Plant Factory
Update:Aug. 30, 2016

 Agroindustrialization Project
 Sumitomo Electric Industrial, Ltd
Minimizing Agricultural Vulnerability Through Industrialization

 Focus on controlling water, which significantly affects quality and yield, and standardization of environmental controls.
 The aim of this project is to minimize the vulnerabilities specific to agriculture in a plant factory with solar lighting. We focus on controlling water, which significantly affects quality and yield, and standardization of environmental controls (simplification, systematization, unification) to stabilize crop production and develop a form of industrial agriculture.
 Our unique crop-production system enabling standardized watering control is being evaluated, and standard specifications and operation procedures for greenhouses are being established based on a real-time monitoring of plant water absorption.
 The production system involves four-layer dense culture techniques for year-round tomato cultivation, with the emphasis on workability, stability, and productivity. Using a Japanese cultivar, the goal is to harvest more than 250 tons of tomatoes with high sugar content per hectare. The following elements control the total system
 Multilayer High-Density Tomato Cultivation
 (Spray Hydroponic System) Consortium
 Iwatani Agrigreen Co., Ltd.

 Spray Hydroponic System
 Iwatani Agrigreen Co., Ltd. is an innovator in the development of equipment and methods for plant factories. A consortium led by Iwatani Agrigreen working in the Plant Factory of Chiba University is experimenting with better ways to cultivate tomatoes in a system incorporating numerous innovative features. Some of our most successful advances are outlined below.
 「Selecting Varieties of Tomatoes」Consortium  JA Zen-Noh
(National Federation of Agricultural Cooperative Association)
Selecting Varieties of Tomatoes Grown with the Original Simple Hydroponic Cultivation System ‘うぃず One®’ (Reading: with one)

 `うぃずOne` Cultivation System
 JA Zen-Noh Consortium cultivates around 30 varieties of tomatoes in the greenhouse. The aim of our consortium is to search effective cultivation method suitable foreach variety and to understand commodityvalue of each variety based on customer demands. We aim to uncover hidden value of variety which meets consumer needs.At the exhibit space, we invite growers and related companies/institutions to introduce multiple varieties of tomatoes grown in our greenhouse.Regarding the highly evaluated variety, we cultivate on a trial basis targeting mass retail stores for test marketing, and ensure to spread the variety widely among consumers and farmers extensively.
 JA Zen-Noh applies simple hydroponic cultivation system `うぃずOne`.
`うぃず One` is an irrigation system which applies liquid fertilizer mixture system (mini system) in conjunction with 18 L styrene foam box filled with soil.`うぃずOne` is economical, simple and easy to manage cultivation. This system has been developed by JA Zen-Noh.
 Moving-Bench Cultivation in a Tomato Arena  
 Mitsubishi Plastic Agri Dream Co., Ltd.

 Mitsubishi Plastic Agri Dream Co.,Ltd. is a comprehensive manufacturer of covering materials for agriculture, watering devices, and cultivation systems.
Its facility within the Plant Factory of Chiba University is a combined package based on: the Nae (Nursery) Terrace, a closed system with artificial lighting; hydroponics for short-duration multi-cropping of leafy vegetables and tomatoes in the Tomato Arena; and a solar plant factory constructed with covering/coating that reduces the need for agrochemical use.
The Nae Terrace, utilized by multiple consortia, was developed jointly by Chiba University and Mitsubishi Plastic AgriDream.
It produces high-quality, homogeneous seedlings to allow precisely planned cultivation in plant factories. The underlying concept of the Nae Terrace is“anytime, anywhere, anybody.” Anybody
can produce a sturdy tomato nursery with 3.5 true leaves per plant in about 18 days year-round with automatic temperature, lighting, CO2 application, and watering control.
The combined use of this nursery terrace with Tomato Arena, a single-layer high-density hydroponic cultivation system,
makes systematic year-round tomato production possible with no other sophisticated technology. The introduction of moving-bench cultivation and LED supplementary lighting to the Tomato
Arena allows ultrahigh-density cultivation and increases profitability. The walls of the plant factory are covered with Mitsubishi Plastic Agri Dream’s patented DiaStar UV Cut, forming a barricade to insects and pathogens and significantly reducing the need for chemical inputs.
 Three-Layer High-Density
 Tomato Cultivation with D-Trays
 Daisen Co., Ltd.
Low-cost, Labor-Saving, High-yield, Profitable Production System with D-trays
for Entrepreneurial Farms

