The average indoor cannabis cultivation facility is now more than 33,000 square feet (Statista). Within the walls of these large-scale commercial operations, producers have begun to realize that the all-too-familiar cannabis facility design is no longer working. Cultivators have become acutely aware of how workflow and facility features impede overall output.
Indoor cultivation has reached a point where facility design matters to the overall profitability. That means paying attention to worker ergonomics, automating where possible, and using data to drive business intelligence.
3 Suggestions for Improving Facility Workflow and Yield
Make a Difference with Ergonomic Design
Even within the most advanced vertical cultivation spaces, employees represent one of the most significant investments — and operational expenses. Your team is the brand’s backbone, performing key tasks like plant inspections, room turnover, cleaning, sanitation, and other labor-intensive jobs.
But, cannabis cultivation is a very physical job, with high rates of burnout, injury, and chronic stress. That’s because cannabis facility designs weren’t created with the worker in mind. It’s usually about maximizing canopy space, not considering how deep workers must reach or how low they must bend under hanging fixtures. A problem, which may be encouraging incredibly high turnover rates in the industry.
Improvements to the facility design can dramatically alleviate the intense physical burden placed on employees. This means better morale, less burnout, reduced risk of worker compensation claims, and improved overall workflow.
A simple idea: Agrify has designed Vertical Farming Units (VFUs) so that all critical plant canopies are within an employee’s natural field of vision and reach. It makes it much easier for staff to scout for pests or nutrient deficiencies, improving employee performance and increasing the likelihood that issues are addressed sooner.
2. Automate Fundamental Systems
Ask any facility manager who has switched from hand watering to irrigation about the dramatic improvements even simple automation can make for workflow and output. Irrigation is one of many relatively straightforward facility improvements that save hours of labor each day. It also improves workplace efficiencies, and creates a more consistent, optimized growing environment.
Agrify has taken automation several steps further, well beyond an irrigation system. For example, one of the key cannabis facility design optimizations built into every VFU is automated cleaning and sanitation. With the push of a button on the centralized dashboard, facilities eliminate all the hours of labor spent between cycles meticulously cleaning and sanitizing the cultivation space.
Automating this system means harvesting, cleaning, sanitizing, and reloading all happen in the same day, instead of over several days. In addition, the sanitization mode has a 99.9 percent efficiency rate of killing powdery mildew spores, among other pathogens.
Automations like these translate into fewer hours wasted between cycles, lower risk of inter-crop contamination, and increased crop turns per year.
3. Make Intelligent Decisions from Data-Driven Insights
A competitive advantage in today’s cutthroat cannabis industry can mean increasing output by only a few grams per square foot or shaving pennies off the dollar for pounds produced. It’s only possible to dial in these precise improvements through data-driven insights.
In facilities producing thousands, if not tens of thousands, of pounds per year, it’s not possible to collect, manage, and analyze this level of information without an advanced software solution.
Agrify Insights is the backbone of the Agrify solution. Instead of multiple disparate systems controlling individual pieces of equipment (irrigation, lighting, HVAC, and more), Agrify offers a centralized software solution. It offers automation, control, and analysis within each cultivation microclimate. It’s possible to pull intelligent insights from a collective of integrated data instead of trying to piece together distinct segments.
Agrify Insights is also fully integrated for managing employees. That means time and motion studies, task assignments, time tracking, and hours per task. Managers and operations can use this information for a clear view of operational efficiency. Better operational efficiency means shaving those pennies off of costs and increasing output.
Optimize Cannabis Facility Design and Workflow with Agrify
Automated, data-driven, and ergonomically designed, from the start we’ve engineered Agrify’s vertical farming solution with performance and output in mind.
Agrify’s VFUs combined with Insights achieve facility optimization at every stage of the operation. It means employees benefit through fewer physical stressors and lower rates of burnout. In addition, plants benefit through automated, optimized, and meticulously managed microclimates. All of which integrate into more crop cycles per year, higher yield per plant, and increased profit margins.
Contact Us today, to find out more about the Agrify Solution.