Harsh environmental conditions?
Not a problem for TAGSYS, which just got the thumbs up to implement its RFID technology into one of Holland’s leading systems providers for greenhouse botanical flowers.
“Thanks to TAGSYS technology, we were able to open sales to a completely new market,” said Bennie Cuijpers, RFID project manager of Zetes.TAGSYS, one of the global leader in item-level RFID infrastructure, recently announced that Walking Plant Systems (WPS), one of Holland’s leading systems providers for greenhouse botanical growers, has successfully implemented RFID technology into its Plant Order System for commercial greenhouses.
RFID Tag: Walking Plant Systems Announces Success Of RFID-Enabled Greenhouses
TAGSYS, one of the global leader in item-level RFID infrastructure, recently announced that Walking Plant Systems (WPS), one of Holland’s leading systems providers for greenhouse botanical growers, has successfully implemented RFID technology into its Plant Order System for commercial greenhouses. By allowing growers to fit each flower pot with a TAGSYS RFID tag, WPS can optimize the months-long greenhouse growing process. Zetes, one of the leading pan-European company in the value-added solutions and services industry for automatic identification of goods and people, partnered with TAGSYS to integrate RFID infrastructure into the project.
“The WPS project demonstrates our ability to achieve highly accurate item-level tracking in a variety of environmental conditions,” said Olivier Burah, Vice President EMEA of TAGSYS. “The project also demonstrates how RFID can play a critical role in improving production processes and the quality of goods. Even for a process as delicate as plant-growing, TAGSYS’ technology allows WPS’ customers to track the progress of every single plant in a 30,000 square-meter greenhouse from seed to sale—which can take from six months to a year.”
The Plant Order System is a fully automated system of pot-adapters, conveyor belts, and plant nutrition systems that guides plants from initial seeding to individual customer orders. With a combination of RFID and photography, Zetes’ software ensures individual plants receive specialized care; the tag identifies the plant itself and Zetes’ imaging software infers plant health from its relative shape. More specifically, if a plant appears to need more nutrients, the system can send that plant to the corresponding section of the greenhouse.
RFID thus enables full automation and optimization of the growing process, thereby saving growers unprecedented resources in the production of this high-value asset. WPS estimates the average per-pot flower value to be €5, and there are currently at least three million tags in use among WPS customers. The Dutch potted plant business is by far the largest and most advanced in the world. Holland has approximately 1500 potted plant growers who command approximately 1000 hectares of greenhouse space.
“The main selling point of the RFID system is its 100 percent reliability and its diversity,” said Richard van der Meijs, sales manager for WPS. “It is vital for florists to know what they have in stock. They have to be able to make thousands of sorting operations in a very short time. The delivery process is extremely delicate, and the quality must meet the highest standards.”
TAGSYS uses the 10-TL tag and the Medio L100 reader on the project. The tag fits snugly into the pot-adapter, which is a casing for the actual pot. The pots are then fed into a machine and filled with soil and a seedling. They are transferred to trays and kept at constant temperature for 30 weeks. During this time, a ceiling-mounted irrigation system sprays each plant with fertilized water.
Trays then undergo at least two more room changes, where they experience temperature/humidity shifts and regular flooding. Finally a sorting system routes plants into groups for individual customers; machines remove the RFID tags and recycle them for new plants.
“Thanks to TAGSYS technology, we were able to open sales to a completely new market,” said Bennie Cuijpers, RFID project manager of Zetes. “The 13.56 MHz 10-TL tag is low in cost and highly reliable despite harsh environmental conditions and multi reader dense antenna environments.”