Vertical Farming Benefits and Technology

vertical farming technology

Vertical farming refers to a method of growing or cultivating where crops are stacked vertically on top of one another. This allows for more layers of product in a smaller space. As space and airable land become limited and demand continues to grow, this newer method of harvesting crops will start to become a new norm. Vertical farming allows for growth in areas such as shipping containers, and warehouses.

vertical farming
Photo Credit – https://www.gminsights.com/industry-analysis/vertical-farming-market

Benefits of Vertical Farming

There are many benefits to vertical farming. The first, in the fact that it allows for the growth of more products in the same amount of square footage. Vertical Farms can also feed more people then regular farming can because they grow 75 times more food per square foot then a traditional farm. One acre of an indoor area offers equivalent production to at least 4-6 acres of outdoor capacity.

Vertical Farming allows producers to grow year long, which is especially beneficial to our short growing seasons in Alberta. Therefore, there is always a great product to offer. Harvest schedules can be customized to consumers’ needs or higher demand periods. This can also ensure quality and flavourful product all year round.

Vertical farming is efficient, in that it requires less water more than 70%. Although traditional farming can use techniques such as drip irrigation and more it still does not come close to the savings that vertical farming provide. Also, the use of chemical pesticides is not needed, yielding more organic products for consumers.

Physical Layout

When it comes to vertical farming technology and systems there are many options to growing crops The physical layout is typically in towers or they may use horizontal structures stacked on top of each other. They can also be grown along walls called green walls. Some farms are grown within modular containers as well. Once the physical layout is established lighting and growing mediums can be determined.

vertical farming technology

Lighting

Lighting is one of the most important aspects of vertical farming technology. There are a few options to mimic natural light when it comes to farming indoors.

Vertical farming requires powerful grow lighting to grow crops. Fluorescent lights are most common are typically used for growing herbs and vegetables indoors. They are two types which include fluorescent tubes and Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFLs). They can easily fit into tight spaces and give off a powerful light and save more energy than incandescent bulbs.

HPS Grow lights or High-Pressure Sodium lights and used by many commercial growers. They do give off a significant amount of heat so it is important to ensure proper measures when it comes to the distance between crops and lighting.

LED grow lights are the most energy-efficient among all three basic types of grow lights. They also do not produce heat which can harm crops. The downside of LED lights? They do yield the highest cost and can pose safety hazards if proper eye protection is not taken.

Growing Medium

Vertical farming systems can use also use a variety of growing mediums to harvest their crops. Hydroponics uses a soil-free system by planting the plants in a nutrient-rich solution. It must be circulated and monitored to ensure the proper chemical composition of the solution.

Aeroponics uses no soil and very little water to grow plants. The innovation of Aeroponics in the field of vertical farming was made by The National Aeronautical and Space Administration (NASA). It is the most efficient way to grow using only mists of water on the plant and roots to make it grow. They are said to intake the most nutrients and vitamins. Lettuce, herbs, and strawberries are best used in Aeroponics

Aquaponics combines fish and plants in the same closed ecosystem. In this system, fish grow in indoor ponds and the plants use the nutrient-rich waste as a food source that the fish produce. This creates a thriving system for the fish and plants to grow together. Many types of fruits and vegetables can be grown efficiently with goldfish, tilapia, carp, sunfish, bass, koi and more.

All growing mediums depend on the type of crop and the amount of product being grown.

vertical farming technology

The Future of Vertical Farming

A growing population and increased urban living are expected to boost vertical farming in the coming years. In addition to a decrease in sustainable landmass, the quality that vertical farming can product year-round and keep within their own local markets will drive the market in favor of this type of system. Vertical farming will also provide many green options for our population as less deforestation is needed and the water conservation, and reduced waste is much more favorable.

There are many options when it comes to the technology, robotics, and automation used to build a system like this. BP Automation can build your vertical farming technology. If you need a custom build, contact us today and our team of engineers and designers would be happy to help you with your product.

BP Automation Will Attend the WMTS Show

BP Automation will be attending the WMTS – Western Manufacturing Technology Show. WMTS is Western Canada’s Meeting Place for Manufacturing Technologies, Trends & Industry Connections. This show has taken place over 30 years where manufacturers all over Western Canada attend to display the latest products and solutions and to network.

