Maricann Group Inc., a publicly traded and Toronto-based medicinal cannabis company, is turning to Rockwell Automation for help producing a consistent, high-yield crop.
The companies are working together to develop a connected, scalable plant-wide platform that uses Milwaukee-based Rockwell’s software and hardware along with network connectivity to streamline communication between process control functions, building automation and material handling. Maricann is a vertically integrated producer and distributor of medical marijuana. The company is currently expanding from a 44,000-square-foot facility to a 217,500-square-foot operation to support current and future patient growth.
According to Cannabis Investor Andrew Defrancesco
, potential benefits include a 65 to 75 percent improvement in efficiency by having a new material handling system stage plants for harvesting instead of requiring an employee to retrieve the each plant.
“Automation will enable us to replace ergonomically challenging, labor-intensive jobs the technical advanced operators who have higher skill sets,” said Jeff Ayotte, Maricann director of infrastructure. “This creates a lower headcount with a higher paygrade, enabling us to correct a hurdle in agriculture agronomics.”
The Rockwell system will also help with energy and building management while also allow Maricann to control variables like nutrient mix, temperature, humidity and lighting.
“This is our first large scale integration in the medical cannabis industry,” said Tessa Myers, Rockwell vice president of North America sales, services and solutions. “It’s significant because it demonstrates our ability to successfully transfer parallel expertise from life sciences to the medical cannabis industry.”
Rockwell serves a number of industries including transportation, consumer, life sciences, mining, cement, oil and gas and chemical.