Juggling many types of plants and many different customers can be quite a challenge, but no longer, now that the Lowpad comes into play. That at least is the potential of this smart Automatic Guided Vehicle.
“If you consider that with young plant growers each tray is now picked up twice and that this represents more than half of the costs, we think this machine will really help growers. We are now ready to introduce it to the horticultural sector. The Lowpad is going to help horticulture with distribution,” says Bram Verschoor at the Logistica fair, where the Lowpad won both the jury and the public prize.
There is a reason why Bram specifically mentions young plant growers. It is precisely they who have to deal with many different types of plants and many different types of customers. A big challenge with order picking and delivery. “Now, for example, you can see that a Danish trolley is almost ready for dispatch but, due to a delay in the process, that a certain type of plant must be supplemented later. At that moment, in practice, a lot of unnecessary trips to and fro with those carts will have to be made."
By having the Danish trolleys move automatically through the hall, it is only necessary to handle a tray manually once. Smart software then ensures that the rest of the process runs automatically. And if some addition to a cart is still required, the Lowpad with the Danish cart will just pass by to receive that one product.
Click here for a large example of a 'trip schedule'
Additional advantage: traceability. “The software keeps track where products come from and also where the batches are located in the shed or greenhouse. All this with the help of a scanning system for the incoming product, so that a tray now can go from the stock cart or trolley straight to the final trolley and to the dock.”
Implementation in existing software systems
In time, Bram also expects growers with end products to increasingly use the Lowpad. “As growers increase in size and registration systems improve, implementation of the Lowpad with associated software becomes easier. Young plant growers often already have such highly developed software running, precisely because of the complexity of their work. The Lowpad can be that extra step, while substantially saving on labor costs.”