Our value chain (1)
From production site to factory gate
How does a substrate actually get from the production site to the horticultural company and from there to the consumer? What milestones do the raw peat materials cross in the course of this journey? Two articles describe the path of our raw materials and our products from the place of origin to their final destinations. The first part presents the route from the production sites to the factory gates.
Extraction: Klasmann-Deilmann extracts peat from its own production sites in Germany, Lithuania, Latvia and Ireland. Black peat, one of the most important raw materials for the production of blocking substrates, is extracted in late autumn and spread out while still wet in a roughly twenty centimetre thick layer where it freezes all the way through in winter and is then harvested the following summer. Klasmann-Deilmann extracts white peat as sod or milled peat and leaves it to dry over the summer.
Transport to the production plants: Frozen black peat and milled peat are piled into stacks and stored at the extraction sites and transported from there to the bog railway line, for instance with the “bog shuttle”, a gigantic transport machine that is unique to Klasmann-Deilmann. Our bog railway systems are designed as narrow-gauge railways to cope with the difficult conditions at the extraction sites. They are used to carry the peat to the production facilities.
Processing at the production facilities: At the production facilities, the peat and other raw materials, fertilisers and additives are stored separately in covered areas to ensure that there is no mixing or contamination with other substances. This is particularly important for the production of organic substrates, which we therefore produce only at two locations which are specially certified for that purpose. All our factories use state-of-the-art methods for conditioning and mixing the substrate components. Star screens are then used to screen the raw peat materials to the required structure. If the substrate structure has coarse fibres, special coarse separators are used to make sure that the finished substrate does not contain any wood or other coarse components.
Mixing and dosing systems: Each product is made up according to a specific recipe which has its own recipe number. We can, of course, produce special mixtures to suit the customer’s individual requirements. The details of each recipe are stored in our computer system and once the recipe number has been entered, computer-controlled mixing plants produce the required substrate with maximum reliability, accuracy and homogeneity. A representative reference sample is taken automatically during the production of each substrate batch.
Packing and loading: The finished substrates are either loaded directly onto trucks as loose goods or filled into different packaging units. Each bag, bale or big bale receives a production code.
Documentation: The mixing plant delivers a comprehensive production record for each batch, stating the quantities of the individual substrate components that were used, the weight by volume and the produced quantity. The reference sample from the production process is taken to our in-house laboratory where it is visually inspected, analysed and then stored in a cool place for six months.