The aponix vertical barrel system is an alternative vertical NFT solution from Germany that can be used instead of rack systems to use vertical space more efficiently in hydroponic setups and at the same time be able to use natural sunlight better. The aim was to enable edible plant production also in smaller farming plots or community spaces and allow for more decentralized urban micro farming.
The whole concept is based on lego-like ring segment pieces that serve either as spacers or provide differently organized inserts for standard 2-inch netpots. Assembling multiple of these ring segment pieces will result in stackable ring segments or barrel levels to assemble one or multiple such vertical cylinders or ‘barrels’. With more ring segments stacked, the height and the number of grow spaces are increased.
With regard to irrigation there are multiple options with a pressure line or without pressure. Apart from configuring for crop size and shape, users also need to plan how they integrate the barrel units. They can be operated as independent single units with their own reservoir in the base or be chained into a larger production context with externally managed liquid nutrients.
Aponix' mission is to facilitate the setup of high density grow spaces for soil-less cultivation by taking the existing 2D NFT concept to the 3rd dimension in a very flexible, simple and also robust way. It is especially designed for urban farming facilities operating on limited space. The range of available pieces with different functions has been extended continually during the last 2 years of development. In the meantime many new users started testing or are actively using vertical barrels worldwide in a wide variety of applications.
As of 2020 aponix changed their market strategy from looking for distributors to working more extensively with product partners who bring in own engineering and create more specific and distinguishable products from their barrel components. This is based on the definition of the aponix components as being mere infrastructure parts that always need to be integrated into a greater individual context. Product partners are required to create their own unique solutions based on aponix pieces adding other external even competitive pieces and/or service and market them independently under their own brand and own product name.
As result of this co-operative type of relation some new interesting components have been designed that in turn can be used by other existing product partners too. One nice example is the new lid-base that can be used to put a unit on a rotation table or stationary with a standard 40mm PVC pipe to drain the liquid underneath. That way aponix managed to move the focus from unproductive competition on just commodity pieces and open the door for all sorts of bad copies to the best possible solutions and product creation for the product partners.