Key features of the Event Include

Manufacturing Technology Exhibits

Keynotes and Special Presentations

SME Zone

Job Shop Appreciation Reception

Knowledge Bars

Opening Night Reception

Get tickets to the event here

Visit us at Booth 303 from June 4-6th, 2019 at the Edmonton Expo Centre. BP Automation is a leader in automated engineering solutions. We are a one-stop-shop for customers seeking solutions to manufacturing problems, labour requirements, production capacity and quality control. We offer diverse skills and services from prototype development to automated machine fabrication and control. We look forward to meeting everyone at the show and bringing together great manufacturing and technology solutions. For more information about the show please feel free to contact us.

WMTS Event BP Automation

Material Handling Project Feature – Fire Hose Packaging

At BP Automation, automating redundancy and processes in your business is our specialty. We work with a with a wide range of industries to increase industrial efficiency. Lets take a look at one of our project features. Here is a material handling project that we completed where we developed a machine to perform the packaging of fire hoses.

Material handling - fire hose packaging material handling services - fire hose packaging

Watch The Video Here:

Learn more about our Material Handling Service

Minimize error rate and labor cost while enhancing capabilities to handle the workload. We have the knowledge, experience, and resources to manufacture scalable material handling systems. Contact us to learn more.

Basics When It Comes To Electrical Control Design

control panels, custom control cabinets

Automation cannot be brought to life without proper electrical controls. The intricate and detail oriented process has many steps. Here are a few considerations to think about when working on your next control cabinet design.

Placement and Sizing

When finding the location for the cabinet ensure there is plenty room for cabinet doors to swing open, and you may want to consider enough space for a test cart to roll in while the doors are open. When it comes to temperature ensure that the cabinet is protected from other factors in the workspace that are happening around the panel which may cause overheating or moisture damage. It may be necessary to add a heater, air conditoner or de- humidifier depending on the situation. When it comes to large control panels there may be requirements to power test equipment and appliances that are used for general maintenance. If possible during the drafting process, think about receptacles in close locations that elimiate the need for extension cords and make maintenance tasks much more convenient.

Flexibility

Having a flexible design when it comes to control cabinets will make the design much more likely to be replaced and can increase overall efficiency in the shop. As design requirements change, when duplicating a standard design for use in new equipment, the ability to use different, but similar, switching devices is important. For example, The ability to quickly change from fused short circuit protection to a motor starter protector is a great design feature and can make it much more efficient when creating new replicated designs. Identifying and specifying from a family of switching components that can meet diverse requirements is good design practice.

Documentation

Documenting on paper and electronically all changes and expected changes in the system is important. Here at BP Automation we ensure to document all span multiple revisions over time? Accurate system information helps you to trouble shoot future problems much more easily and effectively manage change and future expansion.

Electrical Testing Is Important

One of the most critical components of creating a new electrical design is testing. With testing you want to confirm everything is correct and working properly. Enure to check the terminals are at the proper torque or tightness, resistance test, voltage test, sequence test, and mechanical operations test. You can get a inspection sheet for a control panel here .

For more information when it comes to developing control panels and cabinets to fit your specific needs contact us here at BP Automation today. We are located at 5522- 36 street NW Edmonton, AB or 780-448-9338.

Advantages of Custom Control Panel

The control panel is essentially the heart of your entire operation when it comes to electrical supply for each machine or your entire shop floor. A poorly designed control panel can cause safety concerns and interrupt the operations of your industrial business.

A custom control panel is built as a single-source solution or as a complex control solution and are designed to typically address unique concerns. This is especially important if you are running multiple operations or in a hazardous location.

A custom control panel from BP Automation can give you the following features:

-Temperature Controls

-Motion Controls

-Process Controls

-Center Controls

-Data Logging

-Recipe Controls

Through the use of Human Machine Interface technology, our custom control panels receipe and store specific settings to make user control simpler and allow for accuracy and increased productivity. control panels, custom control cabinets

Ensure that your control panel is build sufficiently and that it is compatable with your operations. If you need a custom build or help with the electrical design we are here to help. At BP Automation we design custom control cabinets to ensure that a machine is safe and that the efficiecncy of the machine can be maximized. Sticking with an ensuring that all panels and machines the latest and most rigorous industrial standards is extremly important to us.

Contact us to day to learn more about custom control cabinets and other automation solutions.