Transplanter with wireless grippers ramps up production in bedding plants

IJSSELMUIDEN, Netherlands: Dutch bedding plant nursery Kwekerij Wouters has embraced robotics through a partnership with robotics manufacturer Visser horti systems.

Wouters installed a new transplanter wit unprecedented speed because of the wireless+ grippers, high versatility with up to 6 colour combinations in a pot and great flexibility by enabling to change parts without the need for any tools. This makes it a user-friendly high capacity transplanting line.

By using new technologies the Visser gripper has been improved with greater precision, higher speed, better gripping force and more durability. By using Wireless+ technology Wouters will not be restricted by cables or tubes and can replace the plant grippers in a matter of seconds.

The servo controlled Wireless+ grippers can move independently up and down, which provides ultimate flexibility for transplanting different combinations and achieving high capacities. Because of the Wireless+ technology, maintenance costs are reduced due to the lower number of moving parts.

The Pic-O-Mat GR-2700 has 48 individually controlled grippers, which move with high speed and accuracy, up to 41,000 plants per hour. With the increased accuracy the plants shows zero signs of contact after transplanting. This precision is one of the reasons why nursery Wouters chose Visser Horti Systems.

The newest transplanter uses an innovative multi-color system to place up to 6 different plants in a pot at high speed. It’s possible to store up to 100 plant colour combinations by using the Siemens touch screen. This enables growers to switch products with just one touch. With the new multi-colour system different colours light indicate where to put which plant, so the employees know exactly where to put the right trays. This ensures the different plants are always placed at a fixed position in the pot.

Visser and Wouters co-created a highly efficient carrier for the pots. Because Wouters runs pot sizes ranging from 12 cm to 27 cm, special pot carriers and de-stackers were developed to make a smooth and easy conversion to different pot sizes and plant types. Many modern machines still need micro adjustments while changing pot sizes but that is no longer required. Because the different pot carriers all have the same width, the machines itself stays the same. The preinstalled settings makes fine-tuning redundant and the machine is ready to go at high speed after just changing the de-stacker and pot carriers.

Situated over three different sites in Ens and Ijsselmuiden, Wouters is one of Europe’s largest suppliers of bedding plants to retail customers. The family-owned business grows annually more than 20 million plants in bedding packs, pots, hanging baskets and planters.

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