 Low-shelf High-density Cultivation by D-Tray
 A consortium led by Daisen Co., Ltd. is demonstrating three-layer high-density tomato cultivation using D-trays at the Chiba University Plant Factory facilities.
Ten D-shaped 250-ml pots are set in two rows in a tray containing basic culture medium. In D-tray cultivation, plants are subjected to minimal stress through the use of environmental controls and small-quantity but frequent irrigation. This noteworthy new growth method produces both higher yields and higher quality.
 Using D-trays from the seedling stage saves labor, minimizes removal activities after harvesting, and is suitable for low-height, high-density cultivation requiring frequent renewal of seedlings.
Since raising seedlings, planting, harvesting, and removal activities can be spread evenly throughout the year, cultivation can be managed easily with a limited number of workers.
 Aiming at establishing a low-cost cultivation system for entrepreneurial farms, verification tests are underway, focusing on increased productivity with the use of D-trays, cultivation management with only a few workers, and reduction of start-up costs to growers
 Low-Cost Future Plant Factory
 with Artificial Lighting
 Raise Farm Corp.
 Mirai Co., Ltd.
Mass Production of Lettuce in 10-layer Cultivation beds

 10-layer Cultivation
 Raise Farm Corp. and Mirai Co., Ltd. are mass producing lettuce in 10-layer cultivation beds at low cost by enhancing cultivation efficiency and saving energy.
Fluorescent lamps are the main light source, supplemented with LED lamps to save energy, reduce electricity costs, and make the most efficient use of space.
 The hydroponic cultivation system continuously circulates nutrient solution through the lettuce growth beds. Sensors give detailed information on the density and type of nutrients required. Water and fertilizer absorbed by plants are automatically added to the system to optimize their utilization rate.
 The factory is air-conditioned with heat pumps at all times. Elevated CO2 concentrations are maintained to enhance crop growth. This controlled environment with total hygienic maintenance
enables to mass produce safe, healthy lettuce sustainably throughout the year.
 Seeding and transplanting are performed daily, with 3,000 lettuces harvested seven days a week. A packing room within the same plant factory building ensures that the same sterile conditions are maintained when lettuce goes to market
 Head Lettuce Production
Wago Co., Ltd.
Efficient, Low-cost Lettuce Production Under Reflected Light

 Reflective Lighting Device
 The Head Lettuce Production Consortium led by Wago Co., Ltd. is demonstrating the production of common head (not leafy) lettuce, which is difficult to grow in a plant factory, using a highly reflective lighting device with a curved surface. Because the device prevents light leakage, the plants receive 25,000 lux from only a minimal number of lamps. The lighting is on for 10 hours per day, using nighttime electricity, making production both low in cost and efficient.
 Electricity for lighting is the largest cost component in a plant factory, but the significant reduction achieved with highefficiency reflective technology lowers
production costs to a level comparable to that lettuce grown in open-field cultivation. It was confirmed that these reflective conditions yield vegetables with high vitamin and mineral levels.
 In addition to the reflective lighting device, this consortium also constructed facilities that can produce such vegetables as spinach, which is also difficult to grow in plant factories, utilizing comprehensive cultivation control including high-precision air-conditioning and CO2 /fertilizer control.The facilities are easily expandable to adapt to future vegetable consumption trend.
 Polystyrene Foam Material for Airtight Thermal  Insulation:Hokko-Type Plant Factory
 Japan Dome House Co., Ltd.
Polystyrene foam material and cultivation system

