where much local grain is stored.

  • All feed ingredients are also augured to the top floor of the mill and than through gravity flow into the manufacturing process.

    All feed ingredients are also augured to the top floor of the mill and than through gravity flow into the manufacturing process.

  • Next to the mill is a biogas plant for generation of power. Main fuel is dried chicken manure and corn. A second plant is under construction to further become more CO2 neutral in production of power.

    Next to the mill is a biogas plant for generation of power. Main fuel is dried chicken manure and corn. A second plant is under construction to further become more CO2 neutral in production of power.

  • The pellet mills the Herzberg plant already do their job for 19 years and without major problems.

    The pellet mills the Herzberg plant already do their job for 19 years and without major problems.

  • Old and new combined in the control room.

    Old and new combined in the control room.

  • The NIR control room. Product results are ready during processing so that if necessary the process can be adjusted. Since the opticon process is unique to deuca the company had to develop its own calibration values.

    The NIR control room. Product results are ready during processing so that if necessary the process can be adjusted. Since the opticon process is unique to deuca the company had to develop its own calibration values.

  • To celebrate 10 years of experience with the opticon process a mini seminar for customers was organized. The majority being German but also visitors from Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine were welcomed.

    To celebrate 10 years of experience with the opticon process a mini seminar for customers was organized. The majority being German but also visitors from Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine were welcomed.

  • Dietrich Schwier, one of three DTC managing directors, opened the seminar. He memorized the development of deukalac UDP 39, which contributes to more milk and better health and fertility of dairy cows. Last development is expanding production by franchise system to Croatia.

    Dietrich Schwier, one of three DTC managing directors, opened the seminar. He memorized the development of deukalac UDP 39, which contributes to more milk and better health and fertility of dairy cows. Last development is expanding production by franchise system to Croatia.

  • Already retired but still very active Prof Dr Manfred Hoffmann of the Saxony Landeskontrollverband gave a classical lecture on protein digestion in the dairy cow. Calculating the bypass protein on a farm is very important to be able to improve productivity, he said.

    Already retired but still very active Prof Dr Manfred Hoffmann of the Saxony Landeskontrollverband gave a classical lecture on protein digestion in the dairy cow. Calculating the bypass protein on a farm is very important to be able to improve productivity, he said.

  • Dr Heinrich Kleine Klausing, chief nutritionist at DTC elaborated on the opticon process. "Opticon in fact is an HTST extruder combined with expander qualities, which means that the cooked products don’t need to be dried after processing," he said.

    Dr Heinrich Kleine Klausing, chief nutritionist at DTC elaborated on the opticon process. "Opticon in fact is an HTST extruder combined with expander qualities, which means that the cooked products don’t need to be dried after processing," he said.

  • Stefan Neumann, dairy product manager, talked about feed efficiency, a subject not really integrated in dairy farming yet. "The objective is to gain 30 litres of milk from 20 kg of feed," he said.

    Stefan Neumann, dairy product manager, talked about feed efficiency, a subject not really integrated in dairy farming yet. "The objective is to gain 30 litres of milk from 20 kg of feed," he said.

  • DTC also cooperates with research institutes. Hans-Dieter Zacher, manager of the Thuringer experimental and teaching institute in Büttelstedt explained more about the use of UDP in their 400 HF dairy herd, which produces on average almost 9,800 litres of milk per cow per lactation.

    DTC also cooperates with research institutes. Hans-Dieter Zacher, manager of the Thuringer experimental and teaching institute in Büttelstedt explained more about the use of UDP in their 400 HF dairy herd, which produces on average almost 9,800 litres of milk per cow per lactation.

  • The event was finalised with a visit to a dairy farm. The newly build house keeps 1,250 milking cows. In total the farm houses 3,668 animals including dry cows, calfs and heifers, which are reared in the older collective farm buildings.

    The event was finalised with a visit to a dairy farm. The newly build house keeps 1,250 milking cows. In total the farm houses 3,668 animals including dry cows, calfs and heifers, which are reared in the older collective farm buildings.

  • The lactating cows are housed in 237 m long x 35 m wide building with central feeding lane and three rows of cubicles on each side.

    The lactating cows are housed in 237 m long x 35 m wide building with central feeding lane and three rows of cubicles on each side.

  • The cows are fed a TMR including deukalac UDP 39 for the high producing groups (>25 ltr/day)

    The cows are fed a TMR including deukalac UDP 39 for the high producing groups (>25 ltr/day)

  • A lean TMR is fed to the dry cows, which were too fat at the end of their lactation period. This will create problems around calving and in the beginning of the lactation.

    A lean TMR is fed to the dry cows, which were too fat at the end of their lactation period. This will create problems around calving and in the beginning of the lactation.

  • The cows are milked twice a day in a 2x40 side by side milking parlour. At a rate of 240 cows per hour milking the whole herd takes almost six hours. There is morning shift and a night shift.

    The cows are milked twice a day in a 2x40 side by side milking parlour. At a rate of 240 cows per hour milking the whole herd takes almost six hours. There is morning shift and a night shift.

  • DTC is experimenting with cooking of field beans as a soybean replacer in feeds.

    DTC is experimenting with cooking of field beans as a soybean replacer in feeds.

  • Demand from organic farmers for soy substitution is high. Also lupines are run through the opticon system to cook them to reduce antinutritional properties and use them as a soy replacer. The problem is to find sufficient volume of lupines, which are also eco-certified.

    Demand from organic farmers for soy substitution is high. Also lupines are run through the opticon system to cook them to reduce antinutritional properties and use them as a soy replacer. The problem is to find sufficient volume of lupines, which are also eco-certified.

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