Robots Land at Cornerways Nursery

CambridgeHOK have now completed the project at Cornerways Nursery. We were employed to modify their traditional harvesting and packaging operation by installing automatic tow-cars to move the product from the glasshouse to the packaging and distribution area.

Following extensive discussions between CambridgeHOK and Cornerways nursery we arrived at a scheme that has significant benefits and is predicted to result in acceptable payback timescales for the business.

The project required the installation of 2800 metres of induction loop to act as a guide for the 6 battery driven tow-cars.

New speed doors have been installed to open and close automatically, as the tow-car and its attached harvesting carts approaches.

A total of 90 harvesting carts have been supplied which all have their own electronic identity. This allows the harvested product from each row to be kept separate and transported back to a central weighing station. This provides the weight in kilograms, the row number, the variety of the harvested product and the harvester name and information to be recorded automatically via links to the Priva FS performance system.

The benefits in this level of detail being available is expected to show in crop and harvester performance monitoring.

Once the product is weighed, the tow-carts move into the packhouse for manual unloading and variety segregation. Once empty, the carts are reloaded back with the empty harvesting crates and then automatically drive back to the harvesting location as selected on each tow car.

The new process will remove the time consuming process of loading pallets within the glasshouse and then transporting them via forklift to the packaging area. It will allow a more constant stream of product to the packaging area which will make the whole packaging process smoother, more efficient and it will allow a high standard of quality control.

CambridgeHOK are proud to be associated with Cornerways Nurseries, being responsible for the total glasshouse build and fit out over three phases.

Patrick Harte, the General Manager at Cornerways Nursery commented: "We were once again delighted to work with CambridgeHOK on another major investment for the business. CambridgeHOK joined us right at the start of our journey, supporting us through the thinking for ways to improve our site, they came up with numerous ideas; one of which was to put in an induction loop and automated site movement. They designed the system, installed and commissioned it. They also ensured it integrated with our data systems. The install and commissioning were far easier than we had hoped and whilst we expected a period of learning it has been quickly integrated into our way of working and become very intuitive for our staff. It has been a great investment for the business and we are delighted that CambridgeHOK helped us from start to finish."

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