IKEUCHI USA, Inc. The Fog Engineers

Walters Gardens, Inc. Achieved Uniform Plant Growth with IKEUCHI Dry Fog Humidifier, AKIMist®”E”

Dec. 24, 2021

About the Company

Interview with Drew Koschmann (Leading Horticulturist) & Justin Dyk (Maintenance Supervisor)

Walters Gardens, Inc. has succeeded in uniform plant growth with IKEUCHI Dry Fog Humidifier, AKIMist®”E”. How did Drew Koschmann and Justin Dyk achieve their goal? Let’s take a look at their improvement project.

 

Our Story - Walters Gardens, Inc

Walters Gardens, Inc. is a wholesale perennial grower and has a well-known reputation for superior quality, excellent services, and new cutting-edge plant products. They offer over 1,000 kinds of perennials and create more than 100 new items each year. They have over 500,000 sq. ft. (46,450 m²) of modern greenhouses with plugged growing operations.

“IKEUCHI AKIMist®”E” perfectly controls the humidity and helps us provide the best plants to our customers” (Drew)

 

Walters Gardens, Inc. started as a small perennial farm established by Dennis and Harriet Walters in Zeeland, Michigan (U.S.) in 1946. Today, Walters Gardens, Inc. has grown to be one of the largest wholesale perennial growers nationwide. Their mission is to provide the highest quality products to their customers across the U.S. and Canada.


▲Walters Gardens greenhouse with AKIMist®“E” Dry Fog humidifier

 

The Challenges to Maintaining an Even Humidity Level in Greenhouses

Drew and Justin faced a major challenge: how to use a humidifier to maintain an even humidity level throughout a zone of their greenhouse. They looked for the best humidification system and compared them to those designed for agriculture. After thorough research, they discovered two main issues with humidifier systems found on the market:

1) Uneven plant growth occurred within the same area because the previous humidifier dispersed humidity unevenly. This resulted in the need for the slower-growing plants to stay behind in trays and the faster-growing plants to be shipped earlier than planned.

2) Conventional humidifier systems often spray a thick mist that causes droplets to form on the plants and is annoying to operators.

3) Many humidifier systems required complicated installation resulting in increased start-up costs.


▲Walters Gardens greenhouse with AKIMist®“E” Dry Fog humidifier

 

Dry Fog Humidifier, IKEUCHI AKIMist®”E”, Solved these Problems.

Drew and Justin decided to install 60 units of IKEUCHI Dry Fog Humidifier, AKIMist®”E”, on approximately 65,000 sq. ft. (6,000 m²) of their greenhouse.

The installation was very simple and went as planned. All they needed to do was connect air and water to each unit, and the system started to work perfectly. The installation was much easier than other humidifier systems.

 

The Dry Fog Humidifier, IKEUCHI AKIMist®”E” Perfectly Controlled Humidity.

As soon as Drew and Justin installed IKEUCHI AKIMist®”E”, they immediately noticed that IKEUCHI AKIMist® was different from other humidifier systems because it could control the humidity perfectly.

“I remember the first day I went into the greenhouse after installing IKEUCHI AKIMist. As we walked inside, we could feel that humidity was obviously higher, and it was maintained very well too.” (Drew)


▲Walters Gardens greenhouse with AKIMist®“E” Dry Fog humidifiers controlling the humidity level

 

The Benefits of The Dry Fog Humidifier, IKEUCHI AKIMist®”E”

• Uniform humidity across the same entire area.
• Uniform plant growth enabling shipment of all products at the same time
• Easy installation and simple maintenance reducing start-up and operational costs.
• Healthy cultivation without water droplets forming on the plants and inside the facility.
• Cooling effect across the entire area.

The main noticeable differences in maintenance between IKEUCHI AKIMist and previous systems included:
1) No need for pump units
2) No need to completely shut down the entire system to perform maintenance. While cleaning one unit‘s nozzles, the rest of the system can continue to spray.

 

“It works really nice.” (Justin)

 

As the humidity control was achieved with IKEUCHI AKIMist®, Drew and Justin discovered a secondary benefit: the cooling effect. During summertime, when it was dry outside, the ventilation system of the greenhouses were often utilized. However, IKEUCHI Dry Fog Humidifier AKIMist® “E” makes the inside of the greenhouse slightly cooler than the outside.


▲AKIMist®”E” Dry Fog humidifier with 4 nozzles attached

 

Thanks to the uniformed fog spraying system of IKEUCHI AKIMist® “E”, it helped Walters Gardens, Inc. provide the best plants to their customers. The quality of the plants has improved, and all plants look healthy.


▲Walters Gardens’ Proven Winners plants

 

Dry Fog Humidifier AKIMist®”E”: A Non-Wetting Fog for Indoor Humidification

IKEUCHI AKIMist®“E” produces ultra-fine “Dry Fog” for humidity control in various industrial applications. We call our Dry Fog “non-wetting fog” because it only contains very small droplets of water. The tiny droplets (7.5 microns on average) evaporate before reaching any surface. Therefore, humidification is possible in an area without the risk of wetting the plants. The AKIMist®“E” can spray the Dry Fog over 13 feet (4 meters) from each nozzle and can cover a wide area with a single unit.


▲AKIMist® “E” with 2 nozzles and adaptors


▲Close view of the nozzle tip principle


▲AKIMist® “E” with adaptors can control the direction of the spray depending on the installation

 

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