buyers Royal Pride, Kaaij Group, GreenQ, Village Farms and Agro Care
Successfull introduction of PB-PV Solar panel for pipe rail trolleys
PB Techniek Ltd from Maasdijk, The Netherlands, introduced the PB-PV Solar pipe rail cart at the Hortfair 2011. This is a solar panel that can be attached to any kind of cart, old or new. The panel was shown at the fair on a Benomic dubble scarce pipe rail cart by Berg Hortimotive. Koen Brabander: " The enthusiasm of the Berg Hortimotive team and the sharing of knowledge really helped us during development."
Michel Broch at the Horti Fair
The innovation focuses on using solar panels on internal transport carts in greenhouses, additionally using assimilated lighting for charging. The solar panel has two functions:
- Charging the batteries of the carts with sunlight and assimilated lighting.
- a sun/light cover for the employees on the carts.
In the sunshine
PB Techniek chose to introduce the solar panel in a fun way. Over 1000 sun hats were handed out and a "luxury charging week in the sun" could be won. Koen Brabander of PB Techniek: "The goal was to convince a few interested horticulturists to buy them. We didn't want to give them away for free to ensure only motivated buyers bought them".
There was a lot of interest in the invention. In the end five entrepreneurs actually bought the PB-PV Solar panel. The difference in price compared to the buying price of the first panels is financed by PB Techniek. PB Techniek also gives their usual service and guarantee on the product. "If the panels don't work, it's our problem."
Buyers and their reasons
We asked the buyers to tell us why they invested in this innovation.
- The first buyers was Frank van Kleef of Royal Pride. Frank: " We bought a panel because we want to experience whether all the target profits actually work in real life and of course, as a company which is certified for Milieukeur Duurzaam (sustainable) greenhouse vegetables, we want to support these kinds of innovations".
- The second buyers were the Van der Kaaij brothers of the Kaaij Group. Dirk van der Kaaij ordered two panels. Dirk: "The Kaaij Group is known for prioritizing socially responsible business. We weren't chosen to be the most innovative grower for no reason. My growers want to know if this is a good investment for the future, definitely because of our extension plans. This Solar Panel will make sure that throughout the year, the carts will be kept up, partially through use of growing light, without having to plug anything in. This way we unburden the environment. Care about what we're working with!"
- The third buyers were Peter Klapwijk and Marc Grootscholten of GreenQ. Peter: "We've known for years that you can grow for longer with growing lights, and now we're going to drive for longer with them too"
- The fourth buyer was Village Farms from Canada and the US. Michael DeGiglio and Paul Selina viewed the concept. Paul Selina: “This is a ‘green’ solution that makes a lot of sense, autonomous cart charging and shade for the worker. We talk the talk and walk the walk, now we can ride the ride!”
- On the last day Kees van Veen and Philip van Antwerpen of Agro Care came to the stand and were the last to buy a cart. Kees: "It's a good initiative by PB that fits in with our goal to grow MVO and this is probably a first step towards multiple applications in this area."
"I think it's great that entrepreneurs want to support this innovation, especially in this time. With this they show initiative and take responsibility, so other entrepreneurs in our branch remain motivated to innovate. And this is really needed to keep our position in the horticultural world', says Koen Brabander.
Six locations are sufficient to test the innovation in various circumstances, according to PB Techniek. The companies are followed and the results are published. "Good communication is the pillar in our branch. Lets remember that."
PB Techniek reports that the five companies that are participating are already customers. We asked Koen Brabander whether he'd be doing the raffle himself. "I'm not sticking my hands on the lottery pot. Hereby; I'm looking for a notary who would like to do the raffle, in exchange for a bunch of flowers. I'll let you know!"
For more information:Koen BrabanderPB Techniek BV
2676 LT Maasdijk
tel: +31 (0)174-623 200 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting +31 (0)174-623 200 end_of_the_skype_highlighting
fax:+31 (0)174-624 654www.pb-techniek.nl
Publication date: 11/21/2011
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