Idé-Pro delivers components to Denmark's most environmentally friendly and innovative horticulture industry
Idé-Pro, in collaboration with the horticulture company Wellfarmed, has developed technical items for an innovative system, where vegetables are grown without soil, within a few square meters, and with extremely low water consumption.
Vegetables are grown on the modular panels. The roots are sprayed with water and nutrients, within a closed circular system. Approximate usage is 10% of the water used in traditional cultivation.
Wellfarmed wanted the component design and manufacture of a large panel, an insert, and a feeder. In addition to this, there were several requirements that had to be met:
All components must be approved for use in food production
Panels must be able to be fixed together in endless rows of triangles
Panels must be grey to reduce glare
Panels must have an insulating effect
Cleaning should be easy
We are a "one-stop shop", with an in-house development department, tool factory and foundry. Therefore, from component design to prototype and series production, we could act as the ideal working partner for Wellfarmed.
“The fact that Idé-Pro has all the resources under one roof was a great advantage for us. They helped us move from idea to product in record time. ”
Sune Rasmussen, Manager of Wellfarmed
Phase 1: Component design and material selection
From the beginning of the project, our development department assisted with component design so that all designs were optimised for series production.
We recommended that the modular panel be made in EPS, which is lightweight, has the perfect rigidity, is insulating and easy to clean. In addition, we could supply the panel in a material approved for food production and in the correct colour. The insert and feeder had to be made in a food-approved PP.
Phase 2: Tool factory
At our highly-automated tool factory, we manufactured the casting tools within a short time. Because it takes place in-house, we guarantee high quality and short delivery time, and we can make alterations and adjustments very quickly.
We have the capacity to manufacture 20 casting tools per week at our in-house tool factory.
Phase 3: Delivery of components
Wellfarmed was now ready to go further with their idea. Therefore, they commissioned prototypes of the components to assemble and test the innovative system in their own horticultural centre.
At Idé-Pro, we make prototypes in the same material and process as in a series production. This allowed Wellfarmed to test prototypes without limitations.
Following feedback from tests, we made an in-house change to the tool for the EPS panel. Then we produced 2,000 panels, as well as associated inserts and feeders, for the first major test of Wellfarmed’s concept.
With a clear goal for the project, Wellfarmed chose the perfect partner to contribute to the design development, tool making and production: Idé-Pro.
With the focus we already have on sustainability and protection of the environment, this has been an incredibly exciting project for us.
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Wellfarmed has so far installed the system in two hothouses, and a third is already underway. These 24,000 lettuce heads use approx. 150 litres of water a day.
Inserts and feed inlets installed in the EPS panels. These tender lettuces have been planted and have started to grow.