“If the greenhouse set-up is right, it is the best automation solution there is”

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This was said by Jason vanWingerden, CEO of The Plant Company. During a visit from Digna van Zanten, WPS CEO, and Willem Jan Hoogduin, WPS Business Manager North-America, the driving force behind this decision was discussed with Jason vanWingerden and Frank Paul, co-owner of The Plant Company. Located in Stuarts Draft, VA, they grow indoor house plants for the North American market.

In 2023, The Plant Company invested in labor efficiency, automating the transportation from potting lines into the greenhouse using the SmartFlo conveyor belt system. A conveyor belt is installed in each section, enabling the system for efficient spacing and delivery. The system has been running smoothly for over six months, meeting full satisfaction.

Jason explains the rationale behind the investment in conveyor belt systems: “We had to invest in automation due to the variety of plant types, leading to increased complexity and labor costs. What’s great about the WPS system is its versatility for all pot sizes and trays. Starting with a clean slate during construction allowed us to consider labor efficiency, enabling the right setup for future automation. WPS’ conveyor belt system is the best automation solution for labor savings in ground cultivation.”

WPS observes a growing willingness among American growers to invest in automation. In a conversation with Jason, the discussion includes ROI, and he highly recommends it to other growers: “Our payback period is a maximum of 5 years, with the system lasting at least 15 years with minimal maintenance costs. It’s a sound investment for us, and we would definitely recommend it to other growers. It not only benefits financially but also provides much better working conditions for your employees.”

WPS is experiencing rapid growth in the US thanks to visionary partners like The Plant Company. Digna, WPS’ CEO, expresses gratitude for The Plant Company’s belief in their products and their vision of hands-free plant production. Witnessing the widespread adoption of automation among leading greenhouse companies, WPS remains committed to empowering all US growers to embrace hands-free plant production.

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