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Why is vertical farming becoming so popular in the UK?

Let’s talk about the popularity of vertical farming.

Agriculture is a huge industry for the UK. It produces over 60% of all food consumed in the country, so it is a thriving area. However, despite thriving, it doesn’t stop the industry from facing a number of challenges, such as the good old British climate, costs and Brexit. Yes, Brexit is still causing issues in the UK a year on. Maybe not in everyday life for the likes of you and me, but for the famers who have previously relied on workers coming from other European countries, this has been a massive setback. It is because of such challenges pushing alternative methods of farming into the spotlight that vertical farming is becoming increasingly popular in the UK.

What is vertical farming

Vertical farming

Vertical farming is simply that. Farming vertically. Traditionally farming would entail growing various crops over acres of farmland, however, with the revolutionary methods of vertical farming, crops can be grown in stacking layers in a controlled environment. No worries about the excessive heat in the summer or bitterly cold winters destroying the crops. With vertical farming everything can be controlled to the optimum requirements:  temperature, water, light. But why is this shift in farming important for our economy and our planet?  

Little island, lots of people

As a small island, being somewhat overcrowded in some areas, the UK is the ideal playground for innovative ideas such as vertical farming. With extensive cities and towns and limited green space, utilising indoor space for farming and planting vertically as opposed to horizontally makes good sense. In fact, it is has become a necessity.

There is also a lot of hype around sustainability and sustainable farming and having the ability to use a small footprint of space to create a large farming space slots perfectly into the sustainable envelope. To read about how we are dong other sustainable projects read this blog https://blog.igus.co.uk/why-is-sustainability-important-and-how-is-igus-contributing/

How does igus® support this popular movement?

Automation.  igus® is known for its innovation within automation and we already supply multiple companies within the UK with products that help automate this new way of farming.

pick n place in vertical farming

There is a need for these processes to be automated; to make it financially viable, to make it easy to control and to increase productivity and products. Products like energy chains protecting hanging power cables. These cables supply power to products 4 metres in the air, ensuring the safety of the cables!  Drylin® delta robots are ideal to help with pick and place applications within the infrastructure. Utilising igus® products over other alternatives can offer the following benefits for vertical farming:

  • Saving space by freeing up traditional agricultural areas
  • Harvest throughout the year, independent and flexible
  • Low transport and storage costs
  • Water saving due to closed cycles
  • No external lubrication, no maintenance, no contamination of the products
  • Resistant to dust and dirt
  • Corrosion-free and FDA-compliant
  • Fast ROI due to cost-effective automation components

The popularity of vertical farming is showing the change in perspective, the change in people’s way of thinking and using products that are beneficial to the environment as opposed to detrimental.

igus® offers sustainable, low cost and lightweight alternatives to traditional farming products. Companies can invest in products that are kinder to the environment, are hard wearing, require no external lubrication and are maintenance- free. Alongside the benefits of using sustainably produced parts, you can make the same parts smart. Becoming an “intelligent plastic” component means sensors within the parts can prewarn you of any wear in any part it is fitted. This allows any required maintenance to be planned and keeps costs under control.

There is no doubt that vertical farming is becoming popular in the UK and being able to be a part of it is exciting. If we can all make changes like this to help support and protect the traditional farming industry, this can only be a positive thing. If you would like more information on igus® products used in vertical farming please visit https://www.igus.co.uk/info/vertical-farming

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