Sweden: Farming made easy through dense and automated pallet system

Ljusgårda in Tibro, Sweden delivers salad that is available to the trade within 24 hours after harvest. An important part of the cultivation is carried out in Constructor's Pallet Shuttle system.

Sustainable from seed to finished salad
Ljusgårda's cultivation plant uses only renewable energy sources with controlled air, light, and water in each step of the cultivation process. This creates the right temperature and humidity for each plant throughout the growing process.

In the first step of the cultivation process, the seeds are placed in a plug board (84 cultivation plugs / board) together with coconut fiber and peat. Then, 8 plug boards are placed in respective cultivation pallets. The seeds are then run into a heating room with high humidity to give the seeds the best possible start for growth. After a day in the heating room, the cultivation pallets are then transferred to Constructors Pallet Shuttle system.

Pallet Shuttle configuration
Pallet Shuttle is a semi-automatic high-density system and is normally used for handling pallet goods, but in Ljusgårda's case it is not pallets but specially adapted cultivation pallets that are placed directly in the rack.

Between each racking bay there are service aisles that allow staff to physically reach each separate plant during the pre-cultivation period. Irrigation, drainage, and lighting are managed automatically and are integrated in the Shuttle system. The plants are provided with light and water for 18 hours per day, the rest of the time the plants rest.

The plants are placed in the Shuttle system for about 2 weeks and when they have reached about 8 cm, the Shuttle trolley transports out the cultivation pallets and then continues the cultivation in perforated vertical cultivation tubes. After another 2-3 weeks, it is time for harvest. When the salad is harvested, they are cut off from the cultivation tubes and then sent directly to be washed and then straight into the salad bag for immediate transport to the store.

The movement of the cultivation pallets in the rack is handled exclusively by the Shuttle trolley and the pallets are only handled manually by truck when a cultivation batch is loaded or unloaded from the system.

Ljusgårda's vision is to make Sweden more self-sufficient and less dependent on climate-damaging imports. That's why they chose the shuttle system that ensures maximum efficiency and sustainability in the workflow. 

Read the complete article at www.dexion.com.

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