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Controlling and regulation of integrated aquaponic production systems – An approach for a management execution system (MES)

Witzel, Olaf, Wilm, Stefan, Karimanzira, Divas, Baganz, Daniela
Information processing in agriculture 2019 v.6 no.3 pp. 326-334
aquaculture tanks, aquaponics, crops, data collection, energy, farms, fish, freshwater, hydroponics, manufacturing, nutrients, planning, production technology, tomatoes
Manufacturing execution systems (MESs) play a significant role in the manufacturing paradigm. MES is there to link between the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems and the plant equipment control or Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) applications. In this paper the MES of the INAPRO aquaponics system which was developed to support and advise the aquaponics managers in operating the complex aquaponic farms, will be presented. One important feature of the INAPRO aquaponics system is to minimize fresh water < 3%, energy and nutrient supplies. This can only be achieved by appropriate design of the fish and crop mixture, considering the fish to crop ratio, when to sow the crops etc. and to monitor the system to see whether it performing as designed or not. Therefore, the MES has a view to show the designed system with all the material flow (water, energy and nutrients) balances and also how the system will be performing for a given predictive horizon. Knowing the future developments of the system, the operator can taking corrective measures to make sure that the system is behaving as required. An example of water balance of a system with 40 m3 fish tanks coupled with a hydroponic NFT system with 1,000 m2 which can produce five tons of Tilapia and 75 tons of tomato yearly is given.