Systematic design of automated sustainable horticultural production systems

Growers face numerous competitive challenges, which urge them to continuously improve labour efficiency and to innovate crop operations.

The research objective was to obtain a quantified understanding of labour and crop operations in horticultural production systems materialised in a generic model based method. The purpose of this method is to analyse, simulate, and evaluate work methods and labour management scenarios in existing or redesigned greenhouse crop cultivation systems. This research contributes to effective greenhouse crop cultivation systems with efficient use of human labour and technology. Simulation of crop operations in greenhouse facilities consider the viewpoints of the system designer in research and industry, the facility manager and the worker.

Until the end of 2014, three journal papers were published and a fourth paper was submitted for publication. These papers ar on modelling, simulation and evaluation of crop operations in mobile and static cultivations systems for cut-rose. In cooperation with Ben Gurion University a paper was contributed to the conference Advances in Production Management Systems 2014, where the model bases method was used for a simulation analysis of sweet pepper harvesting operations in The Netherlands and Israel. The model-based method can handle simulation of multi-worker and multi-operations cases.