THINK RED! eNews 02/19

The Vogelsang News

Read about current topics from Vogelsang in our current newsletter.

  • Agricultural technology: BlackBird: The new trailing shoe system
  • Biogas: How to successfully handle foreign and harmful matter in biogas plants
  • Industry: From waste to value: UK slaughterhouse integrates the RedUnit
  • Wastewater: Twin-Shaft Grinder vs. Macerator: Choosing the right wastewater grinder

Choose your market on the right to jump directly to the news you're interested in.

Read about current topics from Vogelsang in our current newsletter.

  • Agricultural technology: BlackBird: The new trailing shoe system
  • Biogas: How to successfully handle foreign and harmful matter in biogas plants
  • Industry: From waste to value: UK slaughterhouse integrates the RedUnit
  • Wastewater: Twin-Shaft Grinder vs. Macerator: Choosing the right wastewater grinder

Choose your market above to jump directly to the news you're interested in.

Agricultural technology

Liquid manure and digestates are an important resource for agriculture. These highly valuable nutrient sources containing trace elements and organic forming matter and they are becoming more important as the cost of mineral fertilizer rises. Though improved liquid manure technology comes at a price, it enables huge savings. Why? The more uniformly liquid manure is deposited on or in the ground, the better the nutrients it contains can be utilized since emissions are minimized.

With precision on the top of our minds, our new BlackBird trailing shoe is designed specifically to apply the liquid manure as precisely as possible. With key features like a sophisticated skid geometry and a modified hose layout that ensures spreading over the entire field without overlaps, the BlackBird represents our new claim, Leading in technology, perfectly. Read more about the BlackBird in this eNews Edition.

There’s a new dimension in precision: the Vogelsang BlackBird. The new BlackBird offers many advantages such as low weight, active pressure for optimal deposition under the plant, a compact transport position, easy retrofitting, and a passive oscillation compensator in the central frame of the linkage. We felt that these advantages were fundamental requirements that any trailing shoe linkage should meet. But we went beyond the basics and have given this trailing shoe linkage a few more critical features that open up a whole new dimension.  

  • BlackBird stands for better distribution accuracy
  • BlackBird stands for safe transport
  • BlackBird stands for greater precision
  • BlackBird stands for longer service life
  • BlackBird stands for simple assembly and retrofitting

The new BlackBird in action
The complete video!

As you can see, the BlackBird not only fits our new claim, leading in technology but also hit the mark in terms of maximum spreading precision and efficiency. Discover more about the BlackBird .

The test phase with the BlackBird passed with high distinction. Contractor Beckmann GmbH & Co. KG tested a prototype of the BlackBird and is convinced of the new technology. 600 cubic meters of liquid manure was spread with the BlackBird at Torsten Timm’s farm in Nindorf, Germany. The farmers were also extremely satisfied with the result.

Here’s what they say about the BlackBird:

"The optimized skid divides the crop perfectly and the grommet provides a very narrow line of liquid manure."
Ole Beckmann, Beckmann GmbH & Co. KG Contractor


"Due to vibration dampening of the leaf springs, the linkage is even more stable and thus adjusts better to different soil conditions. The new technology also convinces me because it is compact and clearly constructed." 
Torsten Timm, Farmer


Ongoing developments in the renewable energy sector are continuously placing new requirements on the operators of biogas plants, which often results in more effort and additional costs. Since revenues are often fixed on a long term, the question remains on how to reduce costs and effort for operation and maintenance so as to ensure trouble-free and smooth operations. 

In this edition of the THINK RED! eNews we review the various technologies and solutions for efficiently handling foreign matter that will aid in economical and optimal biogas production.

Foreign matter such as stones and metal parts repeatedly end up in biogas plants, typically along with the solid biomass or in the fresh liquid manure. Therefore, biogas plants have to handle high amounts of foreign and harmful matter. When operators are looking for the right technology, they are often confused by the various technologies and providers. An important and efficient tip is to choose the right solution for the individual application. This means understanding the advantages and benefits of each technology, which we have outlined a few below.

Stone traps

Stone traps are a well-known and easy-to-build solution in front of the pump and downstream equipment. Since it is a passive principle, separation of heavy matter by gravity, it does not require power. However, the only function is to separate heavy matter. Performance is limited and can be affected with higher viscosities. In order to enhance the separation capability, the stone trap size can be increased. But, this result in added costs, extra space requirements and pressure limitation

Active foreign matter separators

Active foreign matter separators like the DebrisCatcher use active elements to improve the foreign matter separation and thereby offer high protection against heavy matter such as stones and metal parts. At the same time, they need less space to reliably protect pumps and system components from damage and blockages by heavy matter. Thanks to the non-contact design and low speed of the clearing units, the system has minimal power requirements (2 kW) by a throughput of up to 400 m3/h, which means high economical protection.

