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Less labor required with automated sticking

As all growers know, sticking cuttings is a time consuming and labor-intensive process. With labor shortages and rising wages this process can become costly for growers. Visser has developed an innovative sticking system, AutoStix which automates the process of sticking cuttings. The AutoStix system was developed over several years in co-operation with Ball Seed. It uses a patented machine design with a complementary biodegradable strip that provides a complete sticking solution for growers.

Peak seasons
AutoStix helps growers get the job done in the 10 – 12 weeks of peak season when millions of cuttings need to be stuck. Counting is made easy, workers can immediately see they have either 34 or 51 cuttings in a strip. No more short or overfilled bags.

The AutoStix machine plants each cutting at the centre of the cell as well as at the same depth. This promotes a uniform growth and minimizes lost crop.

The AutoStix machine removes the challenge of finding and training a workforce to stick the cuttings at the rooting stations where seasonal staff is more difficult to find than in offshore locations. Due to the further standardized process less labor is required.

How does AutoStix work? 
The AutoStix machine can handle different sizes of strips to accommodate different varieties of cuttings. Changing between strip sizes is easy by simply selecting the pre-programmed combination on the user-friendly Siemens touch screen. The production capacity for the machine is up to 10,000 – 11,000 cuttings per hour with the 6G (gripper) machine and 5,000 – 6,000 cuttings per hour for the 3G (gripper) machine.

The AutoStix machine automatically plants cuttings with maximum efficiency. The cutting strips are placed into each in-feed slot of the machine which then plants both the biodegradable module and plant into the new plug, pot, or tray.

Using Visser’s side shift technology, the cartridge is picked up without touching the plant. This method allows the plant to be planted and ensures there is no damage to the leaves or stem.

The AutoStix machine can plant 3 different modules for mixed liners in a 50mm diameter cell. For efficient tracking of different batches of cuttings, each strip comes with a unique identification tag that is automatically planted by the AutoStix machine.

The AutoStix strip is a biodegradable product that has been designed to enhance and guide the development of the plant’s root system. The strips can hold cuttings with different stem diameters, while still positioning the stems securely without damaging the soft tissue of the cutting.

Each strip is shipped in a damp paper wrapping and enclosed in a plastic bag with a corresponding identification tag that matches the identification tag on each strip. This ensures that when the grower receives their cuttings they are fresh and ready to be planted. After planting, the module will begin to biodegrade over 12-16 weeks.

There are two regular sizes of strips available: one strip can hold 51 cuttings and the other can hold 34 cuttings. The system works best on 102 count trays which are evenly divisible by either 51 or 34.

The strips can be supplied with either un-rooted or rooted cuttings. The rooted cuttings can be transplanted directly into finished containers.

AutoStix 3G
Bellpark unveils for the first time Visser’s new AutoStix machine designed specifically for the North American Market. This machine is designed to build on the legacy of the revolutionary AutoStix 6G machine, utilizing the same technology to handle the popular AutoStix strips supplied by Ball, Dummen Orange (Basewell), Syngenta, Selecta, Danziger, Cohen, Darwin, Hishtil, & more. Including specialized strips for New Guinea Impatiens, Poinsettia, Root Cage, and Multi Media.

The AutoStix 3G is equipped with 3 grippers instead of the traditional 6 grippers, making it about half the size of the flagship model, allowing for the processing of smaller batches and more varieties with less idle capacity.

Did you know?

  • AutoStix is an open source system. AutoStix strips can be purchased from many of the world's top cutting suppliers.
  • The strips can be supplied with either un-rooted or rooted cuttings. The rooted cuttings can be transplanted directly into finished containers.
  • AutoStix is now available in a 6 gripper or 3 gripper model.
  • Strips are fully biodegradable and begin to biodegrade over 12-16 weeks.
  • Three (3) different cuttings can be planted into a 50mm diameter cell.
  • The 6 gripper machine can stick 10,000 – 11,000 cuttings per hour while the 3 gripper machine can stick 5000-6000 cuttings per hour.
  • Using Visser’s side shift technology, the gripper never touches the plant or its leaves.
  • New innovations for AutoStix are being developed and tested involving Root Cage and Multi Media Strips.
  • AutoStix&trade is an evolving open source system. Visser is committed to developing industry-changing innovations for the AutoStix system.
  • New developments are in final testing involving root cage and multi-media strips.

For more information:
Bellpark Horticulture

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