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Vertical farming - vertical agriculture

Producing foodstuffs is becoming more and more challenging. This is not surprising, considering there are currently 7.6 billion people on earth, with an annual growth rate of more than 80 million people. Furthermore, over half of the world's growing population is drawn to big cities - and everybody needs to be provided with food, such as fruit and vegetables. This leads to the development of mega cities and ever larger metropolitan cities. At the same time, however, questions arise as to the future production of foodstuffs, as food production - from a realistic point of view - is neither modern nor sustainable. Metropolitan cities like New York are now required to provide for themselves more and more, acting in a way that saves resources and economising. Here, vertical farming, also referred to as indoor farming, comes into play. This refers to agriculture at a vertical level in closed spaces. The small amount of available space in urban regions is used for generating the highest possible economic value.
Conventional agricultural areas are rare in congested urban areas and traditional farming is only possible to a limited extent. The future is the direct cultivation in cities. By this means, high transport costs and CO² emissions can be avoided. The machines used in vertical farming work in a highly sensitive environment. Therefore, requirements regarding the components installed in vertical farms are high. With its wide range of maintenance-free products, igus ensures a reliable operation. By doing without lubricants, ensuring FDA compliance and highest hygienic standards, plants, vegetables, salad and fruit are not contaminated. Furthermore, igus products are corrosion- and maintenance-free and resistant to dirt. Our Low Cost Automation systems enable cost-effective farming throughout the year, in addition to a fast return on investment.


Vertical Farm - the benefits at a glance

  • Saving space by freeing up traditional agricultural areas
  • Harvest throughout the year; independent and flexible
  • Low transport and storage costs
  • Water saving due to closed cycles
igus ensures:
  • Freedom from lubrication and maintenance; no contamination of the products
  • Resistance to dust and dirt
  • Fast ROI due to cost-effective automation components
  • Corrosion-resistant
  • FDA-compliant

Request project now or arrange an on-site visit!

New from April 2020

drylin stainless steel  
Low-profile stainless steel toothed belt axis

▲ Tech up

System height of only 40mm with new installation size Ø 10

Rugged and corrosion-resistant

▼ Cost down

Variable width, stroke length and carriage length, allow adjustment to any application

Find out more about drylin ZLW-10120

Robot adapter kits  
Adapter kits for ZLW toothed belt axes

▲ Tech up

Matching adapter kits for robolink DP and UR with UR cap integration

Up to four times more workspace for robots

▼ Cost down

Toothed belt axis ZLW-20 from the standard linear construction kit

Find out more about drylin® ZLW axis 7

iglidur PRT inner drive teeth  
Slewing ring bearing with inner drive teeth

▲ Tech up

Now, possibility of even more compact driving due to drive from the inside

Lubrication-free and maintenance-free

▼ Cost down

20% more cost-effective than PRT-01 series

Ready-to-install solution, no need to build it yourself

Learn more about iglidur PRT-04

Low Cost Automation for vertical farming

Linear robots

  • Assembly kits with defined stroke lengths in 24 hours
  • Customised linear robots
  • Eco linear robots for beginners

Buy drylin linear robots

Delta robot

  • Workspace up to Ø 660mm
  • Precise positioning due to motors with encoders
  • If required, pre-assembled, including transport frame or installation kit

Buy drylin delta robot

Low Cost Automation - robolink

  • Very lightweight and cost-effective
  • Design and simulate online
  • Choose between ready-to-use complete system and individual solution

Buy robolink robot components

iglidur PRT with switching sensor

  • Detect and monitor maintenance requirements via remote diagnostics
  • Modular system: can be combined with all iglidur PRT slewing ring bearings
  • Avoid machine shut-downs

Buy iglidur isense PRT

Bearing technology for vertical farming

igubal spherical bearings

  • Corrosion-free in moist and wet environments
  • 80% lighter than metallic alternatives
  • Up to 40% more cost-effective than spherical bearings made of metal

Buy igubal spherical bearings

Energy chains for vertical farming

Directly from the manufacturer's stock within 24hrs

  • Modular, lightweight and quiet
  • Configurable online
  • Little, easy-to-perform maintenance required; easy to install

Find out more about energy chains

Energy chain E2.1

  • Quiet, stable & fast filling
  • Inner heights: 26 – 48mm
  • Standard for applications in the medium-load range

Buy e-chain E2.1

Energy chain E2.1 micro

  • Stable generation for smallest installation spaces
  • Inner heights: 10,1 – 14,9mm
  • Smooth, quiet operation due to integrated brake

Buy e-chain E2.1 micro

micro flizz

  • Pre-assembled in modular system
  • Compact and quiet alternative to busbar systems
  • Travels up to 100m

Buy series micro flizz

guidelok vertical

  • Guide trough for vertical applications, especially for storage and retrieval units
  • Significantly more cost-effective than complete housing 
  • Fast and safe assembly with clip-on guide rails

Find out more about the system guidelok vertical

Tested for use in the real world

A view of the test laboratory for energy chains


drylin test laboratory with 500 tests each year


Selected applications of our customers

Indoor vertical farming

No noteworthy wear - even after one year of constant operation

Intelligent Growth Solutions (IGS) was founded in 2013 as an indoor gardening company with the vision of making vertical farming commercially viable by improving productivity, harvest, quality and consistency and drastically reducing costs for electricity and work with the TCEA principle. The systems by IGS must work highly precisely with as little friction as possible, and must be easy to maintain. drylin linear guide systems by igus fulfil all requirements and ensure a reliable operation. One year after installation of the lubrication-free components, no noticeable wear of the bearing shell could be detected at inspection.

Automation in worm breeding

Reliability in vertical farming

The Langhoff family breeds giant red worms, which are used by anglers, as food worms for animals, for hunting or as a natural fertiliser producer for the garden and greenhouses. For around ten years, the father Martin Langhoff has been developing his own systems, which facilitate the everyday work of the family business by improving the breeding process and making it more effective. For use in areas where there is water, soil and dirt, the robust components from igus have become a reliable partner in vertical farming in this time.

Automation in worm breeding

Crossbeam system convinces

100% maintenance-free for irrigating plants

This system, which consists of crossbeams and belongs to the manufacturer Living Green Farms, irrigates a lot of plants in a vacant 4,000m² warehouse. igus e-chains support work in "Aeroponic" and impress with their absolute freedom from maintenance.

Vertical farming

Further information


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