The RotaCut wet cutter

The RotaCut wet cutter, invented by Vogelsang, offers both reliable protection against heavy matter and harmful solids. While the medium continually flows through the RotaCut, stones or metal parts are separated out by gravity or by the rotor in front of the cutting screen and can be easily removed later through the cleaning port. All floating and suspended substances within the medium (fibers, bones, wood, entangled material or grass) are chopped down by the rotating, self-sharpening cutting blades. The medium is homogenized at the same time. The RotaCut ensures trouble-free and economical biogas production.

Agrargesellschaft Gischau in Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany operates a 190 kW biogas plant with an upright digester and post digester.  The feedstock includes cattle slurry along with approximately 4 – 5 tons of corn silage, 2 tons of dung and 2 tons of grass each day on average. They were experiencing several challenges on site. First, the grass silage is quite long since it’s also being used for feedstock. There is also a great deal of foreign matter, which has caused continual damage to the positive displacement pump and required servicing every 4 weeks. Additionally, the achieved gas yield did not meet their expectations.

In order to optimize the plant, the owner Mr. Schulz decided to install a RotaCut in front of the pump. Since this implementation, the situation has significantly improved. The gas yield increased by 5-10%, which enabled them to reduce the amount of corn silage by approximately 25%, thereby increasing the proportion of long-fibered materials. Overall, the organic suspension is now more flowable and the power consumption of the mixers is lower. Plus, the service life of the pump has greatly increased.

Read the full case study here.


Industrial applications from the chemical and oil industries to the food sector must meet specific and stringent requirements when it comes to production and disposal processing. This means utilizing reliable and efficient pumping and shredding technology that can not only handle abrasive, aggressive or highly viscous media but also adapt to the medium. After all, a safe, trouble-free process and low maintenance efforts will save time and money.

The Vogelsang RedUnit cleverly combines shredding and pumping technology into a compact, customized unit. Read how this modular grinding system helped a UK poultry processing plant save on space, energy and time.

A poultry processing plant based in the UK decided in 2018, to shred its own waste before delivering it to third parties to minimize transport costs. In the plant, hens are slaughtered and the meat is prepared for the retail sector. Hens that are damaged during processing or fall to the ground are removed from the line. The result: a great deal of waste is created. The plant was, therefore, looking for a solution for more economical handling of the waste and therefore, installed the Vogelsang RedUnit, which consists of the XRipper XRL shredder and a CC series progressive cavity pump.

The RedUnit enables the company to successfully handle the ongoing shredding and conveyance of these poultry remains. The XRipper processes the remains at a speed that is adapted to the substances, enabling the pump to run at a constant speed. The shredder tools on the XRipper are made of a block of special steel. Thanks to its single-piece design, the torque can be transferred uniformly to the rotors across the entire length of the shaft, the shredder withstands higher loads and enables the processing of up to 80 hens in just one-and-a-half minutes.

The poultry processing plant saves space, energy and time as the RedUnit requires no additional downstream pumps or screw conveyors and the individual elements are stacked vertically on top of one another. Having no intermediate conveyance sections means that electricity consumption drops overall. The RedUnit features the QuickService concept for progressive cavity pumps for fast and easy maintenance, which offers several options for replacement of the rotor and stator and for sealing changes. The poultry processing plant  was extremely satisfied with the all-in-one RedUnit solution. Read the full case study on the UK poultry processing plant.

Digitalization in viticulture is rapidly increasing since it offers vineyards the opportunity to coordinate production and operating processes better and design these so they are more efficient. Today already, data from the vineyard such as temperature, soil humidity and solar irradiation can be collected via sensors and optical devices like cameras provide information on risks of diseases to vines, size and maturity of grapes. This data, also known as smart data, assists winegrowers in the sustainable and economical production of premium quality wines.

Pump systems also play a major role in wine-cellar technology that supports this digital approach as they come directly in contact with the product and are used for demanding production processes. Vogelsang has developed a system control for the pumps operation status and functions via a touchscreen on the pump and an app for smartphones and tablets for location-independent control of the pump. The system can be connected to the company’s network via a Wi-Fi connection. Connection to pump accessories like pressure gage, check valve and flow meter enable reading of pumping, pressure and flow data in real time from every location, thanks to the Wi-Fi connection. Remote control of the wine pump via a mobile end device such as a smartphone or tablet enables easier handling of wine preparation and bottling processes. An app specially developed for Vogelsang that is suitable for the iOS and Android operating systems offers specific functions tailor-made to the wine industry. Digitalization measures like smart pump systems make winemaking more digital, networked and intelligent. Learn more about this integrated wine pump technology.


