Protifarm produces sustainable food ingredients made from farmed insects. These are used in e.g. baking products and meat substitutes. Although working with live "raw materials” calls for a slightly different approach, Visual Link's team was able to optimise this company's production process as well.
Protifarm utilises the principles of “vertical farming.” This is a farming method that uses stacked layers on which products are grown. In other words, the insects are grown in layers stacked on top of each other. Important nutrients, such as proteins and fibres, are extracted from the larvae of these insects. Using vertical farming to grow insects requires hardly any space or water and it minimises the emission of CO2. On top of that, insects require only a little feed. This production process therefore takes population growth, the environment and the climate into account.
"Visual Link Software can be used for myriad applications, even to make sure that insects are fed on time."
Protifarm purchased four Visual Link modules to further optimise its automated production process: Planning, Definition, Data Collection and Analysis. With the Planning module, the customer can determine the different stages of the grow farm's production process. The Definition module is used to define the parameters of the production process. The Data Collection module allows the customer to record production data for further analysis. The vast quantity of data that are collected serve as an important source of input for the Analysis module, which we use to combine and analyse production data. The feedback we have received thus far proved invaluable during, among other things, the start-up phase of the grow farm and while setting up our production process.
Protifarm was established in 2015. It has developed the world's first and largest vertical farm for growing the Alphitobius diaperinus, better known as the buffalo beetle. The production site in Ermelo can supply enough protein to feed a small town. Together with an international team of passionate people and partners, including Wageningen University & Research, Protifarm produces effective, nutritious and functional ingredients for e.g. sports food, pasta and meat substitutes.