Create a free Cannabis Equipment News account to continue

Why Automate Your Harvesting Process

The stress of hand trimming marijuana buds impacted employee morale and created an unpredictable processing schedule.

The stress of hand trimming marijuana buds impacted employee morale and created an unpredictable processing schedule.
The stress of hand trimming marijuana buds impacted employee morale and created an unpredictable processing schedule.
Safari Flower

Mobius | Safari Automation Case Study

Safari Flower Co. is the premier provider of indoor-grown cannabis for white-labeling brands across Canada. With a special emphasis on distinctive, “untamed” cultivars, Safari's cannabis growers seek to satisfy connoisseurs’ tastes while maintaining high production volumes and a positive employee experience.

Here are the top level details:

Large Harvests: 1,500-1,600 plants

Frequent Harvests: Multiple harvests per week

Indoor Cultivation: 59,000-square-foot box-in-box design for energy efficiency. 1.992 MW

Cogen and hydronic climate control system for energy efficiency.

Certifications: Operations certified under GACP standards for international sales

Legacy Processing Method: Machine bucking (wet) and hand trimming (dry)

Product: Potent dry flower with a full genetic expression of terpenes

The Problem

The stress of hand trimming marijuana buds impacted employee morale and created an unpredictable processing schedule which prevented Safari from achieving its efficiency metrics.

Productivity and employee engagement was low relative to operating costs. In response, the company’s executives sought a quicker, more-predictable cannabis production strategy via automation, with the objectives of shortening the harvest-to-sale cycle, improving the application of human resources, and reducing operating and labor expenses.

The Solution

“Safari aims to produce high-quality craft flower at scale in a very rapid grow cycle. The only way to do that is by bringing automation into the equation," said Brigitte Simons, CEO, Safari Flower Co.

Safari discontinued hand processing in favor of a suite of Mobius automated post-harvest processing equipment:

  • 1 Mobius MBX Bucker
  • 2 Mobius M108S Trimmers
  • Mobius conveyors: 1 infeed, 2 outfeed

The system configures the stainless steel M108S trimmers in tandem for processing speeds of up to 120 kilograms (260 pounds) per hour of wet material and features two outfeed conveyors for superb quality-control inspection and manicuring. The implementation of this new cannabis harvesting process keeps the integrity and quality of the potent trichome heads while producing a consistent, uniform trim on the cannabis buds with significantly less labor costs.

Needless to say, the system is faster than the manual alternative and requires fewer man-hours per kilogram of the final product. That has enabled Safari to employ fewer people in the processing room, thus minimizing product contamination, employee turnover, and repetitive strain injuries, while also improving working conditions and overall company culture.

The Results

  • Cannabis harvest processing time reduced from five days to one day
  • Harvest-to-sales cycles expedited by +50%
  • Approximately 75% less time spent in the trimming process
  • Working conditions improved — along with employee retention rates

As expected, Safari achieved dramatic reductions in the amount of time and money spent on processing their cannabis plants. They also achieved their goal of getting product to market in a much shorter period of time.

“In the hand-care process, we’d be examining harvest-sales cycles over 60 days,” said Simons. “Now moving to automation, we’ve been able to move our harvest-to-sales eligibility in a cycle of 30 days or less.”

With less manual labor and residency time in the facility, harvests generate quicker revenue, essentially freeing up capital and making Safari more flexible — as well as profitable.

A healthier cash flow has enabled Safari to reinvest into staff bonuses and better-scheduled time off while still achieving their overall business goals. And because the new equipment introduces a degree of professional development into employees' work lives, they feel more loyalty to the company.

“If you can give your employees technology that brings value back to the operators, you will have a sustainable, committed workforce that will come every day with dedication to your efficiency measures," said Simons.

Leveraging Automation Efficiencies

Is your enterprise as efficient and profitable as it could be?

Contact a Mobius Trimmer representative today to learn about their post-harvest automation systems. They will provide a free consultation and personalized recommendations based on your company’s harvest dynamics, existing equipment, goals, and opportunity areas.

More in Cultivation