Gentle handling of sensitive plants

Automation of a high-capacity picking plant

Healthy green is the trend: Herbal, vegetable and even flowering plants are preferred by Volmary and are picked for wholesalers. At approximately six weeks old, the preferred young plants leave professional breeding.


Development and automation of a picking plant for plant trays that vary in size. Special challenge: The unstable, soiled trays are rooted through, plants, in part, overhang. Requirement: Processing of 3000 trays per hour and processing of 3500 different plant articles.

Our solution:

Robust conveyor technology

The conveyor belts not only need to be able to accommodate different trays, but also easy to clean and dirt resistant.

Special feature: The automatic trolley has to supply all plants. To prevent collision with the conveyor belt, a pneumatic lifting system has been installed.

Product database

The product database manages around 3500 individual articles, each provided with a barcode, through which it can be safely identified. This is already given at the time of sowing. Thanks to the connection to the higher-level control system, the type-plate can be scanned, read out and the tray can be assigned to the sales order.

Special challenge. If, for example, leaves or dirt obscure the code, a jet will reveal the plate. If the plate is missing completely, the tray will be rejected automatically.

Customer-specific picking

The higher-level control system knows the contents of the tray and transmits the information to which customer order the tray belongs. On the conveyor, the tray is furnished, by printer, with the customer name and logistical information regarding stacking trolleys and shelves.

Receival track

The control system flexibly assigns customers to the 44 lanes. The trays are delivered via the high-performance ejector. They are transported over the slides, which have walkways underneath. At the end of the slide they are slowed down. This prevents the dynamic pressure from becoming too great and damaging plants.

Volmary GmbH

Volmary GmbH is a leading supplier in Europe and a garden professional of high-quality seeds, seedlings and plants for bed and balcony – for gardening success according to the motto Grow For Gold®. As a family business since its establishment in 1925 the name has stood for success in classic plant breeding, selected varieties with special characteristics and a broad assortment.

Automation of a high-capacity picking plant