Space-Saving Solutions to Increase Profits with Michael Williamson
Could mobile racking and multi-tier cultivation benefit your operation?
Cannabis Business TImes sat down with Director of Cultivation, Michael Williamson, to ask four questions on how businesses could save money and increase profits.
#1. What are the benefits of mobile racking and multi-tier cultivation?
Space maximization. Pipp’s mobile racking allows for increased crop production, as there is a single mobile aisle that can effortlessly move between rows when and where access is needed, compared to fixed racking or benching, which consists of multiple permanent aisles in the same space.
Stating the obvious, increased crop production equals increased revenue, so every square and cubic foot of production has a significant impact to the grower’s bottom line.
#2. What are the key features of Pipp’s mobile vertical racking solutions and how do they benefit cultivators?
Growers and plants are at the center of everything we engineer. Our systems consist of lightweight, corrosion-resistant materials. The grow racks are powder coated with UV-stable and anti-microbial additives, along with upgrades of other components to stainless and galvanized steel to handle high humidity environments. Our tracks are ADA compliant and can be seismic compliant with our anti-tip features and seismically approved anchors. Our new patent-pending TRAK-FREE™ carriage system is a single guide rail along the back of the system, which reduces cost of materials and installation while leaving the entire floor open for easy access for carts, ladders, lifts, cleaning debris, and improves GMP compliance by eliminating tracks on the floor. Our trays were designed by our in-house cultivation and engineering teams to make them easy and faster to clean so growers can turn over rooms in less time to minimize downtime and maximize turns per year. Pipp’s ELEVATE™ Platform System is a lightweight and strong (tested at 4x capacity, per OSHA requirements) catwalk system that allows a single user to set up in a few minutes.
#3. What is the commonly overlooked aspects of mobile racking and multi-tier solutions?
Choosing the right partner is critical. We have an extensive infrastructure of suppliers, installers, and highly knowledgeable staff to ensure all needs within projects are met. While mobile racking and multi-tier solutions are relatively simple in concept, there are small details— such as not squeezing too much canopy into a room to allow good working space —that are important not to overlook.
In-rack airflow is another challenging area; this is why Pipp partnered with Vertical Air Solutions (VAS) to provide an integrated airflow distribution solution that helps reduce microclimates while efficiently moving air through the canopy.
Appropriately sized and engineered HVAC+D also is a major challenge. When plants are stacked on tiers, the total plant count increases, and therefore evapotranspiration increases. Under or oversized systems can result in poor plant performance.
#4. Can you detail your cultivation team’s experience?
Pipp Horticulture is the industry-leading provider of vertical farming, greenhouse, and space optimization solutions. We work with commercial agriculture professionals globally, to design, install, and optimize operational spaces throughout cultivation, post-harvest, manufacturing, and distribution facilities through the implementation of the vertical and mobile rack, cart, and ventilation systems. The Pipp team merges over 40 years of commercial mobile storage experience with our in-house team of horticulture industry experts with over 50 years of operational experience in commercial agriculture and seed-to-sale cannabis production.