25 November 2019
WESTLAND, Netherlands: A robot arm fitted with a gripper and sensors can automatically place kalanchoes in 7-cm pots in trays. At Dutch-based kalanchoe grower KP Holland this job can be completed in just 25 seconds when filling a 14 cell tray.
The grippers have protected coverings – ‘brushes’ as automation company WPS call them – that gently place the plants into the trays without causing damage.
KP Holland grows its plants in highly automatized greenhouses. When the plants are ready for shipment, however, the job of placing the plants into their trays is a very laborious one. Until now.
KP Holland and WPS thoroughly tested the machine using different grippers and ‘artificial hands’ that uphold leaves when plants are placed into the tray. As robots don’t get tired, the machine at KP Holland is able to process 1600 plants per hour.
Pictured left to right are Roy van der Knaap, technical manager at KP Holland and Jan Moekestorm, Project Leader at WPS.