Robert Lando (left) & Bill Bissell (right) assessing a customer’s current automation capability
With our airplane, we can travel quickly & efficiently to our
customers’ locations for on-site service and consultations
Before (above) and after (below)
of a customer’s crop after we implemented a high speed trimmer/conveyor/fork transport system after assessing his needs and proposing a unique solution
Our Approach To Automation Solutions
Through many years of successfully providing solutions to our customers, AgriNomix has developed a unique approach for delivering best-in-class products and services. For many growers, automation is a strategic piece of their overall business plan and crucial to the success and profitability of their operations. Our approach is not only to provide solutions, but to help our customers make good strategic decisions about automation. The following outlines this approach:
- Current situation – The first task is to understand the customer’s current situation as much as possible. Our sales/engineering team will analyze the customer’s current operation, ask questions, and ascertain production rates & capacities. We also take measurements, analyze space utilization and work flow patterns. We look at everything from soil mixing through shipping of the final product to fully understand the current situation and look for opportunities for improvement through automation. Often, we take many photos, videos, and samples so we can share our findings with engineers at our headquarters and our automation partners from around the world to gain additional insight.
- Needs/constraints analysis – short and long term – Most growers have a pretty good idea of what their needs are in general. Our job is to thoroughly analyze these needs in a systematic and quantifiable way. We will identify and locate bottlenecks/inefficiencies, as well as determine the sweet spots for increasing production rates, improving quality, and reducing costs for maximizing profits. The key for us is to hear and completely understand the customer’s needs, now and in the future, before we even begin to present a solution.
- Automation solution development – Once a complete picture of the customer’s needs/constraints has been established, we start developing an integrated automation solution. Drawing from our knowledge, industry experience, and professional expertise, we select the right components of automation from our worldwide portfolio of products. Our integrated solutions can consist of a soil mixing line from the U.S., a pot & flat filler from Belgium, a seeder and transplanter from Italy, as well as fork trucks and material handling/shipping equipment from Holland. AgriNomix ensures that the components are fully integrated and supported with service and parts.
- Concept proposal & layout – For larger, more complex systems, we develop a CAD layout drawing that shows the correctly scaled equipment as it would sit in the customer’s environment. In this way we can very accurately determine fit, clearances, workflow, component integration, and ultimately, the optimal layout. A grower can meet with our team and review multiple layout scenarios and bounce the pros and cons off our teams’ experience and expertise. Our team not only consists of the people we have on site, but can include all the AgriNomix engineers, as well as our partners’ engineers, who can be made available to work on a proposal for our customers.
- Costing & return on investment analysis – As we are reviewing different automation scenarios with our customers, we are always looking at cost and ROI. Our quoting tools allow us to provide our customers with up to date, accurate quotes for the various automation options. We can also provide information and tools to help our customers calculate ROI and payback period.
There are many situations where all the above work and collaboration is not required. For example, if a customer already has one of our VBT upright bale shavers in his operation and he wants to buy another to replace an old tilt version from another vendor, we can make that happen via phone and e-mail. The point is when a grower needs a high level of collaboration to make good strategic decisions, we are ready, and uniquely qualified in the industry to provide this service and whatever part of the solution that makes good strategic sense.