PETKUS is building one of the most modern seed processing plants in Germany


After a mere ten month planning and construction period the traditional and well established Thuringian company, PETKUS Technologie GmbH opened one of the most modern seed processing plants in Germany. For the Raiffeisen Waren GmbH Kassel, it is a turnkey processing plant, including combined storage silos in Großengottern. 162 years of experience is what PETKUS brings to its partners and customers with their specialty field of seed and grain processing machines. As a partner in the modern agriculture world PETKUS delivers globally not only individually designed machines but also logistical and technical concepts: starting with the delivery of goods, cleaning and sorting, storage and packaging. Because of this history, knowledge and established name the Raiffeisen Waren GmbH Kassel entrusted PETKUS with a contract in September of 2013 to build a new seed processing plant with a high emphasis being placed on environmental and user-safe technologies. Harvest begin 2014 was the agreed upon completion deadline. Since then, the processing and refining of various different cereal species such as wheat, barley, rye and oats to high-quality, certified seed take place in Großengottern.

Conception of the seed processing plant

Due to the tight time frame, the PETKUS engineers immediately began planning the system to create the conditions for a timely start of assembly. Despite the wintry weather conditions, the first construction work started on January 6, 2014.

It was quite a design challenge to accommodate the entire technology in a machine hall of nearly 4000m3. The aim was to create the design so that the system allows operation with high efficiency and a high quality end result. A highly modern machine hall with the latest technology for seed processing was the result. The product portfolio of PETKUS provided for this purpose: pre-cleaners, awners, fine cleaners, indented cylinders, gravity tables, optical color and shape sorters and batch treaters various production techniques such as bucket elevators or roller conveyors and automatic bagging and palletizing system where also included.

The smooth wall silo cell block has a floor space of 180 m2. The smooth wall construction ensures a hygienic storage of the product and a complete emptying of the silo.

Technical Equipment

In the seed plant, RWZ Großengottern the grain passes through different cleaning processes during its preparation. To achieve high efficiency, it is possible to operate various sub-processes at the same time. Thus, the main cleaning process can be regarded as an automatic self-sufficient process.

After the acceptance of the goods, PETKUS universal-cleaner takes over the fully automatic pre-cleaning. This high quality of cleaning is achieved by a combination of filter systems and air separation. The PETKUS multi or fine cleaner is used for the main cleaning. Short and long grains are immediately sorted afterwards by two indented cylinders.

Two new PETKUS Gravity Tables G40 have been installed to handle the demands of specific weight of the seed. They provide for the best possible separation effect and a cleansing efficiency of nearly 100%. The two PETKUS Gravity Tables G40 have a new aerodynamic and mass-balance system. This means that all dynamic movements are dampened, thus reducing the amount of noticeable vibration to a minimum.

With modern simulation tools using the science of fluid mechanics, the design between the fan and table surface was optimized so that a laminar airflow is generated, meaning the velocity and pressure at all points of the table surface is equal and homogeneous or adjustable to requirements. This increases both the separation accuracy and performance. In addition, the gravity tables have an air-recycling system that recovers 67% of the air required for operation, thus energy costs can be significantly reduced.

A special technical highlight of the seed processing plant is the OptoSelector OS900 which has been introduced for the first time in Germany at the end of 2013. This modern machine is an optical color sorter of the next generation. It combines innovation and design, provides simultaneous color and shape sorting, precision and ease of use. During the first processing steps, the OptoSelector OS900 using optical detection sorts for defective or damaging grains as well as extraneous matter and provides for their subsequent removal by pneumatic means. Innovative optical-electronic and pneumatic technologies have been used to ensure the decision-making on "good" and "bad" based on the finest color nuances and form difference, which allows for exclusion/removal using a compressed air precision blowing system. 

The highly efficient treater line at the end of the cleaning chain allows a treatment of the seed with additives. The cylinder of the PETKUS batch treater C200 has a capacity of 200kg and is adapted to process three liquid components. It provides for a uniform and complete coating of the grain surface and allows a highly accurate gravimetric ratio of seed to coating agents. This process can also be operated independently. 

Adjacent to the plant in a 900m² large variable usage hall, the last steps can be realized, purified and / or treated seed can be placed in the automatic bagging and palletizing systems, which allows for individual selection of bag size and also includes an automated labeling system.

Aspiration und Safety

Powerful extraction and filtration systems provide for minimizing dust emissions throughout the overall handling and plant processing, resulting in a highly secure process and therefor a preventing dangerous dust explosions. All conveyors and containers are not only closed but also connected to a central aspiration system; this allows for a slight vacuuming in the aggregates but also allows for an adjustment at any suction point.

A weighbridge and laboratories for the input and quality control round out the features of the new modern seed processing plant.

Putting into Operation

On time for the harvest begin in July 2014 the executive board of the Raiffeisen Waren GmbH and PETKUS Technologie GmbH could convince themselves of the efficiency of the newly built facility.

With the planning and implementation of the seed plant of RWZ in Großengottern PETKUS once again shows its expertise.