Ongoing tasks to reduce costs, changing lifestyles and an aim to reduce power consumption continuously influences wastewater collection and purification. Safe and reliable wastewater disposal becomes more important for the protection of water bodies and the environment but also to maintain a steady quality of life in general. At the same time, fatbergs and rags are challenging troublemakers in sewer systems and leading to increased operating expenses. That’s why integrating efficient and reliable technology for wastewater purification is key.

We tell you here how to choose the right wastewater grinder in order to protect your pumps and systems against harmful debris. Read more in our latest eNews edition below.

Having large amounts of debris in the wastewater stream can lead to clogging, blockages and damage to downstream pumps, valves and equipment. Most wastewater treatment plants have installed screening to remove the overwhelming amounts of debris coming into the plant. This equipment definitely assists in removing a majority of the debris, but it still doesn’t collect everything contained in the influent. Typically, some types of debris will still find its way through the screening, including flushable wipes, string, rags, hair, plastic fragments, applicators, plastic bags, wood, rubber and more. Naturally, this adds to overall maintenance time and contributes to extra labor and parts costs. Specially designed solids reduction equipment can protect your pumps and systems against this foreign debris by reducing them into particle sizes that are passable. Generally, this equipment falls into two categories: macerators and twin-shaft grinders.


Maceration technology provides the best results when installing after primary screening or headworks systems and befor thickning/dewatering. These units are specifically designed to sheer cut any material that flows through. Good designs provide heavy debris removal traps along with them since macerators are not designed to cut defined hard solids like rocks and metal. Learn more about Vogelsang’s RotaCut macerator.

Twin-shaft grinders

Twin-shaft grinders operate using two counter operating shafts with cutting blades attached. As the cutting blades turn, they pull solids that are moving around the radius of the housing into the center between the cutting blades. This is a straight through process, moving the product through the grinder. Vogelsang’s XRipper twin-shaft grinder is a good example of economical shredding of solid matter.

Every situation is different, and while a twin-shaft grinder is suited for most any application where solids reductions are needed, you’ll find that a macerator often provides much better performance as you move further into the wastewater process. For questions or assistance in choosing a solids reduction unit, contact Vogelsang.

The Weißenthurm wastewater treatment plant in Rheinland Pfalz, Germany is equipped to handle 50,000 EW. About two thirds of the wastewater treated is municipal and the remaining is industrial. The plant has two serial digestion towers with nominal volumes of 2,200 m3 and 500 m3, respectively. On average, they are fed with 100 m3 of sludge per day; approximately 80% is primary sludge and 20% is surplus sludge.

Although the plant has a very good climber screen, there are repeatedly problems with fibrous matter. In the past 10 years they had not observed any floating layers in the digestion tower. But one day the staff noticed a floating layer during a routine check estimating that it was about 30 cm thick. While removing the layer, they discovered that it was actually 1-2 m thick. Six months later, they noticed that another floating layer was forming in the tower. To prevent this layer formation, a RotaCut macerator was installed as part of the large digestion tower circulation and feeding mechanism. Since the RotaCut has been running, there have been no layers – not even the beginnings of a floating layer. Read more about the successful implementation of the RotaCut at Weißenthurm wastewater treatment plant.

The Lippeverband water authority is the operator of the sewage treatment plant in the city of Dülmen, Germany. The village Merfeld is also connected via a pumping station to the wastewater treatment plant. It is equipped with three submersible pumps, that propel the domestic wastewater to the treatment plant 8 km away. Wastewater coming from the houses in the residential area regularly contain textiles and cleaning cloths that were causing blockages in the pumps. This resulted in two employees spending 1.5 hours on average each week to fix the malfunctions. Attempts at using grinder pumps were not adequate for the long term. Bar screens were ruled out as an option due to the high investment outlay and the difficulty and cost of operation. An ideal solution was found after consulting with Vogelsang specialists: the XRipper XRC-SIK wastewater grinder, which could be installed with little effort in front of the inlet in the open pump pit.

Since the installation the XRipper and the pumps run smoothly. Additionally, no textiles or sanitary products need to be recovered and disposed of. The grinder has paid off for Lippeverband – the investment is offset by the savings in weekly maintenance. Taking into account power costs and other expected operating costs including wear parts, the investment will pay for itself in just a few years. Read the full case study on Lippeverband water authority.


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Subject: THINK RED! eNews 02/19
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