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Improving efficiency in the agricultural sector

With 90.3 billion, the Netherlands is the second largest exporter of agricultural goods worldwide (after the US. Agricultural goods account for almost a fifth of total Dutch goods exports (18.2 percent in 2018). 72.4 percent of agricultural exports are of Dutch origin, according to CBS figures.


The export and transportation of agricultural goods is subject to strict laws and regulations. For example, flowers, plants and trees may not be exported unprocessed. Before bulbous and tuberous plants can be sent to the nursery or exported, for example to North and South America, Japan, Canada, China and Australia, an "export cleanliness guarantee" must be issued.

In order to be able to issue such guarantees, specialised companies are involved in the cleaning of trees and plants, but also in the cleaning of all kinds of barrels, trays, buckets, etc. Besides rinsing, hot water treatment/boiling and disinfection takes place. For this purpose, special production processes have been developed in which the product is washed clean and disinfected in so-called crop protection agents.

Warmerdam Spoelbedrijf from Noordwijkerhout is such a specialized company. In order to expand their capacity, a completely new rinsing machine has been developed in-house. For the automation of this new machine, the assistance of Solar from Capelle aan den IJssel was requested. Solar offers innovative solutions to end-users, OEM/machine builders, panel builders and industrial installation companies with a focus on producing more efficiently and increasing sustainability. After the orientation phase in which Warmerdam's wishes were inventoried, the project was divided into a number of smaller sub-projects.

This resulted in the following challenges:

  • Driving the infeed conveyor
  • Driving of the output belt
  • Controlling various pumps for the rinsing water
  • Maintaining the level and temperature of the rinsing water

Content of the control unit

Content of the control unit

Belt drive

Belt drive


Each subproject requires the right product choice, which is why Solar used Danfoss and JUMO for specific knowledge and expertise. Danfoss frequency inverters from the FC51 series, varying in power from 0.75 to 15kW, were chosen to drive the inlet and outlet conveyor and to control the various pumps. For maintaining the level and temperature of the rinse water, a process control system in combination with pressure and temperature sensors from JUMO was chosen. The JUMO DICON touch two-channel universal process control convinces with its extensive possibilities for communication via Modbus (Master/Slave), PROFIBUS-DP, PROFINET-RT or Ethernet and proven JUMO PID control algorithms with optimization possibilities.

Project outcome

The piezo-resistive silicon pressure probes from JUMO's MIDAS series are extremely durable and long-lasting. JUMO's proven temperature probes guarantee precise and reliable measurement. Due to the high humidity in the process, a stainless steel IP66 cabinet was also recommended during the preparations.

By making use of multiple expertises and well-tuning the various components to each other, Warmerdam achieved an improvement in efficiency of which all parties are proud.