Poultry industry electrician develops advanced alarm and shed monitoring system

By Peter Bedwell

Mathew Carroll, who runs MC Controls, which is a Tahmoor NSW based electrical company, specialises in the electrical and control aspects of commercial poultry operations. 

The company’s range of expertise includes servicing and installations, preventive and scheduled maintenance, an ‘after hours’ service and automation solutions.

Poultry Digest met Matt Carroll in Camden in April specifically to discuss a new smart alarm system to suit multi-shed poultry farms.

Matt qualified as an electrician more than 25 years ago but his association with Australia’s commercial poultry industry goes even further back than that.

Matt’s father, Stephen Carroll also an electrician, was working on poultry sheds as Matt grew up and completed his electrician’s apprenticeship working in the family business.

As such, he prepared for and acquired his industry experience from the early days of poultry shed automation and rapidly developing control systems.

He remembered the frantic period as the broiler industry moved to tunnel ventilation, particularly in the mid and late 1990s when chicken meat consumption was moving to take over from beef and lamb as Australia’s
favourite protein source.

Though the speed of expansion, particularly in the broiler sector has diminished somewhat, Matt is finding plenty of work maintaining or upgrading existing sheds as new technologies emerge, including his own smart alarm system. 

Matt told Poultry Digest that he had gained experience working with medical washers and sterilisers and during this time he developed automation software and processes for reverse osmosis water purifying systems and chemical dosing applications in the human medicine sector. 

“The need for absolute accuracy and reliability for monitoring and alarm systems in human health care is paramount,” he said. 

“Creating systems suitable for the health sector got me to thinking how I could adapt  those monitoring and alarm applications to poultry sheds. 

“The technology is all available for me to create better alarm and monitoring equipment. It’s more a matter of combining these elements to deliver a product suitable for the requirements of today’s poultry farmers, and of course, their integrators,” Matt explained.

“What I have developed is a ‘Smart’ alarm system that monitors all alarm instances so producers can have complete control over all their sheds. The system will have that capacity to handle up to nine sheds.

“There will be eight alarm channels per shed with a two factor arming and disarming capability and custom description for all inputs and adjustable time delay for each alarm channel.

“Our smart alarm concept has four level alarm status indication and high and low temperature indication with alarm set points; alarm notification reaches locally or globally if required.

“We have incorporated a ‘mind and remind’ if the alarm is disarmed when a flock occupies a shed,” Matt said.

“Our system can operate as standalone or it is network capable to all sheds. A master control can be connected directly to existing dialers or paging systems. 

“The unit is supplied in a fully enclosed cabinet with CPU, 24v UPS and back up batteries,” Matt concluded.  

The potential for the MC Controls smart alarm system is obvious. 

Poultry shed automation, particularly in the area of climate control, has been around for a long time – over 30 years in fact. Just think how computer-based control and communication systems have advanced in that time frame. 

A state of the art alarm/monitoring system that can integrate into older tunnel shed facilities as well as newer builds, must be attractive to growers whose sheds still have plenty of life left in them with suitable upgrades.

Matt told Poultry Digest that he is interested to hear from potential users of his poultry specific smart alarm and monitoring product. Call Matt on 0428861973 or email sales@mccontrols.com.au

Poultry Digest looks forward to reporting on one of Matt’s smart alarm systems in the near future.