USA – Indoor aquaponic vertical farming company Upward Farms has signed a partnership deal with Harpak-ULMA to launch fully automated, scalable packaging operations in support of the company’s rapid growth and expansion plans.

Harpak-ULMA provides smart, connected packaging systems utilizing Rockwell Automation’s controls and information platforms to deliver greater efficiency, uptime, and throughput, as well as better package quality and reduced waste.

Upwards Farms’ fresh, locally grown microgreens and sustainably raised hybrid striped bass are available to consumers throughout New York City, Westchester, and New Jersey, with plans to expand distribution throughout the Northeast and beyond.

The company’s commitment to innovative and sustainable farming techniques is made possible through the use of advanced automation and digital technologies designed to transform farming techniques into next-gen, information-centric, production capabilities.

Packaging procedures account for a sizeable amount of production activities for businesses that manufacture minimally processed natural products.

Completing the picture with end-to-end automation (from product loading to palletization) all but eliminates operational performance variations attributed to manual or semi-manual processes.

Harpak-ULMA’s smart connected design offers ruggedized reliability for precise, high-volume, low-waste packaging applications.

Minimizing waste, one of the keys to more sustainable packaging, is well-aligned with Upwards Farms’ manufacturing strategy.

The company’s autonomous, self-optimizing, and highly productive biological manufacturing platform represents sustainability at its most innovative.

Harpak-ULMA’s platforms employ sophisticated smart controls that enable advanced self-diagnostics, remote connectivity and monitoring, as well as augmented-reality experiences for operations and maintenance.

Leveraging digital technologies in packaging processes not only enhance production agility, flexibility, and scalability – it ensures a consistent digital thread across enterprise operations, the key to performance visibility and management.

Upward Farms CTO and Co-founder Ben Silverman said: “Harpak-ULMA shares our forward-looking philosophy of sustainability, innovation, and automation.

“We have demonstrated the difference technology creates in the controlled environment agriculture sector – as they [sic. Harpak-ULMA] create in packaging.”

According to Kevin Roach, Harpak-ULMA CEO: “We are extremely happy that Upward Farms elected to collaborate with us on such an important advancement in food production.”

“Vertical aquaponic farming advances food chain sustainability tremendously – including a very positive impact on food distribution and its associated reduction in carbon footprint.”

Roach also noted that combining next-generation production and packaging technologies allows the company to re-invent the feasibility and profitability of sustainable food production and distribution practices.

Liked this article? Subscribe to our regular email newsletters with the latest news insights from Africa and the World’s packaging and printing industry. SUBSCRIBE HERE.