The digital platform for maximum efficiency on your farms

Just as we once navigated the oceans using the stars, data can now help you optimize the results of your livestock operations. BFN Fusion is a game­ changing software platform. It bundles all data generated by your farms and adds relevant value to your production. Big Data à la Big Dutchman.

Visit our new YouTube channel!

With BFN Fusion, Big Dutchman launched a unique solution for the digitalisation of farm data in 2021 – irrespective of equipment manufacturer. 

Just a year later, the German livestock equipment supplier has already made customers from more than 21 countries very happy, i.e. literally everybody who uses BFN Fusion: the digital platform has certainly been well-received!

Would you like to find out what’s been going on since the launch? Would you like to learn more, and what BFN Fusion is all about? Find the perfect video below – including captions.

By the way: More videos are to follow – stay tuned!

How to BFN Fusion

1. Introduction | What BFN Fusion is all about

With BFN Fusion, Big Dutchman has presented a unique solution for the digitalisation of your farm data. Would you like to find out what’s been going on since the launch? Would you like to learn more, and what BFN Fusion is all about? Well then, this is the perfect video for you.

Hello and welcome to How to BFN fusion. My name is Annette and I’m happy to say I’m joined today by Simon.

Annette: We of course met at the BFN Fusion launch. Lovely see you here and I’d love to know from you what’s been happening since the launch.

Simon: A lot, really a lot. We have been very busy. So, first of all, we have been travelling worldwide, talking to customers. We have been introducing even more modules into the BFN Fusion platform. We have been introducing even more functionality into the existing modules.

And from where we came, with just a few test customers, we now have customers in 21 countries actually using the system. The most important thing to me there is that we get really good feedback from everybody who uses it. And when I talk to my colleagues in sales, they also say they have many more discussions with customers about going digital and they are very pleased that we can now actually really support them on this. So, all in all, I’m quite happy.

Annette: So, a lot of customers already in the picture, but I think a lot of people still aren’t quite in the picture with BFN Fusion. Can you tell us a bit more about it? What exactly is BFN Fusion and who is it for?

Simon: BFN Fusion are the digital services from Big Dutchman, which help you to optimize and manage your farms in a better way, get the proper overview.

What it does is actually ensure that we get your farms connected, that we collect the data and make the data available in the cloud. On top of that, we have different modules that actually support you in managing better, so helping you to become more efficient.

And it does not matter whether you have one farm or manage multiple farms or need to manage an entire value chain. We can support you there. And even customers who did not equip their farms with Big Dutchman equipment can be part of this. We will even be able to connect their farms.

So we have a wide variety of users here. We have the farm workers. We have the managers at the farm. We have managers at the headquarters. We have poultry experts, veterinarians, and we have people from feed mills, slaughter plants, using the applications worldwide.

A door to all digital services

Annette: So a multifold of users here, but how do they actually use BFN Fusion? What does it actually look like?

Simon: Yeah, I think we can have a look at the screen here. One of the first things that you recognise is that this does not say BFN Fusion immediately, it says My Big Dutchman. My Big Dutchman is Big Dutchman’s customer portal.

As a customer, that’s your door to all digital services from Big Dutchman. Once you are registered here, you can go in and manage your account. Look after all invoices, you can look for spare parts. You can look for documentation on our equipment. And you can even get some great deals in our webshop and of course you can also access the BFN Fusion modules application from here.

Application modules for more efficiency

Annette: Okay, so can you tell us a bit – I mean, it looks very easy to use, but these applications, how are they even valuable to the customer?

Simon: I think first of all, it’s about connecting, getting your data. And then we have these different application modules on top, which help you become more efficient. I’ll just do two or three examples here for you.

If we look at an application like Survey. Survey allows you to analyse your production in details, which means finding root causes to problems and thereby optimising. We have applications like Trend Warnings that looks after your production and tells you that you have an issue before it actually becomes a problem. We have Slaughter Weight Prediction, which helps you to predict the weight of your broilers days before slaughter.

And one last example, I know I’ve said only two or three, but I’ll mention this one as well: the export. Sounds a bit techy. But what is important is that to make use of data, our customers need to get the data into their other applications, other systems to really make the data valuable. That’s what the Export application is doing: it makes the data we collect available for other applications.

