Nursery Aardam: one year of using the HortiMaX CX500

Many growers worldwide work with outdated equipment. In some cases, the equipment is so old that it can no longer be repaired if it were to break down. We all know how disastrous an equipment failure can be. In addition to providing peace of mind, new equipment can help you make substantial savings. In 2013, Arthur Spruit, owner of Aardam and Tropical Seeds, made the decision to replace his environmental control computer. Now a year later, he shares his experiences with us.

A leading supplier of palms and green plants
Tapping into a niche market, Aardam has become a key supplier of planting stocks for palms and green plants. Aardam purchases the seeds for these stocks worldwide, tests them, then cultivates part of them and resells the rest. By listening to its customers and adding the required value to its products, Aardam has been able to turn a healthy profit over the past few years. Thanks to its broad product range and fast delivery, the company is also seeing more and more repeat sales. Half of its products stay in the Netherlands, while the other half are sold to customers abroad. Over the past 5 years, the company has managed to double its export sales. It's a trend they hope to continue in the coming years.

Considering a replacement
Arthur Spruit, owner of Aardam and Tropical Seeds, told us the following about replacing his previous computer: ‘Although we weren't looking for a replacement at first, we started considering it when we learned that maintaining our old system could be a problem. This becomes an even greater concern if, like us, you're a company so reliant on heating to get you through the cold winter months. We used to work with a CR90: one of those computers with a large frame and all the drawers. It had been customized to our precise needs. We’d already bought some second-hand parts for it once, but if it had broken down back then we’d have been in real trouble. After all, our computer not only plays a key role in crop production, but also controls and monitors all our climate, irrigation and energy equipment. Although we’d looked around for a replacement before, we couldn’t find a system that was really suitable: they were either too large or too small.

Perfect for our needs
Arthur continues: ‘The launch of the CX500 came at exactly the right time. It's perfect for our needs: the HortiMaX CX500 is advanced, modular and easy to expand. The ability to determine your setting level and the free firmware updates are just a few of its strong points. We also find it a breeze to use and operate. Handy features such as shortcuts add to this ease of use. Another of these features is the custom views, which allow me to check all my essential data at a glance. Thanks to the CX500, I not only have maximum control over my greenhouse, but also over the air-conditioned cells used to store our seeds.`

Helps you save costs
This new computer makes it easy to save costs: it lets you optimize screen control, use lighting more efficiently and save on heating costs. We believe we can get even more out of it, but haven't had the time yet to examine all the possibilities. The more advanced your computer is, the more influences you can devise. You do, however, need to invest enough time in this process to see how effective these adjustments are. The impact on the plants’ growth is almost impossible to calculate, since we don't measure our output in terms of number of pieces or pounds produced. When we have any questions, our dealer looks into them and gives us the help we need.´

Not inclined to switch
When we asked Arthur if he’d also considered other suppliers for an alternative replacement, he replied quickly: ‘The market has both small and large players. We were only interested in replacing our process computer if we could retain all our other equipment, such as our sensors. As HortiMaX could give us that guarantee, we were able to keep our total investment costs down. An additional benefit was that we were already experienced with a previous Synopta version, so we were able to reuse that knowledge even though the new version has many more features. We were also extremely pleased with the support provided by our dealer Lek/Habo, which are based just a few miles away. Their short lines of communication means we only have to give them a call and they’ll be at our doorstep in no time at all. Lek/Habo and HortiMaX are a perfect combination. I’d recommend them to anyone.´

Upcoming events

2017

Expo Agroalimentaria
14-17 November
Irapuato, Guanjajuato, Mexico

MJBizConference
15-17 November
Las Vegas, USA

Yugagro
28 Nov. - 1 Dec.
Krasnodar, Russia

Growtech Eurasia
28 Nov. - 1 Dec.
Istanbul, Turkey

2018

SIVAL 
16-18 January
Angers, France

IPM Essen
23-26 January
Essen, Germany

Fruit Logistica
7-9 February
Berlin, Germany

HortiContact
20-22 February
Gorinchem, The Netherlands