Harvest automation is something every commercial grower should be striving towards because it means higher profits, better flower, and a more discreet operation with fewer workers.
These days, even small-scale operations can increase the productivity of their harvest, by switching from hand trimming to machine trimming.
Previously, only the largest grows could afford to invest in a trimming machine, but as technology advances, this is no longer the case.
We have the products to help you automate every aspect of your harvest, but we want to first talk about what we mean when discussing automation.
Why should you automate your harvest?
There are quite a few reasons you should automate your harvest, whether you are a hobby grower or a commercial cultivar. But, they can be summarized as consistency, speed, and productivity.
You'll notice that the consistency of your flower ranges greatly from your first hour of trimming to the eighth hour of trimming. And, if you have multiple people trimming, there will be even more variance.
Trimming by hand is fine for those with just a few plants. But, as you continue increasing your plant count, you'll reach a point where it's taking you weeks to get through your harvest.
At this point, you can achieve harvest automation by switching to a trimming machine. This will replace a large hand trimming crew, as you'll only need someone to operate it.
This also gets you to the drying/curing process faster, and thus, get's your product to market quicker.
What does automating your harvest consist of?
An automated harvest isn’t just about grabbing any trimming machine, though. It starts with a good bucking process to quickly remove flowers from stems and prepare for trimming.
For further automation, you may also need rails and conveyors to continuously feed material through your trimmer to minimize downtime. If you don’t feed a consistent amount of flower at the right speed, your process will lag, and the quality of your trimmed flower will be low.
Some trimming machines can be automated even further, which is important for large scale growers. For example, some have programmable set points, tracking metrics, and KPIs to ensure a consistent, quality final product.
You should also consider how you're going to clean your equipment. Especially in commercial applications, there are regulations as far as cleaning your equipment goes.
Many trimming machines have "clean-in-place" capabilities, allowing you to easily clean the machine with technology rather than by hand.
Through all of this, there cannot be a sacrifice in quality. What point is efficiency if your flower is trimmed poorly, or trichomes are degraded and damaged in the tumbler?
They have products to automate every step of your harvest process. Here are some of our favorite to help you achieve your most profitable harvest yet.
Automate your harvest with Twister Trimming & Bucking Equipment
Twister Trimmers have long been spearheading the move towards harvest automation in this industry.
Their products allow you to increase efficiency and productivity for the highest profit possible.
At this point, they have a number of buckers, trimming machines, and systems that allow hobby and commercial growers to automate their harvest.
Whether you just want to trim a few pounds an hour or all the way up to 600, they have a solution for you.
But, a good trimming process starts with an automated de-stemming process. Naturally, that's where we'll begin.
The Twister B4 Bucking Machine
An efficient, automated harvest starts with a good bucking process.
Manually plucking flowers from the stem is an outdated task at this point.
The Twister B4 Bucking Machine gets your flower separated from the branch quickly and gently, ensuring no loss of quality throughout the process.
You can choose a model with or without a stand, but both options are capable of processing up to 150 pounds per hour! It can essentially replace work crews of 5-7 people.
Unlike the competition, the B4 features swappable cartridges so you don’t have to worry about cross-contamination between strains. No downtime cleaning cartridges!
It also implements “jam-free” technology that further increases destemming efficiency, accepting branches up to ¾” thick.
The B4 is certified and compliant in just about any way a commercial grower could need. It’s safe and easy to use, clean, and break down.
Now, let's talk about automating your trimming process.
The Twister T6 Trimming Machine
The Twister T6 Trimming Machine is the perfect solution for small scale growers when hand trimming becomes too much.
It's an affordable home growing harvest solution, that can turn your trim time from days to hours, capable of processing 4 pounds an hour.
It still maintains a tight trim for the best quality flower possible, while gently tumbling to prevent any trichome breakdown.
The machine is just 52 pounds and has handles that make it easy to transport from the home to the garden, or wherever your grow takes you.
The Twister T4 Trimming Machine
The next step up in scale is the Twister T4 Trimming Machine. This is a great trimming machine for small-medium scale commercial growers, and can trim up to 14 pounds an hour dry (25 wet).
You can choose between a version with a leaf collector or Trimsaver. If you plan on using trim for extraction, you'll need the Trimsaver version, as it preserves your trim.
It now includes variable speed control which allows you to fine-tune the speed of your blades and the tumbler, giving you 36 different settings so you can optimize your trim depending on the flower you're working with.
It's incredibly lightweight, and is super easy to assemble, clean, and maintain.
If you're still on the fence, rest assured this machine is a smart investment. In most instances, the T4 pays for itself in a single harvest by cutting back substantially on workers needed.
For growers with serious trimming needs, the Twister T4 Ultimate Trimming System It features three T4's in tandem, more than tripling the output.
The Twister T2S
The Twister T2S is the #1 trimming system among commercial growers, and is capable of trimming up to 11 pounds an hour dry, or 35 pounds an hour wet.
From a quality standpoint, this machine cannot be beat.
It tumbles your flower for under 30 seconds for minimum agitation of trichomes, and gets you a perfect cut.
But, you can more than double your productivity by opting for the Twister T2S Ultimate Trimming System.
This includes two of the machines in tandem, along with two trim savers or leaf collectors, depending on where you need to save your trim for extracts or not.
The reason commercial growers love this trimmer so much is because you can easily scale up from your existing system as your operation grows.
When implementing these in your harvest process, you’ll be able to bring costs down and get a fast ROI. In fact, there are some operations running between 12-18 of these beasts at a time!
The Twister BatchOne
Brand new to the family is the Twister BatchOne Trimming Machine. This machine is capable of trimming up to 88 pounds an hour dry, and is one of the few in the Twister line not made for wet trimming as well.
It's built for the large scale commercial grower that prefers trimming dry in a batch style.
Unlike the competition, this trimmer won't stall on you, so you can fill it up and walk away knowing it will get the job done.
The BatchOne features finer incremental saddle adjustments, so you can trim tighter and get that hand-trimmed look without the hand-trimmed hassle.
It also features food-grade bins to collect trim. The included casters make it easy to move around the facility.
Cleaning is easy - just remove the control box and wash down the entire thing!
The Twister T-Zero
The Twister T-Zero is quite literally the ultimate commercial trimming machine.
Trimming north of 100 pounds an hour (600+ if you trim wet) and offering automation features unlike any other, it’s as good as it gets.
Plenty of trimmers can be speed controlled. But, none of these have the ability to control the speed of blades, tumblers, vacuum, AND conveyors all at once, to fine tune your trimming operation to meet the precise needs of your grow.
The T-Zero features a brand new Siemens PLC based Z-OS touchscreen HMI to achieve as much precision, flexibility, and customization as possible.
You can set your trimming “recipes” easily to get the most efficient, consistent, high quality trim possible.
For those who need it, there is an easy to use SCADA integration. This allows growers better control over their data.
With the T-Zero Trimmer, you can even connect to your data remotely via a web based app to monitor diagnostics.
The machine is also super safety focused, implementing HEPA filtration with full safety lockouts, motor brakes, access restrictions, and more to protect both the machine and your operators at once.
Even the cleaning of this machine is partially automated, with air powered self-cleaning filters and a water mist system to prevent buildup and allow for easier cleaning. As for washing the machine itself, it’s washdown approved.
You can learn more about the T-Zero here, and contact us for a quote to scale your operation and achieve full automation of your harvest process.
Need help automating your harvest?
Need help with harvest automation, or have any other questions related to your grow?
Reach out to our commercial reps today and we can help you solve any issues facing you, whether it be drying your crop efficiently or planning your first grow.
We can help you save money on the products you need and set you up for success!