So that is just a few examples. And as you can see, there’s way more to explore here.

Bottom-up approach

Annette: So, I see we have a lot of different applications, and it seems a lot of advantages for the customer. Is this unique? Are there competitors who are doing something similar or in fact the same as what Big Dutchman is doing?

Simon: Of course, our colleagues in the business have their own strategy, and they are developing applications. So you can say kind of competing applications.

But what we see is that they take a different approach than we do. They have more of what I like to call the top-down approach. They start looking at developing really nice dashboards, really nice analytic tools. So you can say really nice colours and graphs.

We have more of a bottom-up approach, where we started focusing on actually getting the data from the farms into the cloud. They are on top of that, putting out the applications.

Furthermore, it is important that we decided from the beginning that connecting is not just about connecting and getting the data, connecting is also about supporting our customers with two very difficult things, which are connectivity from the farms and cybersecurity. So those two things are actually built in as a standard into our applications.

If we should wrap it up shortly, then I think our approach means access to data, real-time data from the farms in a well-structured way, where you can trust the data because they are valid, and they are filtered, and the connectivity is ensured. And finally, part of this is also making your farm as well as your data in the cloud secure in terms of cybersecurity. I think that is what sets us apart from the competitors.

Annette: Interesting what you say about the data, so really a fully comprehensive system that truly works. Thank you, Simon.

And with that we have come to the end of this video, the first in the introduction to BFN Fusion. If you’d like to follow the videos, then please do remember to subscribe and otherwise we look forward to seeing you again next time.

2. Connnecting Farms | How do we connect farms?

BFN Fusion safely connects all of your farm data on one single platform, irrespective of equipment manufacturer. But is it true that all farms can be connected? And if so, how? That’s exactly what we are going to find out in this next video.

Hello and welcome to a new video of How to BFN Fusion. My name is Annette and I am here today with Sören.

Annette: Sören, we’ve heard a lot about BFN Fusion and what it’s all about. But what I would like to know today is how do I actually get my farm connected to it?

Sören: To connect to BFN Fusion, we have OrbitX. It’s an IoT gateway which uses 4G technology to get your data up to the cloud.

Annette: Okay, sounds good. Can all customers do this?

Sören: Yes. BD and non-BD equipped farms can be connected to the cloud, and we do that with wires and without. And we do it by connecting to controllers or just using stand-alone sensors.

Annette: Okay. That sounds truly special.

Sören: Yes, it is special. We really invested a lot of effort, passion, and the engineering time to get a very round package. So by now we have climate sensors, like temperature and humidity, we have water counters, we have bird scales, silo scales, and even batch scales for feed weighing.

Annette: That sounds impressive. But what would interest me is, how does the actual setup differ if it’s a Big Dutchman farm, or a non-Big Dutchman farm?

Sören: Yes. Let’s have a look at the graphic. If we have a BD farm, or a BD-equipped farm, it’s very easy. You have the Viper controller, one, two, three, four, as many as we have on the farm. Those controllers then send the data to OrbitX, and OrbitX sends the data up to the cloud.

If we have a non-BD equipped farm, we just install sensors. We can do that with wired or with wireless sensors. And those sensors then send the data to our OrbitX, one per house. And then OrbitX again sends the data fast, safely, and securely up to the cloud.

Easy installation

Annette: You make it sound easy, but is it actually complicated?

Sören: No. I think it’s actually as easy as it sounds. We had a customer a short time ago who said, yeah well, equip all my houses with those sensors. And I told him, you can do it on your own. And he actually installed 16 of those sensors here, well, and similar ones, and connected them to the gateway.

And then he realized he took the wrong positions, rearranged them, one hour later he had a different setup, and everything went straight up to the cloud. So, really easy to set up, but if you like, of course we help you to set it up, especially with the wired sensors.

Annette: Sounds good. And also it sounds nice and easy if you do do it yourself. So, yeah. Terrific.

Thank you very much and thank you once again for joining us. Please do subscribe to our video channel and looking forward to seeing you again next time.

3. Security

BFN Fusion provides its users with reliable data for decision-making to control and optimize their production. But how secure are data transmission, processing, and storage? We’re gonna find out exactly that in this video.

Hello and welcome to a new video of How to BFN Fusion. I’m Annette and with me is Sören.

