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Two internal transport systems linked for tomato grower

Prominent Hoogerbrugge from Lepelstraat has 2 greenhouses (next to each other). These days, only loose tomatoes are grown there. In Greenhouse 2, the switch from vine tomatoes to loose tomatoes was made two years ago. Without any rigorous renovations, they managed to get two internal transport systems to work well together.

Pieter Hoogerbrugge (Prominent Hoogerbrugge), Mattijs Van Loon, and Leon Verkoelen (Bogaerts Greenhouse Logistics), in their follow-up discussion of the realization of this project

One of the starting points was that the products from both greenhouses should be able to be merged en route to the sorting and packaging line. Mattijs Van Loon, Bogaerts Greenhouse Logistics, and Pieter Hoogerbrugge, Kwekerij Prominent Hoogerbrugge, came up with the solution together.

In addition to merging the tomatoes, more conditions had to be met, such as greater harvest convenience and labor savings. AGV vehicles are now used for the internal logistics system. For Bogaerts, that means Qii Drive Tomato. Bogaerts has adapted it to fit the processes at Hoogerbrugge.

More peace and less people
If you ask Pieter what he noticed most after introducing Qii Drive Tomato, you immediately get the following answer: "There is so much more peace and quiet in the greenhouse, the processing area, and the route in between. The work is less strenuous; there is no more lugging crates and dragging carts. The vehicles and induction lines take over. We find that the staff all like this very much. At least, since the introduction, staff turnover has been minimal."

Erik Hoogerbrugge adds: "Other advantages of the system are that the induction line requires hardly any maintenance, is hygienic, and it is therefore easy to keep clean. In terms of labor savings, I can say that we need to employ a few less people. After all, we no longer need to drive large crates internally between the two greenhouses. And the work is less intensive which makes it easier for the harvesters to keep doing the work."

Prominent Hoogerbrugge
Greenhouse 1's water gutter, at the back of the plant rows, is 'just' used for transport to the shed. Greenhouse 2 originally grew vine tomatoes. Greenhouse 2 is not right next to Greenhouse 1, nor does it have such a water gutter.

Garden 2 is now equipped with Qii Drive tomato. Everything comes together in the processing area: tomatoes from the water gutter are merged with tomatoes supplied by Qii Drive tomato. These are tilted and blended. They are then transported to the sorting and packaging area.

The above video gives a good idea of the process. You first see the harvesting trucks arrive. Before they are tipped over, they are first weighed. In the next shot, you can see the trolley being tipped at the top right. The incoming tomatoes are mixed via the stepped belt. On the left side of that stepped belt, the tomatoes are supplied via the water gutter from Greenhouse 1.

Water gutter greenhouse 1

Mattijs gives some examples of customer-specific solutions for Prominent Hoogerbrugge.

The paths are 100 meters long, and harvesting takes place 2 (instead of 3) times a week. So, the carts had to be big enough to transport the harvest of those 100 meters in one trip. The AGV carts are made longer (2.4 meters) and can transport a weight of 350 kg of product just fine.

There is a difference in height between the two greenhouses. That height difference is also part of the waiting area. To take the load off the drive unit, an automatic handbrake has been built so that the drive unit is not constantly called upon (and thus, the engine is spared).

The battery of an AGV vehicle lasts for 2 days. After that, they are recharged.

The gate control is part of the AGV. As soon as the vehicle reaches the rolling door, it automatically raises it. To avoid disturbing the greenhouse climate too much, they go up partially. They don't need to go up fully because the trolleys are low.

There is a button on the harvest trolley that is controlled by the body. The system is set so that the trolley then moves forward 40 cm. This leaves two hands-free for harvesting.

The control console has been made lower so that the tipper can reach 'the ear' easily.

In busy times, 100 tonnes of tomatoes can be harvested and processed per day. The variety they now grow is the highly resistant (HR) ToBRFV variety in the mid-truss segment: Ustica from Enza Zaden. The entire greenhouse complex covers 14.5 hectares.

Pieter shows that the safety sensor works flawlessly

"We test everything ourselves"
Of course, starting a new transport is always a bit exciting. Pieter: "We haven't had any teething problems here. Really zero. Everything worked properly from day 1: the detection loop, the tipper, safety sensor, controls, etc, really everything."

Leon explains how Bogaerts works and how teething problems are avoided: "Every part is made by us. We don't rely on buying parts. And we test everything ourselves. Every cart is linked to a test PC at our own location in Hoogstraten in Belgium. We don't like 'surprises'. And that way of working pays off; if you see how fast we are growing, you will be amazed. Come and have a look. Feel free to make an appointment. We are happy to show it to our customers."

For more information:
Bogaerts Greenhouse Logistics

Mattijs van Loon
direct: +32 (0)3 800 72 54
mobile: +32 (0) 485 044 720
[email protected]

Leon Verkoelen
+32 472 127 442 (GSM)
[email protected]

Prominent Hoogerbrugge

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