Why would growers automate? To reduce costs, cut time in each stage, increase productivity, understand all processes, prevent failures and, especially, achieve the standardization of the final product.
Faced with so many challenges, flower growing companies are looking to automate processes and implement different business models in order to become more competitive in the world market.
What is process automation?
Process automation aims towards product homologation under preferably optimum conditions, cutting costs mostly by reducing waste, with the consequent increase in productivity.
Overview renewed RoseMatic
This is achieved firstly by becoming familiar with the particularities of each stage of the process. It is necessary to separate the cultivation from the post-harvest, as by the time the flower arrives at the process line, it becomes raw material. It cannot be changed; a good flower is processed as good, and a bad one as bad. In the post-harvest, little can be done to change deformities and diseases.
Therefore, it must be taken into account that regardless of the type of process line that is implemented, if no work is done to improve the raw material, the end result will be disappointing.
The next step is to find out and analyze exactly what the shortcomings of the process are, since they are not allowing us to grow. The analysis must be based on the so-called "Law of diminishing returns." If we add units of a variable factor to a fixed unit of a production factor, the total output will tend to increase or start decreasing until it reaches the point of maximum installed capacity in the plantation and the post-harvest.
When accurate data are available, it is analyzed whether it is convenient or not to automate or mechanize key parts of the process line.
After several positive experiences (the majority), but also some negative ones, we have found that it is extremely important to work together with the staff as soon as the decision of automating is made. This applies not only to operators, but also to those involved in supervision and direction. Everyone must get to know the process, since "a worker is good because they are a boss," and that reminds us of the American pedagogue Laurence J. Peter (1919-1990), known for his studies of hierarchies in modern organizations, but especially for formulating the principle that bears his name. This, in summary, says that organizations administer careers so that everyone "can rise to their level of incompetence." We can cause crises and motivate a refusal to implement, generating a problem, and not a solution.
What benefits are to be obtained from automation in the flower growing industry?
- Reduction of process costs.
- Product homogeneity.
- Time optimization in each stage of the process.
- Creation of a production flow, without accumulation or bottlenecks. Setting of a given working pace on fully committed workers.
- Exact register of: material processed per person, waste, quality of raw material delivered per crop.
Basically, process automation allows organizations to design, execute, observe, monitor and continuously improve their processes, which makes it one of the most powerful competitive advantages for any company.
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