Wilbur-Ellis | July 04, 2022
Guardian Agriculture, a leading innovator and developer of the first fully autonomous crop protection aircraft system, secured a multi-million-dollar partnership with Wilbur-Ellis, a leading marketer, distributor and manufacturer of agriculture products, specialty chemicals, and animal feed. The partnership will give Wilbur-Ellis customers an opportunity to access this state-of-the-art technology before anyone else.
"This is the first new aerial technology to make a material impact on American farms. We believe it can be profitably and rapidly deployed and are looking forward to working with Guardian Ag to roll out their technology to our customers and partners," said Chief Executive Officer of Cavallo Ventures at Wilbur-Ellis, Mike Wilbur.
Guardian Ag's fully electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft system can safely and securely deliver precision application of crop protection in a fraction of the time and cost. The autonomous aircraft can carry multi-hundred-pound payloads and address a wide range of application spray volumes and application needs for growers. With four six-foot propellers and an overall 15-foot aircraft width, the eVTOL system efficiently covers 40 acres per hour of full-field crop protection to the grower.
Designed and manufactured in the U.S. and combining an autonomous aircraft, a ground station supercharger, and software generating domestically stored data, the eVTOL systems offer on-target application to fields when and where necessary. Using industry standard nozzles, pressure, droplet sizes, and application volumes, Guardian's eVTOL aircraft systems are one of the most safe and cost-effective methods to deliver full-field application.
"Guardian's technology delivers tremendous benefits to both growers and the environment," said Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Guardian Ag, Adam Bercu. "Growers can expect a cost-effective application that will solve critical problems with coverage quality, sustainability, repeatability, and eliminate off-target spray and overspray," he said.
With in-flight monitoring, measurement, and data collection capabilities, application variables are collected in real-time, including wind speed, temperature, obstructions, and more. Coupled with pre-planned flight plans, designated spray boundaries and spray rates, Guardian's systems will significantly reduce application errors by providing superior spray quality with reduced environmental and economic risk impacts. "Our autonomous systems deliver high-precision crop protection, enabling significant improvements in environmental safety for workers, soil health, and beneficial insect conservation," said Jeff Sparks, co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of Guardian Ag. Additionally, eVTOL systems are 100 percent electric and capable of reducing emissions by millions of pounds annually when compared to traditional application methods.
"As the largest commercial commitment to agriculture robotics to date, this investment and partnership signify Wilbur-Ellis' dedication to delivering meaningful, impactful innovation and technology to growers across our footprint," said John Buckley, President and Chief Executive Officer of Wilbur-Ellis. Wilbur-Ellis' application business currently covers approximately five million acres annually. The eVTOL systems will support Wilbur-Ellis' strong aerial operations business throughout its large share of the aerial application market by adding eVTOL aircraft to its current helicopter and fixed-wing fleets.
"We are excited to make an early investment in this technology, which is the only unmanned aerial application system available today, and we're even more excited to partner with Guardian to commercialize it and bring it to our customers," said John Kuhn, Director of Business Development at Wilbur-Ellis. Operating in strong collaboration, both companies have worked together over the last year to commercialize and bring American growers advanced technology that will have immediate positive impacts for their business.
Guardian's regulatory approval process is well under way, with commercialization and availability to growers occurring in 2023. "Guardian's autonomy and powertrain technologies allow us to rapidly expand our product line to meet the needs of all American farmers," said Dan Cody, Guardian's Vice President of Software.
With the Salinas Valley of California being eyed for potential first deployment of the eVTOL aircraft in 2023, Willie Negroni, Wilbur-Ellis Director of Sales, commented, "Guardian's aircraft solution complements our current aerial application business in the Salinas Valley and we see opportunity for customers, particularly around hard-to-spray areas, because eVTOL systems have the potential to provide a better application than what is currently available today."
"It's always great to see a company Cavallo Ventures has invested in grow into a commercial partnership with one of Wilbur-Ellis' divisions, such as what we're seeing today with Guardian Ag and our Agribusiness Division. Over its 100-year history, Wilbur-Ellis has always been, and continues to be, a leader of technological and innovative advances that make real differences for our customers. Our venture capital arm, Cavallo Ventures, actively seeks out new and exciting opportunities. I'm excited to add more flexibility and choices for our customers."
Mike Wilbur of Cavallo Ventures
Mark Ripato, Wilbur-Ellis Agribusiness President, said: "EVTOL systems allow Wilbur-Ellis to give customers more options for precise application to acreage, helping growers make the best decisions about when and how they treat their crops. It's particularly exciting to expand our already successful aerial business with a technology that is new to the market and one that I feel will make a real difference for our growers' crop success and give them a positive return on the investment with us."
Guardian Agriculture was co-founded by Adam Bercu and Jeff Sparks out of the need to make tangible, meaningful, positive impacts on the world with electric systems. Seeking to solve actual, everyday problems growers face, Guardian Ag is accelerating sustainable farming by providing access to precision application to all American farmers, dramatically improving crop protection, the environment, and the farmer's bottom line. "We're making the future that we dreamed of as children come to life by creating technology that will benefit the real world," said Guardian Ag's COO, Jeff Sparks. Guardian Ag has delivered the first-of-its-kind unmanned aerial crop application aircraft and Wilbur-Ellis is excited to commercialize this American-made solution and make it available to growers across the country.
About Guardian Agriculture
Guardian Agriculture accelerates sustainable farming by providing all farmers with precise, eVTOL-based aerial application. Proudly manufacturing in the U.S., our mission is to define a new age of crop protection — empowering growers and their partners to refine their chemical use and grow more with less.
