ABB is inviting experts from the horticultural and greenhouse industry to visit the company’s information stand at the World Horti Center in Naaldwijk, Holland, following its official opening by Queen Máxima of the Netherlands. ABB’s stand will be a permanent fixture in the centre that greenhouse builders can visit to discover how automation systems and software can improve the effectiveness of greenhouse food production.
Experts from ABB’s food and beverage business will share information about how industrial technologies, such as high-efficiency electrical motors and drives and robotics, can be integrated into greenhouses to improve processes. The company can also advise on how businesses and builders can manage areas such as power quality, measurement and analytics, and pump efficiency.
ABB has worked on projects in the Dutch greenhouse industry for many years, as well as in the wider food and renewables sectors. This work has given the company a strong understanding of the demands of modern greenhouses, as well as how these demands may change in the coming years.
Marcel Zevenbergen, ABB’s food and beverage segment team leader in the Netherlands explains: “Sustainability is one of the biggest issues of the twenty-first century. While energy has been a focus for many countries, the growing population is making a sustainable food chain equally important. We’ve seen this develop in the form of vertical farming and aquaculture, but greenhouses are still among the most popular means of supporting sustainable production.
“Ideally, greenhouses should recreate and maintain the optimum environmental conditions to ensure that produce grows with consistent quality. This can only be achieved efficiently with the use of a stable electrical supply, specialist assimilation lighting, effective climate control systems and accurate measurement instrumentation. These are all areas that ABB can help with, and that visitors to our information stand can consult with us about.
“ABB has worked with the Dutch greenhouse industry on a project to provide reliable switching combinations for assimilation lights, and we can use such experience to help more businesses take an innovative approach to their greenhouses.”
Sustainable food production
According to the UN, the global population is expected to reach 8.5 billion by 2030, marking an increase of 1.1 billion from figures reported in 2017. This has led to a growing focus on sustainable food production, with the UN itself stating that one of the principle challenges will be hunger and malnutrition. Improving the effectiveness, efficiency, and reliability of cultivating produce in greenhouses will help alleviate this issue.
ABB is also involved with several geothermal projects in the greenhouse industry. These projects aim to make geothermal energy, obtained through boring at great depth, available to greenhouses across the Westland region of the Netherlands. This is part of a move to reduce the industry’s reliance on gas-fuelled power stations and central heating systems.
Zevenbergen continues: “Currently, small, gas-fuelled power stations and central heating systems predominately power and heat the Dutch greenhouse industry. As gas is becoming an increasingly scarce resource, the green house industry has to turn to other energy sources to ensure reliability in the future. Geothermal energy is an interesting alternative to heat the greenhouses. We believe ABB can be an active partner for the greenhouse industry to guide this energy transition.”
To find out more about how ABB can help in sustainable food production, visit the ABB information stand at the World Horti Center in Naaldwijk, the Netherlands, or go to www.abb.com.