When you enter the farm of &ever in Kuwait, at first glance the equipment has little to do with agriculture in the conventional sense. It looks much more like a fully automated logistics center. What catches the eye are two giant cranes that connect the farmhouses and their levels. They transport the plants in a fully automated way. What seems pretty technology-loving at first offers enormous advantages for the production of fresh and healthy food.
Conventional agriculture can only automate processes to a limited extent due to uncontrollable and changing external influences such as the weather, soil conditions, or pests. With vertical farming, on the other hand, you can determine and control these external influences yourself - thanks to the self-contained system.
&ever pursues similar ideas with the Grow Tower concept. These compact farms produce fresh, nutrient-rich, locally grown lettuce for supermarkets, hotel complexes, and other buyers on a medium scale and directly at the buyers' premises daily. It minimizes transport distances, saves food waste for both the retailer and the consumer due to longer freshness. Furthermore, the consumer buys a living plant that continues to grow until it is consumed at home, offering more freshness and higher nutritional content. As with the large farms, climate, light, and irrigation are optimally adapted to the products, and no pesticides or herbicides are required.
„Supported by Intuity, we are defining forward-looking operating concepts for fully automated vertical farming.”
The speed with which &ever is pursuing its vision is enormous. The first productive farm was built in Kuwait within a few months. This was made possible by an international team of bio-scientists, software developers, and engineers who developed the necessary building blocks. Especially with a locally separated team like this, it is all the more important that the knowledge generated during development is documented across domains.
Intuity supports &ever in creating an overview of the decentralized development work so that everyone can keep an eye on the shared goal. We develop models for the strategic orientation, the modular components of the farm, and their processes. We provide these models to &ever as a basis for decision-making and support them in building up a consistent level of knowledge.
The technological vision of &ever is to plan and build farms in a modular way. Software and hardware go hand in hand and create standardized modules. To keep an overview of which modules are running in which version in the farms, it is necessary to have a complete mapping of the individual modules. A digital twin without a corresponding visual representation would only be for the experts. By using comprehensible interfaces, the digital twin becomes accessible for transdisciplinary collaboration. This facilitates the optimization of biological, energetic, and economic parameters and the scaling and global rollout of farms.
With the development of a comprehensive farm control system &ever creates an environment that brings together all parameters and processes within the farm. It combines different data sources and makes them available for the stakeholders' application. This enables processes to be planned, monitored, analyzed and optimized.
Intuity formed a team with &ever's software development to cope with the high speed of development. Our role is to identify needs within this team, derive requirements, and translate these needs into tangible interfaces together with the development team. This allows us to go from concept to finished implementation in the software in just a few weeks.