Delta Electronics builds container smart farm at Punggol Digital District
28 Jul 2021 Written by JTC

In Singapore, our scarcity of land makes smart farming solutions essential for our agricultural sector. This means indoor, vertical and smart container farming methods that are enabled by technology, data and scientists.

What significance do advancements in this sector hold? With farming that’s fully automated, takes place indoors, and under controlled lighting and wind conditions all-year round, farmers can now control their production with precision. From deciding what types of vegetables they wish to plant, the quantity of vegetables they need, to even the size of each vegetable, they are able to meet market demands precisely — all while utilising only a small footprint of land.

Collaboration as the new business mode

Delta Electronics Int’l (Singapore) is one of the leading companies in the realms of smart solutions, power electronics, automation and infrastructure. It is also an advocate for collaboration between companies in the technology sector, and regards teamwork, knowledge sharing and test-bedding as the path to success for digital companies.

The organisation sees a shared vision with government industrial master planner and developer JTC’s Punggol Digital District (PDD) and its Open Digital Platform (ODP) — especially the possibilities for test-bedding ideas, sharing data and evolving as a community.

“In today’s global economy, the growth of a single company doesn’t mean much. It’s the growth of the ecosystem that’s important,” observes Miss Cecilia Ku, Managing Director of Delta Electronics Int’l (Singapore).

She also notes how the district will be home to a varied mix of companies in the cybersecurity, robotics, blockchain and smart living domains. And through the sharing of expertise and the data over the ODP — an integrated platform that allows users to see what’s happening across the entire district — the entire ecosystem grows stronger and gains the capabilities needed to compete more effectively on the global stage.

What does this have to do with growing perfect vegetables? Everything.

The secret to growing perfect vegetables: Smart farming solutions

Delta Singapore is constructing a fully automated containerised smart farm at the PDD Site Gallery, a space which showcases upcoming technologies that companies can look forward to. And to optimise profitability of the farm, they will be gathering data about the types and sizes of vegetables that customers want to purchase, and then adapting their smart farming solutions to create the optimal environment for growing these vegetables.

Heeling-in procedure at Delta Taiwan’s plant factory
Heeling-in procedure at Delta Taiwan’s plant factory. Photo credit: Delta Electronics Int'l (Singapore)

With the container farm connected to the ODP, data that is generated benefits not just the company but is also open to other Singapore farmers to tap.

Harvesting fully grown lettuces at Delta Singapore’s container smart farm
Harvesting fully grown lettuces at Delta Singapore’s container smart farm

Smart living technologies

Beyond agriculture, the technology specialists are taking up approximately 500 sqm of space in the district to test a variety of smart solutions, including smart surveillance, smart lighting, crowd control systems, and others. These solutions will be connected to the ODP, which then allows users to control systems, receive data and optimise solutions.

Delta’s engineers working on a Prototype
Delta’s engineers working on a prototype

Data, once again, is a big part of the equation. In an effort to promote collaboration and data sharing between businesses in the district, Delta Singapore will provide companies with access to various smart living equipment for learning and test-bedding purposes.

Miss Ku adds: “Our aspiration is for ODP to link up all sorts of data, like bus information, train schedules, street maps, and more.” She explains that when companies have access to all this consolidated data, they will be able to accomplish more.

She gives an example of how access to the consolidated data will enable the company to develop green buildings (or convert existing green buildings into super low energy buildings) in weeks, rather than months.

Developing Singapore’s talent pool, becoming a smart nation

At PDD, this collaborative spirit also reaches a very important area for the nation — education. “As smart city technologies develop, so must the talent pool,” explains Miss Ku.

To promote interest in the field, the company is open to working with students from various schools and institutions, giving them a hands-on look at all the interesting technologies that help urban farmers grow vegetables that outshine their outdoor peers, and the smart living technologies that are transforming Singapore into a Smart Nation.

Whether it’s growing the perfect vegetables, creating smart living solutions or nurturing Singapore’s future technology talents, the district is set to play a crucial role as our nation continues its path towards becoming a truly Smart Nation.

“Singapore is one of the smartest cities in the world, especially with its stable government, transparency, digitalisation, strong regulations relating to cybersecurity and data integrity, and a quality workforce. It’s the perfect location for PDD and its ODP, which will be a playground for technology companies,” Miss Ku adds.