Plant factory – Hydroponics and Cultivation kit –

2024.03.15 applied products

What WHEC engage in other than CIS

What is hydroponics? – It’s a way of cultivating plants using only water and fertilizer, without solid. As efforts to achieve the SDGs become increasingly demanding globally, hydroponics is one of the ways that has the potential to revolutionize modern agricultures. The advantages of this method are wide-ranging, but main ones are that it can be grown as many times as you like without crop rotation disorders, can provide safe and clean vegetables without using agricultural chemicals in controlled environment, and can greatly reduce burdens. WHEC has been working on this method since 2010, developing and manufacturing cultivation kits for house use, as well as kits for schools and business.

The history of hydroponic at WHEC

Using LED lights in hydroponics removes effects by weather and has a potential for stable harvests. We thought we could make use of our LED lights and its control technology to hydroponics, and started to take on the challenge of the cultivation method in 2010. Because agriculture was completely different field than our business, we learned skills with the cooperation of a university. In 2015, when our R&D center was relocated to Takarazuka, our own laboratory “Green Farm” was set up. In the laboratory we experimented on how different wave lengths or lighting methods affect plant growth with our in-house LED units. In addition to leaf vegetables such as lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, melons and strawberries were grown in the laboratory. Based on the technique acquired at Green Farm, we set up a plant farm using LED lights in our headquarters. It has been gradually expanded, and now we grow a variety of vegetables and fruits in an indoor cultivation space of 640 square meters and a greenhouse of 220 square meters. At the farm, we have grown many kinds of vegetables such as celeries, pumpkins and Chinese chives. Now we grow lettuce throughout a year, and seasonal vegetables and fruits such as tomatoes in summer, strawberries in winter. We sell online our vegetables once a week in China other than serving at our cafeteria. It has been popular that more than 8,000 bags of leafy greens and 940 bags of tomatoes have been purchased in total.

Tomatos in our greenhouse

Strawberries in our indoor cultivation space

Family cultivation kit and Business cultivation kit

Since 2018, WHEC has been working on manufacturing 2 types of cultivation kits by utilize our know-how so that everyone can easily experience cultivate hydroponics. Family cultivation kit is small cultivation kit which can grow lettuce, tomatoes and melons at home. Click HERE for the details of this kit. Business cultivation kit, which has developed for bigger cultivation spaces is suitable for schools and offices. For the details, click HERE. Our cultivation kits allow you to observe the growth process of vegetables and fruits, and is also suitable for education and food education. We have sold 17 Family cultivation kits and 13 Business cultivation kits to elementary school and junior high school in China. Our kits get evaluation from users that being easy to cultivate because it does not use soil and making it ideal for observation. If you are interested in these cultivation kit, please feel free to contact us.

Family cultivation kit

Business cultivation kit

The future of WHEC hydroponics

In order to expand variety of cultivation, we are trying to grow radish and carrots. Also, since 2020 we have been working on developing of harvesting robot, and demonstrating it at our plant farm in China. WHEC is actively discovering new possibilities for hydroponics, such as working on sheet cultivation to reduce the amount of water required for more eco-friendly cultivation system. WHEC is professional of CIS, but we are taking on the challenge of applying CIS technology to new fields. Please expect more from us in the years to come!