AN INTRODUCTION TO OUR PRODUCTS
Farmex is a specialist low volume short batch electronics manufacturer. Our product range is dominated by the dicam control system made up of the process controller itself and a number of driver and sensor components. Dicam controls can be used for any temperature control application or straight process control requirement. It is well tried and tested, robust, reliable, flexible and cost effective; offering complete solutions to control challenges. In addition to dicam controls we supply linear actuators and associated power supply and battery back-up units. We make battery powered wireless modules to assemble into wireless sensors and other wireless components to provide a complete wireless monitoring or alarm system. We also supply remote monitoring systems to farmers using our online Barn Report Pro system and we have a recently formed Data Services operation providing proactive customer support for Barn Report Pro users. 37 years in the business means our products are well researched, designed, developed and manufactured. You can rely on any product that is sold under the familiar Farmex logo.
A process control system designed to provide complete solutions for farmers and anyone else for that matter! Whilst the system can be used to regulate any process involving sensors, actuators, fans, heaters, dampers, fridges, pumps etc, it is most commonly used to control temperature in livestock buildings and crop storage facilities. Any kind of sensor can be connected to the controller and any kind of load can be switched or controlled. Dicam truly is a flexible, robust, reliable and future proof system. The secret is a common suit of hardware applicable to all control specifications coupled with advanced machine programming systems which allow the rapid development and testing of applications programs.
The familiar dicam unit has an integrated processor and display board, switch card and applications board. The unit has 8 inputs and 8 outputs, built-in networking capability and a simple to navigate menu structure. Outputs are optically isolated from their selected driver units and the 24vAC power supply is typically battery backed up so the brains of the control system is robustly protected whilst cheaper load bearing drivers do the hard work of switching the output peripherals such as fans or heaters.
All this means that through networking to additional input/output devices any number of any kind of peripheral device can be controlled.
The load per output channel is not restricted either as several drivers can be controlled from the same output channel.
This truly innovative control system has been in the market for over 20 years which means it is very tried and tested. However, every year sees new applications being controlled across a diverse range of agricultural enterprises. In addition, as new information becomes available from systems monitoring so methods of control can be upgraded simply to the latest version making the dicam range future proof just as farmers like it!
Own Label Applications
We welcome the opportunity to work with partners to develop bespoke applications that are marketed under the partners own label. Some recent examples of recent developments include;
Refrigeration energy use optimisation for potato stores
Renewables optimisation for all high energy use applications
LED lighting control in dairy and cattle production
Air conditioning use in pig breeding facilities
Wireless differential temperature control in grain storage
Separate circuit boards each with a unique function allow the dicam range to control any kind of load or peripheral device.
3-phase voltage control
Multiple drivers can be connected to a dicam controller output which means the system is flexible with respect to load as well as flexible with respect to control mode.
Sensors and Meters
Temperature is the most common parameter measured in dicam control applications and a variety of thermistor based sensors are available. There’s no need for calibration as the controller takes care of that
Dicam controllers can use any other sensor available and other types of sensor used to date include humidity, static pressure, air velocity, weight, light level, air quality, wind speed and direction, rainfall, level (sonic sensor).
As remote monitoring systems become more widespread and interest in the Internet of Things grows, dicam controllers will no doubt be using innovative new sensor technologies.
Farmex supplies the 12vDC linear actuator range manufactured by LINAK in Denmark. These actuators are used in automatically controlled natural ventilation (ACNV) systems and now in controlled inlet fan ventilation systems as well.
The necessary mounting and flap connection brackets are also supplied by Farmex together with 35 years of experience in designing and supplying ventilation system for livestock production.
An exciting development that came out of a recent collaborative R&D project is the voluntary access in-pen weigh-scale for growing pigs. More simply called GrowthSensor two sizes of scale for weaner / growers (9-40 kg) and finishers (50-120 kg) are wirelessly connected to the data capture network on farm and collect weight data in the group continuously.
To date dicam monitoring systems have collected information on production inputs such as feed, water, energy and the housed environment; now the crucial measure of output is available growth.
Wireless connectivity helps to reduce the cost of system installation. Using wireless mesh network technology Farmex has added the ability to connect temperature and RH sensors, water and electric meters to dicam controllers and monitoring systems wirelessly. It is also possible to provide a wireless bridge where hardwired network cabling is difficult or simply not possible.
Wireless temperature sensors are used in Pheasant brooder alarm systems and 2m wireless temperature lances are used in grain stores. High powered repeaters ensure widespread wireless devices e.g. in large grain stores can all be read. A wireless co-ordinator connects all the wireless devices in a system to the controller. Farmex also supplies a USB connected dongle to allow wireless sensors to report to a laptop.
The next generation of dicam controls is currently in development and this amounts to retaining the hardware range that is proven and launching a user interface that operates from a mobile device, smart phone or tablet.
The new user access system will be compatible with existing controls and will integrate communication with remote controllers and access to production management data.