Leading Greenhouse Supplier Adds Automation to keep up with Peak Season
When a local leading supplier to the greenhouse industry was heading into peak season and realized that they wouldn't be able to keep up with the impending production demands they contacted ATSI Robotics to develop a system that could. The goal of the project was to create an automated dispensing end to end system that would process any incoming orders and automatically be queued to fulfill bulk mixtures of fertilizer.
The requirements were that the Custom Automated Solution must dispense bulk fertilizer accurately and completely based on the greenhouse customer order recipe, alert the stock driver when order is complete and ready to ship, and monitor bulk feed hops and alarm when the fertilizer is getting low. A safety system also needed to be incorporated as the operators were not familiar with using autonomous equipment and the system had to carry a payload of 400 kg.
ATSi Engineers prepared an automation system that was fully programmable and designed a motor control system that could monitor the location of a cart and measure the amount of bulk fertilizer being deposited into a customer bin. We also developed a safety system with a controller that monitored a perimeter fence and light curtains which disabled all actuators including cart motion when someone entered the designated space. Since the suppliers current facility network was outdated, ATSI Robotics engineers also designed new network topology that included the new system.
During installation ATSI Robotics team educated the client and when the time came to put the new system to work the machine performed beyond expectations. Instead of struggling to keep up with incoming orders during peak season, the system was able to keep up and actually free up the burden of labourers that was previously required to manually load a container and move the cart to subsequent hoppers to create mixture. The client was elated because the system also reduced material waste, as the automated dispensing system monitored the displaced cycle and controlled the amount of fertilizer more accurately. In this case ATSI Robotics was able to improve our clients top and bottom line.