The Washpower washing robot is operating in more than 500 pig houses throughout Denmark today. It removes the hard manual work of washing with high-pressure washers and thus increases the working environment. In addition, the general hygiene levels increase due to more attention on the final part of the washing process, being the touch-up and disinfection process.
In 2019 US-based Pipestone Veterinary Services wanted to test the robot. The goals were clear: Pipestone wanted to improve the working environment for their staff, increase hygiene levels, and increase speed in the process without compromising the quality of the wash.
After a demonstration at the Calumet farm, Pipestone Veterinary Services found that the automatic washing had increased their ability on all the key points listed above. The test led to a large-scale rollout of more than 50 robots across Pipestone’s US sow farms.
After the robot was introduced, staff worked very limitedly with high-pressure cleaning as the robot did all the initial cleaning of the pens. The washing process was cut down from 5 hours per section to 4 hours. The number of staff needed for the process was reduced from 2-3 people to 1 person, who only spend approximately 2 hours on the process. Hygiene levels were improved, staff motivation was improved substantially, and the time saved was allocated to other primary tasks in the farmhouses.
Freeing up more time to take care of the piglets and sows is becoming a clear benefit of the automated washing process. More time spent caring for the animals influences production results and thereby the profitability of any operation. Finally, the washing robot is often quicker at doing the job and it can run during the night. This increases the drying time or enhances the production cycle and thus increases efficiency.
Following this test, Pipestone decided to assist other farms in the US gaining the same results by entering a partnership to allow automatic washing to become a part of US farms in the future.
Today more than 150 units are in operation in US and 1,100 globally – a testament to the efficiency and reliability of the product.