Egg counter camera placement matters for accurate totals

An egg counter system with an elevated camera could provide more accurate egg count data, aid producers in decision-making and require less cleaning and maintenance.

Meredith Johnson Headshot
Courtesy of PMSI
Courtesy of PMSI

An egg counter system with an elevated camera could provide more accurate egg count data, aid producers in decision-making and require less cleaning and maintenance.

Infrared (IR) counters were introduced when the industry was dominated by conventional housing systems that used narrow egg belts, often only 4 - 6 inches, explained Brandon Mulnix, Poultry Management Systems Inc. (PMSI) Director of Commercial Accounts.

Today’s larger houses and cage-free systems use belts and conveyor systems with widths of 4 - 40 inches. These increased widths, and larger egg volumes, have led to the need for egg counter vision systems.

“IR counters work from just a few inches above the egg belt,” said Mulnix. “While these counters work well in conventional and cage-free houses, they require routine cleaning to remove dust and debris to ensure continuous, accurate counts. They are also susceptible to egg roll back, a common occurrence associated with egg belt starts or stops.”

The InSight Vision System features a camera placement further above the egg belt to capture the entire belt at once while staying further away from dirt and debris that could impact counting accuracy.

Pmsi1Courtesy of PMSI

How it works

Rather than counting an egg each time it breaks an IR plane, the InSight vision system tracks an egg along a larger field of view by assigning each egg with a unique identifier. This improves egg counting accuracy by eliminating the effects of egg roll back and only counting each egg once. The system also provides a live view of each belt and is capable of foreign object detection should any be traveling down the egg belts. 

“The verification studies we have done show that the counter is 98-99% accurate,” said Mulnix. “Another advantage of the InSight vision detection system is it requires less cleaning.”

“While some farms are cleaning their IR egg counters every day, one producer, JS West, using our camera system went six months before needing to clean it. Part of the reason for that is where we install the cameras. While IR counters must be installed only inches above the counting surface, the InSight camera is installed up to three feet away. This keeps the lens further away from dust and debris stirred up by the egg belts.”

As of now, the InSight camera system is only used for counting, however, Mulnix noted that PMSI is working on developing future systems that will offer size and dirt detection.

Page 1 of 482
Next Page