Vertical farmer 80 Acres taps Siemens to automate and scale US production sites

Ohio-based indoor and vertical farming specialist 80 Acres Farms has appointed the US-branch of German industrial tech giant Siemens to supply hardware and software to automate and scale its expanding US operations. Siemens is also providing capital into the project, it said. A statement said their combined work is to foster “sustainable, healthy, traceable, and more productive farming practices”.

The US outfit has five farms in southwestern Ohio, plus a new farm in Kentucky, and a future farm in Georgia; it has R&D facilities in Arkansas and the Netherlands. Siemens’ international enterprise financing division, Siemens Financial Services, has supplied an “initial investment” for an infrastructure upgrade, supplied by its facility management division, Siemens Smart Infrastructure, and its industrial automation unit, Siemens Digital Industries

New infrastructure includes power distribution equipment, energy management and industrial automation software, plus assorted in-building IoT and in-production industrial IoT devices, and other edge and cloud computing systems. Its facility management solutions will monitor fire risk, health and safety, security, and power distribution in a single interface, said Siemens; its automation suite will monitor and animate production lines and industrial control systems.

Siemens is working with Infinite Acres, the tech subsidiary of 80 Acres Farms, to “industrialise and scale” the US firm’s proprietary Loop platform, which manages its crop management software and analytics, plus environmental controls, robotics, and automation. Siemens said it is developing a digital twin of 80 Acres Farms’ production sites to predict plant growth “under diverse conditions” and optimise its future production and shipping schedules.

Meanwhile, Siemens said its R&D arm, Siemens Technology, is leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning to develop an app that “optimises software to identify irregularities, avoiding adverse conditions within the plants”.

Mike Zelkind, co-founder and chief executive at 80 Acres Farms, said: “In just seven years, we have scaled from a single R&D facility to a high-tech modular system that we can deploy across the world. Standardising our technology and infrastructure enables our industry-leading technology to scale worldwide rapidly and effectively. By building a network of committed global partners like Siemens, we can feed tens of millions more people in a matter of years.”

Tisha Livingston, co-founder of 80 Acres Farms and chief executive at Infinite Acres, said: “Infinite Acres has built the Loop platform through collaboration with best-in-class technology partners such as Priva, Ocado, and Signify. Our new partnership with Siemens takes our collaboration and technology platform to a new level through the 360° approach across software and connected hardware solutions – from digital twins to advanced controls.”

Barbara Humpton, president and chief executive at Siemens USA, said: “We sometimes hear that food is medicine. Vertical farming is an opportunity to turn this concept into a reality, and 80 Acres Farms’ use of technology is now modelling the path forward for this transformative approach to food production… 80 Acres Farms represents both the purpose and the power of the industrial technologies now readily available to us: the capability to invent anywhere, then to scale our world-changing solutions everywhere.”

The post Vertical farmer 80 Acres taps Siemens to automate and scale US production sites appeared first on Enterprise IoT Insights.

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