Proven melon nutriculture involves placing mineral fiber (rock wool) into a pot as the medium without using soil, and cultivating it while automatically irrigate a nourishing solution according to the amount of sunlight.
Melon nutriculture does not require sterilization of the soil using steam, thereby eliminating the heavy labor of raising and plowing soil. Because the skilled work learned over time is automated, the advanced know-how is inherited with data, enabling the quality management as a famous local area brand, increasing the annual number of times of harvest from four to five, and production by 25%.
Sprinkling that used to be done about twice a day is increased to 20 to 60 times. To automate the number of irrigation processes that will be greatly increased due to nutriculture, Daiwa Computers created and operated its own system on microcomputers by Division Manager Tashiro and other engineers. However, there were issues with the mechanical reliability, and efforts were made to look for a commercialized optimal open system.
"One day, we randomly saw this at an exhibition, and we knew we wanted to use it, then immediately adopted it to our system." (Division Manager Tashiro, Agricultural Development Division) What caught our eye was the Contec real-time control engine CONPROSYS? PAC series.
By implementing this system, we are able to provide appropriate batch control of melon nutriculture in a three-quarters glass house with a large south-facing roof area to improve sunlight transmissivity in seasons with less sunlight, and that progress can be monitored remotely.
In the future, we will use the functions of the CONPROSYS? PAC Series to monitor temperature, humidity, CO2, rainfall, and nourishing solution EC, and use that data to automatically control the irrigation, opening and closing of the skylight, and boiler temperature. In other words, we will be able to achieve the craftsmanship of melon cultivation according to the season and product type while ensuring thorough quality management.
Although the cultivation style of having one fruit on one tree will not be changed in order to maintain its good taste, they are expecting to improve this automation system and produce more melons by reducing spaces between each pot.