Schneider Electric provides smart energy management and automation systems across a range of industries including agri-food.
Louise Liddiard, the Segment Marketing Manager at Schneider Electric, says that the company aims to make it easier for vertical farmers to adopt smarter machines and to become better connected, more flexible, more efficient and more sustainable.
Microgrids provide smart energy
Schneider Electric recently announced a collaboration with Scale Microgrid Solutions to build a microgrid system for robotic indoor farming pioneer Fifth Season. Fifth Season’s aim is to produce 500,000 lbs. of local produce during the first year of full operation in its newest, highly autonomous vertical farm in Pittsburgh, PA.
A microgrid is a local energy grid with control capability, which means it can disconnect from the traditional grid and operate autonomously. The planned microgrid solution includes a rooftop solar array, natural gas generator and a lithium-ion battery energy storage system, together with advanced emissions control. It will use Schneider Electric’s EcoStruxure Microgrid Advisor software platform to collect, forecast and optimise operations.
Delta Robotics for pick and place
Delta Robots, which resemble spiders, are now widely used on assembly lines and have applications in agri-food where they have been shown to increase productivity. The robots typically have three or four lightweight, carbon-fibre arms that extend downwards from the main robot body. They are well suited to pick and place and packaging applications.
Schneider Electric has integrated PacDrive-based robotics into a standard automation solution with a single cohesive interface. The robotics can be integrated with force sensors and machine vision to enhance their capability.
Louise continues: “As the agri- tech world continues to evolve at a rapid pace our products aim to support farmers and simplify this journey for them. We look forward to discussing this in the Innovation Hub.”