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So far, the growers of tomatoes manually lower the plants for harvesting the tomatoes. This is hard physical labor, because a tomato plant is no lightweight when it is full of tomatoes. The patented plastic pulleys of the system can be hung with hooks to the crop wire in the greenhouse. By a thin air hose of transparent plastic - to minimize light too far - the pulleys are connected to each other. Computer-controlled air pulses are sent through the hose running a gear mechanism. This mechanism ensures that the plant lowers half a centimeter and also moves horizontally over a piece of the wire. The air pressure wave moves from the beginning to the end of the hose, so that the plants lower one by one.
The plants have less stress, because it happens gradually and the lowering can take placeat night when the plant is at rest. This means more revenue for the grower. An efficiency improvement through reduction of labor required for the lowering of the plants (about 90%) and due to harvesting at ideal height (about 15%).
Vullings had devised a metal rail system, but in the further development it proved not to be feasible. Here the help of GTE was invoked. We quickly discovered that the metal rail system could not be developed into a production-ready system. We went to work on coming up with a new system. It became a system with plastic injection molded components and snap connections. The system rests on the wires that are spanned by gardeners in their glasshouse. Thanks to a clock mechanism the plants lowers bit by bit.
The new Plant Elevation System has been patented and is currently being tested by tomato and cucumber growers. For this new system Vullings set up its own site and BV. For more information visit www.atgrow.nl