Some greenhouses require a unique screen. For example, AgroCare’s facility in Tunisia, where tomatoes are produced almost yearround. ‘We require more ventilation and still the same incidence of light,’ says Kees van Veen, a member of AgroCare’s board of directors. That fabric doesn’t exist, so you have to get it custom-made. Via PDI, we got in contact with Ridder, with whom we developed a new climate screen for this greenhouse.’
Growing tomatoes in Tunisia presents a number of unique challenges compared to the Netherlands. For example, the sun is bright in the summer and the light falls almost perfectly straight into the greenhouse because of its proximity to the equator. Nevertheless, in winter there are still too few hours of light in a day, while at the same time the heat requires good ventilation. ‘You have much more screening hours in Tunisia’. The ideal fabric shades between 25 and thirty percent, but still has about 40 percent ventilation capacity,’ Kees van Veen points out.
‘The way you develop the fabric, that’s the crux’
‘You can of course take a foil strip out of an existing fabric,’ adds Jan Vellekoop, CCO of Peter Dekker Installations. ‘Then you have more ventilation, but also much more light. So, with AgroCare’s wishes we consulted Ridder. The way you develop the fabric, that’s the crux. That requires expertise, short lines and good cooperation. The Ridder team has that. Together, we have now developed a unique climate screen within fifteen weeks, which of course is great.
The development of the special climate screen was possible because of Ridder’s Co-Created Screens initiative. ‘Peter Dekker Installaties came to us with the wishes of AgroCare,’ explains Niels Lünnemann of Ridder. ‘Based on the location, climate, and requirements, we determine out of our wide range of screens which one comes closest. We then make a co-created version that exactly meets the requirements of the grower and the installer. This unique screen will be produced in our factory in Maasdijk, on our modern knitting machines.’
‘We now have a unique climate screen’
Together with Peter Dekker Installations, AgroCare was given a tour of the Ridder factory. Kees van Veen was allowed to start the knitting machine to produce the Co-Created screen for Tunisia. In terms of pattern, we now have a unique fabric’, says Kees van Veen, after he had put the machine into operation. ‘It shades the way we want, and there is sufficient ventilation. We don’t have to take half measures anymore. That’s a nice thing about Ridder. You can get the screen you want.’
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