It seems like greenhouse automation is the hot topic of the year. Greenhouses everywhere are looking for ways to automate their processes to reduce labor costs and improve production. But, moving to a fully automated greenhouse isn’t as easy as it sounds, and for many, the initial investment cost can be daunting. One great way to make a manageable but meaningful step in the direction of greenhouse automation is to implement portable conveyor belts.
Among other benefits, portable conveyor belts give you access to automation without an excessive upfront investment, allowing you to first see how automation could work for your system, without a great deal of risk. Regardless of whether your facility does eventually invest in complete automation, those portable conveyor belts will always be useful, making them an integral component of any automated greenhouse.
Here are just a few of the reasons why portable conveyor belts are integral to an automated greenhouse:
Get More Work Done With Less
The ultimate goal of automating your greenhouse is to help you do more business, better. When it comes to the greenhouse industry, labor is hard to find and keep. Portable conveyors help you get more work done with the fewer employees you have.
What used to take many workers walking back and forth from house to house can now be done with just one portable conveyor and two employees. You just need one employee to load the conveyor, and one more to unload the conveyor at the plant material’s destination. This reduces non-value-added labor like walking plant material around your greenhouse, meaning you can get more work done in less time, and with fewer employees.
What’s more, implementing portable conveyors makes those jobs more sustainable for your employees. They don’t have to walk miles a day, which makes the job more attractive and manageable, and increases your potential to keep those workers on board with your team.
In general, the biggest obstacle to overcome is time. Portable conveyors help speed up the production on all of these tasks. Instead of relying on people to physically lift and transport each plant, portable conveyors can be set up to deliver plants directly to their destination, quickly and with ease. Your product isn’t worth more because it’s handled more – put another way – handling product is non-value added labor. Reducing non-value added steps is key to improving your profitability.
The ultimate goal of any greenhouse automation process is to improve efficiency. There’s no better way to speed up production in greenhouse processes than by cutting down transportation time.
Respond Efficiently to Occasional Tasks
In a fully automated greenhouse, your system is set up to complete consistent and repeatable tasks at a very efficient pace. But what do you do about occasional tasks that happen maybe once a week, or once a month? Even tasks that happen just once a day are tough to fit into a fully automated greenhouse schedule.
Portable conveyor belts are an excellent solution to the challenge of occasional tasks, like weekly shipments or moving plants in from the field just once a year.
Since portable conveyors like the Rapid-Veyor system are made from lightweight aluminum, it’s easy to move them wherever they’re needed, set them up with a convenient drop-in drive, and get going. Easily unload or load trucks, and move plants from point A to point B with minimal labor requirements. Best of all, when the task is completed, portable conveyors are just as easy to stack up and store out of the way of the rest of your automated greenhouse.
Handling occasional tasks is a key consideration when automating any greenhouse. While you can automate a number of tasks, there are some that will still require special solutions. Portable conveyors offer a swift, efficient solution that gets the job done, and is then easily stored away.
Better Understand the Flow of Your Automated Greenhouse
If you’re considering automating your greenhouse, and even if you’ve already begun the process, portable conveyor belts are essential tools to understand your facility’s flow. Because they are portable, they offer a convenient option for you to try out a new production line or process area.
With a portable conveyor in place, you can see if your new process works with the overall material flow within your greenhouse, and you can easily make adjustments until you get it right. If that solution works for you, keep your conveyor in place and invest in an additional conveyor for other daily operations. If that solution doesn’t work for you, easily move the conveyor to a location in your greenhouse that is more useful. The benefit of portable conveyors is that they’re easily moved and reconfigured to meet any need in your greenhouse — they’re always adding value. Portable conveyors are a smart investment. They’re always working to make your production faster and more efficient.
If you’re working on automating your greenhouse, a portable modular conveyor is a must-have. Perfect for those non-routine transportation tasks, they’re easy to store out of the way and pull out whenever you need them. For more information on a top-of-the-line portable conveyor, talk to the team at Rapid-Veyor.