Good Morning Growers Network and Users,
Scott from American Soil Supply Company here and today I want to talk about Organic Soil Production and how adding automation to the process can be very beneficial for your company. We will talk about the old school way and the automated way of mixing soil, the different options of equipment that will help increase your production no matter the size of your operation, and how to find this equipment.
Mixing custom grow media has been taking place for centuries, and it hasn’t changed much at its roots. You may be mixing your custom soils to better manage your grow due to your climate region, the materials available, genetics, and much more.
"The Old School Way" - Mixing by hand, in small batches, may not be a big issue, but when producing large quantities for personal use or resale applications, automation could be required. We have all done it, and of matter of fact, I still do it since my garden doesn’t require large quantities of soil. I gather my materials which include my base media and amendments, a trap and a shovel. Mixing it the best I can by hand.
"Automation" - Automation is a must and the key to quality and quantity of soils and grow medias. Adding equipment to your manufacturing operations will decrease the labor and over head costs to produce along with adding consistency and quality control to the process. Automation isn’t just a purchase, it is an investment much like a work truck or warehouse space.
"Types of Equipment" There are many types of equipment that can help your company bridge the gap of balancing labor and cost for the final output of your products. Below is a brief summary and description of the different types of equipment that can be used to accomplish those goals.
Soil Batch Mixer: The soil batch mixer is a machine that takes your materials and blends them rapidly and evenly. Not only does this save time of mixing by hand, but it also ensures a more even, through blend. This is very important especially if you are mixing and bagging for resale. Giving your customer a consistent blend of soil will bring the back every time. You can add options on the these batch mixers such as watering bars, caster kits, discharge conveyors and fill chutes to hep with minor bagging and filling operations. Adding the discharge conveyor to any soil mixer can is very useful especially if you are doing minor bagging operations or container filling processes. They come in a variety of sizes ranging from a half cub yard capacity up to a 10 cubic yard capacity.
Mix and Bag Systems: A mix and bag system is a combination of the soil batch mixer, a conveyor, and a soil bagging hopper. The mixers operations are the same as mentioned above, but now we have added a conveyor and bagging hopper. The conveyors only purpose is to move the material from the mixer to the bagging hopper. The bagging hopper is a standard soil hopper but with a added bagging chute and foot-pedal controls. The bagging hopper size depends on the size mixer being used. You typically want the hopper to be the same size or slightly larger then the mixer to prevent overflow. The hopper has two volume control regulators, one being a timer, the second being the hopper door. Not only giving your customer a even blend of materials is important, but giving them the same quantity every time is just as important.
Thanks for reading, and if you have any questions about the equipment or how to get it, contact American Soil Supply Company at [email protected] or visit our website at Americansoilsupply.com for full catalog!
Owner - American Soil Supply Company