Annette: Sören, today we’re going to be talking about the subject of security. And the first thing I’d love to know is, where does the data actually go, once the farm is connected?

Sören: As soon as the farm is connected, the data goes to the cloud where it is stored forever, if the customer likes.

Annette: Stored forever if the customer likes? So, who actually has access to this data, this information, this cloud?

Sören: The customer decides who has access to his data, and if he likes, we delete it, if he wants it’s stored forever.

The customer is boss

Annette: Okay. So does Big Dutchman ever have access to this data?

Sören: Yes. When we have a service case, then the customer can grant us access. And as soon as the service case is closed, this access can be canceled. So the customer always stays owner and in control of his data.

Annette: Okay. So as a customer I don't need to worry that Big Dutchman might just peek at my data or have a look. It’s totally safe and unless I give Big Dutchman permission, Big Dutchman cannot access my data?

Sören: Exactly.

Security matters

Annette: Okay. Before we’re going to end today, we were talking about this whole subject of security. It really is very interesting and for me impressive, how Big Dutchman does take it as a huge priority. Could you possibly maybe give us some more examples or elaborate a bit on this?

Sören: Yes. Before we started with the BFN Fusion project, the farmers often had an outdated farm PC. And we took that as a mission and we said, okay, we take this topic for us, as a challenge, and that’s why we brought OrbitX into the game. It has over-the-air updates, it ensures that the farm network is disconnected from the public internet, but still data can go to the cloud. So that’s a real big plus in security.

Furthermore, we have Microsoft Azure as a platform partner, and they work with 3500 employees just on the topic of security. Of course we use state-of-the-art communication technologies, which are, of course, all encrypted. And finally, to keep that quality level on the edge, and on a very very high level, we strive for the ISO 20000 certification.

Annette: Thank you for sharing that with us, Sören. I really believe that our customers know in this regard that their data is safe with Big Dutchman, because that really is quite impressive, how much security is taken care of in this regard with BFN Fusion.

Thank you for joining us with this video and hope to see you again with the next video, and please remember, subscribe to our channel if you haven’t already done so. See you again soon.

4. OrbitX

BFN Fusion is a system that consists of both software and hardware components. In this video, we present OrbitX. This central IoT gateway connects all types of hardware and transfers all your production and climate data to the BFN Fusion cloud in real time.

Hello, and welcome to a new video of How to BFN Fusion. My name is Annette and I’m delighted today to be with Maxim in the studio.

Annette: So, we’ve talked a lot about the software of BFN Fusion and how it works. I think it’s rather appropriate today, if we move on to the hardware. Now, OrbitX is a term that is used quite a lot with BFN Fusion and in connection with BFN Fusion. Maybe you could tell us a little bit about this. 


Maxim: Yes, Annette, I’m happy to do so. OrbitX is of course one very important component in the entire BFN Fusion concept. And I brought also one device with me; you can see it here. And this device, OrbitX, was developed specifically for the purpose of connecting farms in a reliable and secure manner.

So, to enable this, this requires of course multiple tasks that the device has to fulfill. We already discussed that we are able to connect multiple sensors and devices and controllers to OrbitX.

And this needs to be simple and easy because we need to be able to do it fast and for the people to do it on their own and without a big introduction into the device. Therefore, we put a lot of effort into simplifying the entire connection of the devices. The UI is also so simple that it can be used by everybody.

Solving problems

Annette: So, if I’m understanding you correctly, you’re also solving problems for the customer.

Maxim: Yes, this is another purpose of the device. The customers have many challenges in their production, in their daily life. And we want to make their life as simple as possible. And one big risk is always security. Therefore, we also install the device to create a so-called demilitarized zone on the farm.

This means that the device protects the controllers that are responsible for running the production in the houses to separate them from the internet. So the device controls the complete access. And we also take care of the maintenance of the security level.

The customers do not need to go to the farm and do the updates manually. This is something we are doing over the air automatically for the customer so he can focus on his task, and we are doing all the other jobs.

Annette: OrbitX sounds like a truly magic box. So, if I understand correctly, it is collecting and sending data.

Maxim: Yes, this is correct. But we are also looking in the other direction, so we are sending information, we are collecting and sending information, but we are also providing with the device reliable and secured access remotely to Big Dutchman controllers and this in a fully controlled environment. 

