Urban Crops, Belgium

This the demonstration plant factory at Urban Crops in Waregem. Its based on a closed plant production system; only robots have access to the crates with crops in the PFAL.
This the demonstration plant factory at Urban Crops in Waregem. Its based on a closed plant production system; only robots have access to the crates with crops in the PFAL.
Urban Crops has developped these crates with integrated RFID technology. The crates have 10 plant holes and work with an eb and flood principle.
Urban Crops has developped these crates with integrated RFID technology. The crates have 10 plant holes and work with an eb and flood principle.
Via this conveyor trays with new seedlings can enter the PFAL or fully grown crops can exit again.
Via this conveyor trays with new seedlings can enter the PFAL or fully grown crops can exit again.
Currently the demo set up at Urban Crops consist of a farm of 8 layers. Each layer has 4 rows of 18 meter with growtrays/crates. This results in 448 trays in this tower.
Currently the demo set up at Urban Crops consist of a farm of 8 layers. Each layer has 4 rows of 18 meter with growtrays/crates. This results in 448 trays in this tower.
HortiMaX was responsible of all water technical installations. A FertiMix 600 Unit is used for the fertilization, and a UV disinfection unit is used for water treatment to create a closed recirculation system.
HortiMaX was responsible of all water technical installations. A FertiMix 600 Unit is used for the fertilization, and a UV disinfection unit is used for water treatment to create a closed recirculation system.
A robot (on the right) collects the cultivation crates. The system of Urban Crops can be build in settings with towers of up to 25 layers. When building a system with 30 of these towers a maximum production of 126,000 crops can be produced per day ( 46.9 million crops per year)
A robot (on the right) collects the cultivation crates. The system of Urban Crops can be build in settings with towers of up to 25 layers. When building a system with 30 of these towers a maximum production of 126,000 crops can be produced per day ( 46.9 million crops per year)
Urban Crops' project engineer Pierre Van der Steichel gives an explanation of the system
Urban Crops' project engineer Pierre Van der Steichel gives an explanation of the system
The cultivation trays have place for 10 crops (12 in propagation stage)
The cultivation trays have place for 10 crops (12 in propagation stage)
The buckets fit in the plant holes. In the bucket the cocopeat based growing media is hold in a closed net.
The buckets fit in the plant holes. In the bucket the cocopeat based growing media is hold in a closed net.
As the pots are closed at the bottom, no growing media can fall out, which keeps the irrigation water clean.
As the pots are closed at the bottom, no growing media can fall out, which keeps the irrigation water clean.
A closer look at the plug system.
A closer look at the plug system.
The robtics and software takes care of the planting strategy and batches. The robot automatically knows the stages per crate and batch, from seed to seedling ad seedling to a mature crop. Based on this timing and sheduling, the robot makes a diagnosis to select the fully grown crates.
The robtics and software takes care of the planting strategy and batches. The robot automatically knows the stages per crate and batch, from seed to seedling ad seedling to a mature crop. Based on this timing and sheduling, the robot makes a diagnosis to select the fully grown crates.
Liquid CO2 is dosed in the climate chamber to enhance photosynthesis.
Liquid CO2 is dosed in the climate chamber to enhance photosynthesis.
Outside we could see a demonstration container farm.
Outside we could see a demonstration container farm.
Gwen Dehaene of Urban Crops gives explanation inside the FarmFlex container.
Gwen Dehaene of Urban Crops gives explanation inside the FarmFlex container.
Also the container farm makes use of the crate system of Urban Crops.
Also the container farm makes use of the crate system of Urban Crops.
The fully automated version of this container, the Farm Pro, has no aisle in the middle, but is more like a small automated PFAL in a box.
The fully automated version of this container, the Farm Pro, has no aisle in the middle, but is more like a small automated PFAL in a box.
Frederic Bulcaen, founder and chairman of Urban Crops opened the symposium.
Frederic Bulcaen, founder and chairman of Urban Crops opened the symposium.
Minister-President of Flanders Geert Bourgeois.
Minister-President of Flanders Geert Bourgeois.
Urban Crops founder Maarten Vandecruys
Urban Crops founder Maarten Vandecruys
Also Zjef van Acker, CEO at the Association for Vertical Farming was present to address the urge and need of vertical farming for the global food question.
Also Zjef van Acker, CEO at the Association for Vertical Farming was present to address the urge and need of vertical farming for the global food question.

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