Vertical farming specialist 80 Acres Farms operates eight indoor farms utilising world-class technology and analytics supplied by the firm’s technology subsidiary, Infinite Acres. Now in collaboration with Siemens, 80 Acres Farms (& Infinite Acres) will work on the optimisation, automation and control of indoor farming facilities and processes. Siemens (Financial Services, Inc) participated in 80 Acres’ $160 Million Series B funding round in August 2021.
The new partnership will see Siemens supporting the industrialisation and scaling of the 80 Acres’ proprietary ‘Loop platform’ – a comprehensive solution that encompasses crop management software and algorithms, environmental controls, robotics, and automation.
“Infinite Acres has built the Loop platform through collaboration with best-in-class technology partners such as Priva, Ocado, and Signify. Our new partnership with Siemens takes our collaboration and technology platform to a new level through the 360° approach across software and connected hardware solutions – from digital twins to advanced controls,” says Tisha Livingston, co-founder of 80 Acres Farms and CEO of Infinite Acres.
Siemens Smart Infrastructure is providing power distribution equipment while its energy and building management technologies within the facilities help monitor fire and life safety, security and power distribution systems all from a single interface.
Siemens Digital Industries will install a suite of advanced industrial automation technologies and edge devices to help automate the production line, while edge devices and human-machine interfaces monitor and update the farms’ control systems.
Taking a deeper look into the growth processes, Siemens Digital Industries Software is currently developing a digital twin that simulates the farm, plant growth and the production process to predict plant growth under diverse conditions as well as to optimise future farms for growth and shipping.
“We sometimes hear that food is medicine. Vertical farming is an opportunity to turn this concept into a reality, and 80 Acres Farms’ use of technology is now modelling the path forward for this transformative approach to food production,” said Siemens USA President and CEO Barbara Humpton. “In this moment of change and disruption – and in a world becoming increasingly ‘global’ – what I see at 80 Acres Farms represents both the purpose and the power of the industrial technologies now readily available to us: the capability to invent anywhere, then to scale our world-changing solutions everywhere.”
With five production farms in southwestern Ohio, a new farm in Florence, Kentucky, a future farm in Covington, Georgia, and R&D facilities in Arkansas and the Netherlands, 80 Acres supplies US retailers and distributors with salad blends, microgreens, herbs, tomatoes, and cucumbers.
“In just seven years, we have scaled from a single R&D facility to a high-tech modular system that we can deploy across the world,” says Mike Zelkind, co-founder and CEO of 80 Acres Farms. “Standardising our technology and infrastructure enables our industry-leading technology to scale worldwide rapidly and effectively. By building a network of committed global partners like Siemens, we can feed tens of millions more people in a matter of years.”
Utilising Siemens’ robust set of software and hardware solutions, spanning intelligent facility and energy management systems to advanced industrial automation technology, 80 Acres Farms is well positioned to meet its goal to optimise and standardise its operations – with the vision to support food security worldwide.