Data collection and security

Annette: Okay, so it works in both directions. It sounds pretty amazing. Does that basically mean there’s a completely managed data collection? And secured access to the controller?

Maxim: Yes, correct. And we of course continuously develop our services further to provide the best possible solutions for our customers.

Annette: Wow, that really is something, really sounds as though you have thought of everything, so, pretty impressive. Thank you so much for sharing that with us today.

Thank you also for tuning in and looking forward to seeing you again with our next How to BFN Fusion video. And in order that you don’t miss it, please do remember to subscribe to the Big Dutchman channel. See you again soon.


5. The Survey Module – Overview 

Survey is one of the many useful and amazing modules of BFN Fusion, a multi-dimensional tool a bit like a Swiss army knife. Why? Watch this video and you will know what I mean.

Hello and welcome to a new video of How to BFN Fusion. My name is Annette and I am joined today by Anders.

Annette: Anders, tell me what is Survey.

Anders: Survey is a tool in BFN Fusion and it is a tool we made so you can get an overview of your entire production in one picture. You can use it to analyze your results and you can use it to analyze your ongoing batches.

Swiss knife

Annette: Wow. Sounds like a Swiss army knife. Maybe you can break that down a bit and give us some examples?

Anders: Yeah, I certainly can do that. Do you mind if we just go through some of the functions to begin with.

Annette: Please do.

Anders: So, you get an idea what it is. So here we have Survey as it looks in BFN Fusion. On the left side we have the filter section and on the top we have various tabs.

I have set up three tabs in this picture. And in the big area, we have the main area where all of your data is being displayed. It is possible to set up your own tabs. If you are not happy with the ones that come with the application to begin with, you can configure your own.

In the filter tab, you can go in and you can filter in the top with production type which type of animals you want to see. In this one I have selected broilers. In the location tab, you can filter which locations you want to see.

And I will just show you what happens when I open the country, here you can select from countries to section level. But in this case, I want to add Germany to my list, so I just add Germany here, it is really easy actually. Click Apply and then you will see all the German farms in the view here as well.

If I collapse this one, I also have batch details. This is where you can select if you want to see only the active batches, or you also want to see the finished batches. The columns filter, that is where you can add different values or parameters from your production that you want to monitor or want to see here in the main data area.

And the batch rules, this is where you can set up rules so you can filter for various things that might be interesting to you. If you only want to see birds of a certain weight, you can set it up here.

Versatile tool

Annette: Okay, so basically that is how I decide, is it? Because for me, it looks like an easy interface to use, but how would I know what to look at first, there is a lot of information.

Anders: There is definitely a lot of information. That is why it is such a versatile tool. The farmers themselves can decide what they want to look at. What is important to one farmer might not be so important for the other farmer and vice versa.

If you set it up with multiple farms like I just did, you can sort it here by clicking on the farm and then clicking on the house. So now your farms and your houses are in the right order so to say, it is sorted in alphabetical order. That might be useful in some cases so you can see how far you have gotten.

But you can also sort by the value of the bird weight in this case, and you will have the heaviest birds on top. And if that is not interesting, you can also sort by reference as you can see here.

You might have noticed the dots we have in the background, we have the green, yellow, red dots. They tell you a little bit about how far you are deviating from the genetic reference of your broilers, in this case. So if I click on Sort by Reference, you will see that I get the problematic ones on top. And if I scroll down, you will see I have the red, then yellow and green and then it becomes better and better as you approach the bottom.

Annette: My goodness. Well, the multifold of possibilities for the industry really does seem phenomenal to me. I would love to carry on and find out more from you in a future video if you would be prepared to join me at a later date.

Anders: Absolutely.

Annette: Perfect.

Anders: I love talking about Survey.

Annette: Thank you Anders.

Thank you for tuning into this video. And please do not forget to subscribe to the Big Dutchman channel. I look forward to seeing you again.

6. The Survey Module – Analysis

The Survey module of BFN fusion creates an overview of a huge amount of data which can be used for amazing analysis. In this video, we are going to show you how easy that is to do.

Hello and welcome to a new video of How to BFN Fusion. My name is Annette. I am very happy that Anders has joined me again in the studio.

