Richard Scheffers of Richplant invested in a WPS delivery system in 2005. After having reaped the benefits of the system for nine years, Richard was faced with the decision as to whether to renovate this system or switch to a different method using a different type of system. His main considerations were the advantages of a new method compared with the cost of renovation.
Richplant’s product range has changed over the years; where the company previously produced mainly one pot size, they are now producing Gardenias in three pot sizes. “Being able to change pot sizes and types is a must if you want to be able to respond to the market quickly. This means our automation needs to be flexible. For me, a SmartFlo conveyor system and a small-scale delivery system are the perfect combination of efficiency and flexibility, ensuring our automation is future-proof again!” Richard Scheffers says.
The advantages of the new method in combination with the system were a key part of the decision. The SmartFlo Track conveyors are currently being installed in the part of the greenhouse where plants will be collected prior to delivery. To save space, the SmartFlo Track is suspended from the greenhouse girders. Thanks to the SmartFlo Flexit, a flexible conveyor belt which runs above the crop, plants can be sorted selectively. This belt cuts the distance workers have to walk during selective sorting to a minimum. The plants travel along the SmartFlo Flexit and the SmartFlo Track to a main belt that takes them to a compact delivery system, where workers can clean and sort them and put them into trays. We also supply a buffer belt to buffer the sorted plants.
We are very proud that Richplant is once again opting for a WPS solution and that we can continue our working relationship with them. The way the SmartFlo concept is used here could also provide added value for other growers:
- For the delivery phase, SmartFlo is set to perform at a very high circulation rate.
- SmartFlo runs over the entire width of the greenhouse, with a span of as much as 12.8 metres.
The system will be operational at Richplant in spring 2015.
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