 Hokko-Type Plant Factory
 Polystyrene foam-clad dome structures offer unparalleled thermal insulation and airtightness, making them ideal for extremely heat/cold regions. They are resistant to natural disasters such as earthquakes and high winds due to inherent structural strength and can serve as sources of food supply even during crises. We have developed a unique plant factory system to take advantage of these features.
 We have also developed a plant production system that significantly reduces the use of water and other inputs. This system has demonstrated superiority, particularly in regions where outdoor cultivation is difficult.
 A unit combining a polystyrene form-clad dome and this cultivation system, called a Hokko-type plant factory, is being used to perform growing experiments at Chiba University
Semi-dry Fog Cooling / Dry Fog Year-Round Cultivation
 Semi-dry Fog Cooling/Dry
 Fog Year-Round Cultivation
 H. Ikeuchi & Co., Ltd.
Productive Year-Round Cultivation with Dry-fog Environmental Control

 H. Ikeuchi & Co., Ltd. is attempting to promote productivity and profitability in year-round greenhouse facilities. A novel dry-fog system is used to cultivate crops throughout the year, and we are investigating the optimal integrated environmental controls, especially vapor pressure-deficit controls.
 We have succeeded in the continuous production of strawberries from June to August by combining soilless dry-fog cultivation and vapor pressure-deficit control using semi-dry fog. We plan for the harvest to reach 50 tons/ha per year.
 Environmental factors affecting the entire plant from fruit to root are controlled in this greenhouse using dry fog. Fog containing nutrient solution for each growth stage is applied to the roots, and the plants are watered with dry fog by an integrated environmental control system to provide the ideal cultivation conditions.

 Plant Factory for
 Urban Farming Consortium
Making Plant Factories Ubiquitous Everywhere

  The Plant Factory for Urban Farming Consortium hopes to see small plant factories in operation everywhere: homes; transport stations;
schools; stores; hospitals; and more. Everyone can enjoy specific experiences that only plant factories can provide.
 The consortium focuses on the sociocognitive penetration of plant factories. It also aims to strengthen the foundations of agriculture as a primary industry, thus contributing to the promotion of plant factories indirectly, while other consortia attempts toward direct cost reductions and productivity improvement.
 By offering a variety of services via the Internet, this consortium also plans to build new types of primary industries in which consumers participate. The main efforts of the Plant Factory for Urban Farming Consortium being demonstrated at the Chiba University Plant Factory facilities are outlined below.
 Japan Plant Factory Association
Achieving high yields/High Quality while Conserving Resources/Protecting the Environment

 The Across-Thematic-Areas Consortium was established to determine the best growing environment for plants from the twin viewpoints of resource saving and environmental protection. The main factors involved are measurement and analysis of data relating to resources used, environmental controls, plant growth, and crop yield. Specifically, we are aiming to
build a plant factory where the utilization rate of resources such as light, water, CO2, fertilizer, seedlings, labor, etc. is maximized and high-quality, high-yield production is achieved simultaneously.
 The consortium started a demonstration experiment on integrated environmental
control systems as part of the Environmental Revolution of Green and Water project of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan in 2012. After one year, the following results were achieved:
1) Algorithm development and preparation of design specifications for an integrated environmental control system;
2) preparation of design specifications and prototypes of intelligent controllers for CO2 levels and two types of mist cooling/vapor pressure-deficit controls; and
3) acquisition of environmental control data from experiments using the above devices. We also set up an ad-hoc committee for enhancing the efficiency of heat pump use.
 From 2013, the consortium has been undertaking the following based on previous results:
1) preparing prototypes of integrated environmental control devices;
2) devising new design specifications/prototypes of intelligent controllers for heat pumps and two varieties of cultivation solution; and
3) starting field experiments on integrated environmental control systems at a plant factory in Fukushima prefecture to support reconstruction efforts there.

Head Office
Center for Environment, Health & Field Sciences of Chiba Universite
6-2-1 Kashiwa-no-ha Kashiwa, Chiba 277-0882 JAPAN
Tel&Fax +81-47137-8312