Monday, August 30, 2021
Delta’s Plant Factory Showcases Smart Farming in Singapore
Delta has recently presented its 12-meter containerized smart plant factory at the Punggol Digital District in Singapore. The container showcases Delta’s ambition to transform vegetable farming with smart automation technologies to fuel sustainable urban agriculture. With Delta’s fans, thermal management solutions, LED lighting and automation technologies, the plant factory reduces water consumption by 5% compared with traditional agriculture methods.
This containerized plant factory, making its debut in Singapore, is a milestone marking Delta’s commitment to sustainability. Back in 2011, Delta already started to develop its own plant factory, and later put the products on the market under than name of ‘DELvege,’ that aimed to provide safe, high quality vegetables. Delta’s smart plant factory utilizes its LED lighting solutions that offer optimal conditions for each growing stage. The patented flood table, nutrient solution circulating system, DC brushless fans, and others clearly demonstrate Delta’s strength in cross-industry innovation.
Delta’s plant factory is particularly intended to efficiently control water consumption. With the recirculating hydroponic system reusing the nutrient solution, Delta’s plant factory only needs 2%-5% of the water typically consumed by outdoor farming. Hydroponics also allows precise control of the inorganic fertilizer to reduce environment pollution. In addition, the water for cleaning the produce can be reduced considerably as indoor farming effectively prevents environmental pollution.
Delta’s plant factory operation leverages industrial automation technologies extensively. For example, the smart monitoring system utilizes Delta’s sensors to detect a variety of environment factors in real time. The generated data activates the auto-adjustment by Delta’s PLCs, and is also visualized by the SCADA system VTScada in an intuitive way. Many of the production processes are automated, such as the automated tray transfer system and the auto-sowing equipment.
Regarding operation management, the Delta Manufacturing Execution System DIAMES is mobilized for one-stop management of all key elements a plant factory requires. In addition to environment monitoring, human resources, production scheduling, alarms, and material controlling, product traceability and cost analysis are also enabled. With the Web interface, managers can easily monitor and operate it via mobile devices. The flow line workstations and the analysis of work processes to predict the operator’s work hours and actions are other common elements in industrial automation.
It is worth noting that the factory’s microclimate system adjusts the temperature, wind field and lights to provide the ideal environment and economize on electricity consumption. Compared with common farming methods, which require 40-45 days to compete growth, the system allows harvesting in just 35 days with a more consistent weight and quality.
The Punggol Digital District is the first smart business district in Singapore, and Delta was one of the first four international corporations to join the district. With its containerized plant factory, Delta has proven the possibility of cities coexisting with nature through smart and energy-saving urban farming.