ColorPoint first began using the Degraplace, a mobile spacing machine from Belgium-based Degramec, after we visited the booth of WPS (We Prove Solutions) during Cultivate’16. The company’s openness to work with us, listen to our needs, and help us create a custom-designed machine drew us to work with Degramec.
How Does It Work?
This machine was designed to work with our current forklift system. The operator places a full load of unspaced plants onto a main conveyor belt. After being set in place, the plants are taken through an efficient, yet simple, series of conveyors that buffer and line the plants up. Once the machine has finished loading the long conveyor, the plants are placed on the floor in the exact pattern and amount of space the operator designates.
The machine has been designed to work with multiple pot sizes, and has the flexibility to space in many dimensions to suit our various spacing requirements in the greenhouse.
Advantages and Future Improvements
The Degraplace offers several benefits:
• Huge labor savings
• Speed. For example, the machine can space up to 15,000 3-quart pots in an eight-hour day, which equates to a little over 30 pots per minute.
• Eliminates back-breaking work
• Requires only one person to operate
• Extremely accurate spacing, resulting in a more accurate inventory/floor space utilization.
We are also considering some future improvements that can be made to the machine, such as making it more mobile friendly and using a battery instead of a cable reel for power.