Fujitsu Strengthens Production Management Solution for “Plant Factories” with Akisai Food and Agriculture Cloud
Bangkok ,18August 2014 – Fujitsu today announced that it will enhance its production management service lineup for the “Akisai” Food and Agriculture Cloud by adding a production management system provided by Kobayashi Create Co. Ltd, a company that has begun to produce and sells vegetables grown in “plant factories”(1). The solution manages the production of plant factories and greenhouse horticulture(2). Fujitsu will make the new solution available as part of FUJITSU Intelligent Society Solution “Akisai” Food and Agriculture Cloud. Sales will commence in August 2014. The service will only be available in Japan.
This new solution utilizes a handheld tag reader to simplify the on-site collection of work records and data management. The service is ideally suited to manage plant growth in plant factories and greenhouse horticulture sites that manage cultivated crops by respective lot, or that raise a variety of different crops in small quantities.
In the future, Fujitsu will aim to integrate the data from this service with data from other Akisai services to create an entire supply chain encompassing ordering, production, shipping, and inventory management, and thereby contribute to the creation of enterprise-style agricultural management with higher earnings and efficiency.
Background and Issues
In plant factory and greenhouse horticulture cultivation, fewer insects and less contamination, as well as less impact from the natural environment, mean it is possible to have systematic and stable production year-round, thereby diversifying what is cultivated, including vegetables, fruits, flowering trees, and seedlings. On the other hand, in contrast to field cultivation, there is a need to manage individual lots and to transfer locations of cultivation during growth, entailing extra time and effort to collect and manage work records.
Features of the new production management system
With the new service, workers can now hold up a handheld tag reader to RFID tags or two-dimensional coded tags assigned to each respective lot and individually identify and input work results. This facilitates the management of work histories from planting to harvest, even for plant factories that transfer the location of cultivation in the course of the cultivation cycle.
In addition, information input in the handheld tag reader can be stored in an office PC, allowing for the visual verification of work progress and growing conditions for each individually managed lot. This enables the tabulation and analysis of such information as work delays and response conditions for each lot, resulting in more efficient production management. Furthermore, sharing of results data among agricultural producers promotes the acquisition of cultivation techniques and improved work quality.
Fujitsu plans to deploy this service in October 2014 to its own plant factory in Aizu-Wakamatsu where it produces low-potassium lettuce. While listening to the front-line needs of agricultural producers, Fujitsu will continue to expand and enhance its “Akisai” Food and Agriculture Cloud services, thereby utilizing ICT to ensure plentiful food supplies in the future.
-  Plant factory
A facility-housed system whereby ongoing production of plants can be achieved, regardless of season, by providing the requisites for growth in a human-controlled environment – including LED lighting, ventilation, and liquid nutrients.
-  Horticulture facilities
Facilities in which horticulture activities are carried out. These facilities are typically glass, vinyl or other types of container-like greenhouses that are heated or maintain heat.