About the Wilbur-Ellis Companies
Founded in 1921, the Wilbur-Ellis companies are leading international marketers, distributors and manufacturers of agricultural products, animal nutrients and specialty chemicals and ingredients. By developing strong relationships, making strategic market investments and capitalizing on new opportunities, the Wilbur-Ellis companies have continued to grow the business with sales of over $3 billion.
PureCycle | August 06, 2021
PureCycle Technologies, Inc. announces a strategic partnership with Gulfspan Industrial, LLC to build and reserve construction space in Beaumont, Texas for the fabrication of modular processing lines. Gulfspan's expanded capacity will help PureCycle's mission to grow its ability to recycle polypropylene (PP) into ultra-pure, sustainable plastic resin. This collaboration will also centralize and streamline PureCycle's module construction process, allowing the modules to be built and transported to sites across the world.
"Our partnership with Gulfspan sets another key foundational component for PureCycle to more efficiently implement and control our growth plan," said Dustin Olson, PureCycle chief manufacturing officer. "Streamlining the process of building and installing modular plants means we intend to build faster and more cost effectively, thereby allowing us to increase our recycling capacity. Our mission is to have every person, household and business view polypropylene as a sustainable resource. This partnership will help us accelerate PureCycle's role in achieving this goal."
Gulfspan Industrial is set in a cost-competitive and highly skilled labor market with key infrastructure available to support PureCycle's upcoming construction projects. Gulfspan is currently supporting existing strategic partners with the building of PureCycle's Ironton, Ohio plant and the pre-planning activities for the Augusta, Georgia cluster facility.
PureCycle uses proprietary super-critical solvent purification technology to recycle waste PP into ultra-pure recycled-PP (rPP) for applications spanning consumer goods, automotive, building and construction, and industrial uses. The company can process a wide range of waste PP with varying levels of contamination and effectively remove containments to create an ultra-pure polypropylene resin.
Construction on the flagship Ironton, Ohio recycling facility is well underway and expected to begin commercial production in the fourth quarter of 2022. PureCycle has already presold more than 20 years of rPP output from the Ohio plant and announced in July the location for the first cluster facility in Augusta, Georgia. This second location will have the capacity for up to five processing lines with the capability to produce up to 650 million pounds of rPP toward PureCycle's one-billion-pound goal. Engineering for the cluster facility was started in Q2 2021 with construction set to begin in Q1 2022.
About PureCycle Technologies
PureCycle Technologies LLC, a subsidiary of PureCycle Technologies, Inc., holds a global license to commercialize the only patented solvent-based purification recycling technology, developed by The Procter & Gamble Company, for restoring waste polypropylene (PP) into ultra-pure resin. The proprietary process removes color, odor and other contaminants from recycled feedstock resulting in ultra-pure polypropylene suitable for any PP market.
ClassOne Technology | June 03, 2022
ClassOne Technology, a leading global provider of advanced electroplating and wet processing tools for microelectronics manufacturing, today announced it is partnering with the Fraunhofer Institute for Electro Nano Systems (ENAS) on hybrid bonding techniques for heterogeneous integration of high-density pixel arrays. The work will be conducted at Fraunhofer’s Chemnitz, Germany, facility, which is fully equipped with advanced process systems, including electroplating, chemical-mechanical planarization (CMP), wafer aligners and bonders, and tools for all wafer cleaning steps.
The two partners will collaborate to develop, optimize, and integrate individual unit process steps involved in hybrid bonding of high-density pixel arrays and CMOS devices, enabling creation of thin, compact final devices for advanced imaging or sensing end products. Fraunhofer ENAS will lend its expertise in pixel array development, hybrid bonding and the entire device integration scheme. ClassOne Technology will optimize its industry-leading plating technology with CMP to mitigate associated process challenges, resulting in a final wafer optimally conditioned for high-yield bonding. The goal of the joint effort is to construct a scalable process that speeds the pixel array die transfer onto the backplane wafer.
“Through our R&D work with a range of semiconductor technologies, we have witnessed the emergence of device technology advancements and enabling integration schemes that require world-class electroplating capabilities. ClassOne has built a sterling reputation in this area, particularly for More than Moore applications. Their combination of industry know-how and on-wafer processing capability makes them our ideal partner to create a cohesive hybrid bonding integration scheme for high-density pixel arrays.”
Harald Kuhn, head of Fraunhofer ENAS
“Fraunhofer ENAS’s vision for technology enablement is closely aligned with ours, making this partnership a great fit for us both,” concurred John Ghekiere, vice president, product and technology for ClassOne Technology, whose solutions have been selected by the world’s leading fabs for development and production of microdisplays. “Fraunhofer requires the advanced electroplating capability that our Solstice platform delivers, and ClassOne seeks to ensure our solutions fit perfectly into the emerging integration schemes that are driving new, enabling device innovations.”
About Fraunhofer ENAS
The Fraunhofer Institute for Electronic Nano Systems ENAS focuses on applied research for the development of smart integrated systems. The institute offers research and development services from the idea, via design and technology development up to tested prototypes. It is also a leading center for micro materials reliability.
About ClassOne Technology
ClassOne Technology is a leading provider of advanced electroplating and wet processing systems for semiconductor and microelectronic device manufacturing around the world. Its advanced IP portfolio comprises highly customized, cost-effective processing solutions for critical wafer processes used to manufacture compound semiconductor devices for the photonics, power, 5G, sensor and MEMS markets. With tools installed in leading-edge fabs and research organizations worldwide, ClassOne’s flagship Solstice® platform is highly configurable, comprising fully and semi-automated electroplating and wet processing applications with the industry’s most competitive ROI.