Joep van den Bosch, Ridder-HortiMaX: "Greater use of artificial intelligence"

"Ridder-HortiMaX's vision for horticultural automation can be summed up in three words: functionality, flexibility and affordability.  We focus on fruit, vegetable and ornamental plant growers worldwide from high-tech to low-tech, from highly experienced Dutch growers to novice Chinese growers. Our organization is structured to provide each of our global customers with the best possible solution at an affordable price. No one solution will fit every problem or customer." 

Continuous development
"Our focus in horticultural automation is two twofold:  First, HortiMaX will keep on investing a lot of time and money in the development of its existing high-tech systems. Last year, for example, our new MultiMa 2015 system was launched, giving growers the flexibility to design and build their own software controls. This allows growers to independently, or together with a crop consultant, make quick adjustments to their climate control strategy. We’ve also completely redesigned our VitaLite UV water disinfection unit this year. With this technology, growers can reduce the cost per m3 of disinfected water significantly. For Productive 2015, our labour management system, we've developed an iPad application that gives growers access to the latest worker and production data  - anywhere, any time.  And finally, we're working on rolling out the new generation of our Synopta computer control software."

"HortiMaX focuses specifically on the replacement market within horticultural automation. Many greenhouse operations are still using horticultural computers that are twenty to thirty years old. In addition to concerns about the reliability of these systems, these growers are missing out on the latest advances in control and operating technology. When we launched the HortiMaX CX500 at the end of 2012, we knew that it would be welcomed addition to the replacement market. The system was originally designed for the export market. The novelty of the CX500 and its enormous versatility, combined with its competitive pricing, has made the system extremely popular."

Growers will become “cultivation strategists”
"In recent years, there has been much interest in energy-efficient, sustainable and closed loop growing methods. These developments will continue to transform the horticultural industry. Excellent examples are the broad applications of geothermal energy. I also expect a great deal of development in drain water disinfection and reuse to further reduce wastage. This may be systems for individual growers, or for entire horticultural areas working together. Closed loop growing methods will also continue to advance. The development of our automation solutions will go in two opposing directions in the coming years. I expect greater use of artificial intelligence and plant sensors in our high-tech systems. As a result, growers will evolve more into cultivation strategists and supervisors of the production process and will no longer have to concern themselves with adjusting various settings on a daily basis. Our software offers the ability to monitor and operate all technological components in the greenhouse from one centralized location. It is a capability that more and more growers are demanding."

Upcoming events


20-22 February
Gorinchem, The Netherlands

Shouguang Veg. Expo
20-22 March
Shouguang, China

9-11 May 2018, Booth #1342
Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, LA

Hortiflorexpo IPM
9-12 May
Beijing, China

12-14 June
Amsterdam RAI, The Netherlands

Cultivate '18
14-17 July
Columbus, OH, USA

Canadian Greenhouse Conference
3+4 October
Niagra Falls, Canada

Expo AgroAlimentaria
13-16 November
Irapuato Mexico