Annette: Anders, you told us last time how Survey really does create an overview for a huge amount of data. But you also mentioned you would be so kind to tell us today in this video how that works in the region of analysis.

Anders: Yes, that is true. I am going to show you how to visualize the data that we have in BFN Fusion.

Annette: Perfect. And to do that, I think it would be good if I asked you to give us an example.

Anders: Yes, absolutely.

Annette: Perfect.

Analysing Big Data

Anders: I prepared an example so this time I am going to show you two layer houses. They are located on the same farm, and they are on the same production day. And the first thing that I want to look at is the total output of my production. And it looks like they are pretty much the same.

If you look at the parameter called Eggs total here. That is the total amount of eggs that come out of the house and they are very similar to each other. But it does look like the amount of discarded eggs is higher in house number two, and I would like to see how that develops over time. And it is a pretty straight line here as you can see. But I really want to see how that compares to house number one because I want to get the whole overview of my production.

So, I click on Add batch and I go and select house number one because I am in house number two already. And then I just select the current batch in house number one, and then I click Apply and I will get the green graph underneath and you can see that they start to diverge pretty much from the beginning of the batch.

I really want to go a little bit deeper to find out why they start to diverge. So I have another key value called Discarded eggs per day, and if I click on this one, you will see how the two houses compare to each other. Just like before, the green graph is house number one and the orange graph is house number two.

You can see that pretty much from the beginning, there were more eggs discarded in house number two.

Annette: So, comparing and analyzing houses seems very easy to do and also very interesting. How would it be if you compared for example batches? So historically previous batches?

Comparing Big Data

Anders: Yeah, that is a good question. Many farmers would like to see if there is a difference between the current batches and the previous batches they had in a house.

Pretty much you do the same thing as before: you click on Add batch up here. And since you are already in house two, you do not need to select another house.

You just go in and select the previous batch and then you will see what it looked like in the previous batch. And it looks pretty much the same as you can see here, so the farmer might want to go and look for other things that might affect both batches.

Annette: Okay, but that is, I think, the whole point of the analysis that he can see that, or she, and work out what he or she wants to do with that.

Anders: Exactly.

Annette: Thank you very much Anders for explaining that to us.

And thank you for tuning in and I’m looking forward to seeing you at our next How to BFN Fusion video. And in the meantime, please do not forget to subscribe to the Big Dutchman channel. Bye-bye for now.

7. The Trend Warnings Module

BFN Fusion prevents economic losses by recognizing issues and shortages early on. In this video, we’ll learn about Trend Warnings.

Hello and welcome to a new video of How to BFN Fusion. My name is Annette and I’m delighted that Maxim and Anders are joining me today in the studio.

Annette: So, they were talking about Trend Warnings. Now, I know, Trend Warnings, one can imagine from the name what it is possibly about, but I am dying to hear a bit more from you yourselves.

Anders: Yeah, I will answer this one. As you can imagine, our farmers, our customers are quite busy people and they do not have the time to go through all the data that is in the system as we saw the last time.

So we have created a service that will calculate the trend that a specific batch is supposed to follow. And if the batches start to deviate from this trend, then you will get a warning, hence the name Trend Warnings. I think it will be a little bit clearer if I just show you what it looks like.

Annette: Please do, yes.

Deviations trigger warnings

Anders: You can see here it looks like the Survey module that we talked about earlier, except instead of a table I have two graphs and one of them is for water consumption and the other one is for feed consumption. And obviously the blue one is for water.

We have two perforated lines. These are the lines that we have calculated that the flock should follow. And if you start to deviate from these lines then you will get a warning.

Annette: Okay, so far so good, but I get a warning. What does the customer do when they get a warning?

Anders: That is a good question actually. Because a lot of farmers, they say okay, exactly like you did, I got a warning. How do I know what to do? And we just, looking at the graph, you will see some small icons here. And these icons represent a warning.

You will see in this one, it has a dip in the water consumption here on day 22. If I click on this one, then the farmer gets a small description on what the deviation here is about. And what the data is that we use to calculate this warning. We also show some suggestions for what the farmer can you do about this warning.

Customer feedbacks

Annette: Okay, to me that sounds really helpful and really useful. Do you have feedback from customers who are possibly already using the Trend Warnings system?

Maxim: Yes, may I answer this question.

Annette: Please, Maxim.

