Born as a solution to a need for a high-tech support to traditional agriculture, Vertical Farming represents the future of agriculture and is an efficient response to the growing question of uncontaminated production of fresh food and agricultural products, reachable at any moment and locally cultivated.
But what does Vertical Farming mean? A vertical farming is a system that produces fruits and vegetables, monitoring their nutritional properties, reducing energy consumption, water usage, fertilized substances and nutrients and parasites to a minimum.
Automha is very attentive to sustainability and cost-effective and specific plug&play solutions for this growing industry.
Ljusgårda, Swedish company specialized in the cultivation and delivery of salads within 24 hours of collection, decided to use Automha’s Autosat system for its vertical farms.
In the last few years, the Tibro company was protagonist of important productive growth, due to the ambitious project of making Sweden a more self-sufficient country that is less dependent on imported goods, which are damaging to the climate and to the health of citizens. Currently, it manages an intense indoor cultivation in a 7,000 sq.m. industrial structure.
Knowing Ljusgårda’s vision, Automha offered Autosat, the latest-generation shuttle created for the automated multi-depth storage and handling of pallets.
In this way, Autosat manages all the phases of cultivation: in the first phase of farming, the salad seeds are placed on trays (84 seeds per tray) together with coir and mud. Next, the entire system warms the area in which the seeds are positioned with renewable energy sources like air, light and water for 18 hours per day. The combination of these three elements creates the right temperature and humidity, creating the ideal environment for plant growth.
The system is made up of 4 aisles, 37 meters deep and distributed on 4 levels, that allow the storage of 688 trays. All is managed by 2 Autosat that move the pallets/trays along the aisle and position the pallets in specific targets to allow the irrigation and management of the content on the pallets/trays – consider that in only two weeks the plants grow about 8 cm – so Autosat always transports the pallets/trays to the collection stations, which is where the salad is cut, washed and packaged for shipping. The tray handling in the storage/cultivation system is entrusted to Autosat to avoid all contamination.
The Ljusgårda warehouse is considered a model vertical farm, to take as an example: a completely automated system that promotes cultivation in multi-layered warehouses supported by lights, sophisticated irrigation systems and an accurately controlled climate.
The system, operating since 2021, works 24/7 and the special construction of Autosat machines guarantees high hygenic standards of the product and environment. In fact, Autosat can be a product for these specific applications in stainless steel and completely washable.
Attention was paid also to the investment: the Autosat system is extremely flexible, dynamic and with a return on investment 12 months since the installation. So, it is ideal for these types of applications.