“Growers start to have clear needs for product reliability and service life”

“Growers start to have clear needs for product reliability and service life”

“Looking back at the past three years, 2023 will give people more hope and expectations. As far as the greenhouse industry is concerned, news of new construction projects that have been backlogged has sadly become more and more common. However, at the moment, we can sense that our partners in the greenhouse industry are starting to gear up and prepare to engage in new, large projects again. As a member of the greenhouse industry, I am touched and proud to be able to participate. I would like to share with you some of my personal views from the perspective of China’s greenhouse industry and from our drives market”, says Shi Jin, General Manager at LockDrives China.

“Growers start to have clear needs for product reliability and service life”

Share of commercially viable greenhouse projects is growing
2022 can be regarded as a watershed year for China’s greenhouse industry, Shi Jin believes: “The greenhouse projects started before 2022 were mostly smaller-scale and research-oriented, like pilot-type greenhouses. Yet, from 2022, more commercially productive greenhouse construction projects have been launched. In addition, more free-market capital has also entered the industry. The scale of construction projects is also increasing.”

Growers have clearer and more urgent needs for product reliability and service life
In this moment, when the market is transforming from pilot greenhouses to commercial production greenhouses, new challenges and requirements will inevitably arise. Growers have clearer and more urgent requirements for product reliability and service life. Shi Jin continues: “when looking at high-standard glass greenhouse projects, the planned service life of most domestic greenhouses is 15 to 20 years. The aim of every greenhouse is to create a controllable artificial environment against an uncontrollable natural environment. In order to achieve this, to a large extent, relies on the power transmission systems in the greenhouse for real-time control of ventilation, heat preservation, light, and shade. In the pilot-greenhouse stage in the years before 2022, the construction purposes of new greenhouses were more biased toward policy, research, and industry-demonstration projects. In this respect, service life and reliability of the greenhouse power transmission system, let alone the twenty-year planning cycle, were less important. However, with the introduction of large-scale greenhouse commercially-viable construction projects, the requirements for service life and reliability of the power system are becoming more urgent. And this is exactly what LockDrives excels at”.

LockDrives motor installed in the greenhouse of Shandong Haoyu Group

“Taking Lock’s geared motor as an example, the service life of our geared motor is generally set to be greater than 40 to 45 years. And we have many user cases and examples that far exceed this product life in our company’s 179-year history. There is a motor we installed in a German greenhouse in 1963 that is still working today, more than sixty years later! The reliability and sustainability of Lock products is unquestionable,” Shi Jin continues.

To the right, LockDrives motors installed in a Schlosser Gmd German greenhouse in 1963 – and still in use today

“From a production point of view, the service life of the Lock motor can be completely covered, and it can even be doubled, to cover the planned life of domestic greenhouses. At the same time, a well-installed Lock motor requires little maintenance during its entire life cycle. This should be compelling for the end-user, especially production users, because it requires little maintenance intensity. We call our solution: design life covers planned life: one-time purchase, lifetime use!”

Good equipment makes for sustainable, long-term use of assets
“From the perspective of financial assets, if the design life of the purchased products can cover the planned life of the construction project, then for the project itself, this part of the purchased products can be regarded as a fixed asset investment. As such, it can be calculated on an annual basis. Purchased products are usually depreciated and recorded as fixed assets. In the pilot greenhouse stage before 2022, few pilot greenhouses would completely go through their initial planning cycle. This would lead to situations where the greenhouse was only halfway through its entire planning cycle, but already the power system had lost its actual functioning capacity, with the motor almost being unusable. This new market outlook focusing on viable commercially operated greenhouses will need long-term, reliable, and stable power systems,” says Shi Jin.

Lock’s products are known for their quality and long lifespan. Shi continues: “A Lock motor has a product life that can fully cover the planned life of the project construction at the beginning of the design. Most of Lock’s motors still have a long-enough service life after covering the first planned life cycle. Therefore, from this perspective, Lock’s motor products should not be simply characterized as consumables according to the thinking of the pilot greenhouse stage before 2022, but should be positioned and considered from the perspective of fixed assets.”

Yunnan Chuxiong fresh cut flower base installs LockDrive motor

Positive thoughts about aftermarket operations in China
As more and more customers choose Lock, Lock’s motor product stock in China is growing. In view of Lock’s reliability and long enough service life, the Lock-China team is now actively considering the domestic use of Lock products for those motors that have completed their first user cycle but still have enough remaining service life. A second market operation will be carried out in combination with Lock’s existing quality assurance service system. This provides more choices for the end customer, who wants to purchase performance and engineering quality. It also dispels doubts about investment risks for customers who choose Lock as an investment in fixed assets.

Shi Jin concludes: “Spring has come, and with this passing of the seasons, commercially viable greenhouse projects are on the rise. This is the future and direction of the global greenhouse industry and of China’s greenhouse industry. Our offices are located in NanJing, and we welcome friends in the industry to reach out to us, communicate, and learn together.”

For more information:
Shi Jin
LockDrives China
Tel.: +86 25-58837197
Email: [email protected] 

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