Maxim: We have multiple customers globally that are already using this service. And we are getting really, really a lot of positive feedback because this is really very helpful to our customers. And may I even tell a story from a customer that we had recently?

So we have a customer, he has multiple farms, multiple houses, of course, very busy guy, but he is also a really good producer. He started to use Trend Warnings. And during the use of Trend Warnings, he realized that he always got a warning on day 22 regarding the water consumption of the batch, as Anders was just showing; it is a perfect example.

Then they started to investigate and saw that they had the same situation, meaning the drop in water consumption also for the historical batches. They did not realize it previously, but now they are getting this information from the system itself. So they started to analyze: why does it happen?

And they figured out that on the previous day, they always had a feed change, which means they got a new feed with a new component. And this had an impact on water consumption. And as the feed consumption in birds is also related to water consumption, it has of course a bad impact on the production and the results.

So they changed the components and were able to solve the problem. The birds did not stop to drink water but continued to drink and therefore also are more and met a higher weight. At the end we had to resolve that the average bird weight of this entire batch had a higher weight of 200 grams.

You have to mention that in such a house, we have 30,000 animals and seven rotations per year. This has the impact that we had a higher revenue for the single house per year of 16,000 euros.

Annette: Incredible. That is really interesting to hear. So that basically shows how useful the Trend Warnings system is already being to certain clients. Okay, I think we have run out of time for today. Thank you both for joining me, Maxim and Anders.

And thank you to you too for joining us. I look forward to our next videos where you will hopefully be with us and to make sure you do not miss any, please do subscribe to the Big Dutchman channel. See you soon.

Digitalization: the rising star of your livestock production.

BFN Fusion is a milestone for digitalization in agriculture – not only for us as a company: our cloud-based solution sets new standards for the entire industry. BFN Fusion offers producers a great variety of added value, especially for larger companies with multiple farms at different locations.

Main advantages

  • Full control and maximum security
  • Lower costs, increase efficiency, achieve predictable success
  • Eliminate human error, reduce the staff workload
  • Reduce production risks
  • Create complete and secure documentation
  • Reduce diseases and minimize losses
  • Remain flexible and capable of acting

Production made more efficient, profitable and sustainable

A big added value for your entire value chain

The system provides standardized data from all production phases and from every link of your value chain. It allows the integration of feed mills, slaughterhouses, hatcheries, feed silos and more, and manages all data centrally, including those from your ERP system.

As a user, you can easily and securely access all production-relevant information in comprehensive form and bundled on one innovative cloud platform. For the first time ever, you will be able to monitor the entire value chain without gaps, allowing data-based optimization of your production.

BFN Fusion also facilitates the documentation of all production processes, indicates potential for optimization and makes your business more sustainable and more profitable.

Everything that matters, at a glance

Valuable knowledge through intuitive insights.

As a cloud-based solution, you can access BFN Fusion from anywhere in the world and with any device: your smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop PC.

The user interface is easy to understand and intuitive to use. Because we know what information is truly important for your daily tasks. This is how we guide you to stay safely on track for success.

Different BFN Fusion modules, one goal

All performance data at a glance for predictable business development.

BFN Fusion provides you with the full overview and control of your production chain, at all locations and in real time. We have developed a specific application module for every aspect of your business.

Over time, we will add more modules as they are relevant for our three business units for egg production, poultry growing and pig production. BFN Fusion will continue to grow, and so will your possibilities of confidentially meeting the future challenges of the agricultural industry.

OrbitX – small box, big connection

A true quantum leap – irrespective of the equipment you use.

Do you use equipment or controllers from other manufactures, maybe even different ones on different farms? No problem! Our OrbitX IoT gateway is the missing link that connects every type of hardware with BFN Fusion – easily, securely and reliably. The small box is easy to install at any of your locations.

OrbitX transfers all your production and climate data to the BFN Fusion cloud in real time. Integrating OrbitX into your existing farm network, you can interconnect the data of all your locations and farms. BFN Fusion validates and structures the real-time data from all of your farms: for the first time ever, you will receive a full, detailed and comparable overview of your entire value chain.

Main advantages

  • Connection of all manufacturers
  • All farms connected, all data visible
  • Independent of the internet on site
  • Completely cared for and secure
  • Connected worldwide, unrivaled worldwide