New Coating Technology drives Enhanced Seed Quality: Barenbrug invested in a sophisticated PETKUS CM 100 Coating Line


It has to deliver exceptional quality. It has to be highly reproducible. It has to have the option to develop complex individual coating recipes. It has to set new standards. Having these requirements in mind, it was clear that it has to be a MultiCoater. When the Dutch grass and legume breeding company Barenbrug decided to initiate a seed processing technology upgrade in order to have leading-edge seed coating quality, their attention was drawn to the PETKUS MultiCoater “CM”.

The PETKUS strategy to go the innovative route was the one and only practicable way for Barenbrug. “We are not satisfied with keeping an already very high status-quo, but are steadily aiming to work out the details to serve our clients at the absolute highest level”, said Marcel Wolbrink, Head of Barenbrug Supply Chain Management. “Innovation is our DNA”, Dr. Khaled Raed, PETKUS Innovation Manager, put it in a nutshell explaining why the PETKUS technology came into the focus of Barenbrug.

The coating line project was more than implementing a new coating machine, it was about developing a customized technological coating solution. Several intensive test series with alfalfa, agrostis and rye grass were conducted in the PETKUS own testing facility upfront. Under real conditions, the performance of the MultiCoater was thoroughly analyzed. “We were excited by playing around with recipes by trial and error”, said Ryan Coonen, Coating Operator at Barenbrug. For example, when encrusting alfalfa with bacteria such as Rhizobia, the dosing of the bacteria has to be highly precise and in a definite layer to ensure a maximum mode of action.

After such convincing results in terms of coating homogeneity, seed-to-treatment coverage ratio, flowability and capacity, the coating line came from testing to implementation status at the Nijmegen facility (Barenbrug headquarter). The installation was in strict accordance with high EH&S and engineering premises. Project management was oriented to supporting the complete Barenbrug team - top down to bottom up. Teaching and learning about the working principles of the CM led to an optimized recipe which in turn surpassed the expected coating capacity by app. 30%. Jos van der Wielen, Managing Director of Barenbrug Holland, concluded: “This coating line project was a prime example of how to improve our seed coating quality and efficiency by closely cooperating with the technology provider and to profit from each other’s experience.”