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Total Viticulture Solutions (TVS) is a viticultural services company that promotes innovative harvesting technology and offers vineyard management services. Because smaller vineyards might not be able to afford large expensive machinery to harvest grapes, most resort to hand picking them. TVS provides a whole harvesting solution to small vineyards. In comparison to the costs that come with hand-picking grapes, their services are cost-effective and include the provision of massive, efficient grape harvesting equipment.
TVS must decontaminate the harvester to move the harvesting equipment between different vineyards. This requires the transport of the harvester back to its premises to be decontaminated by heat sterilization before the harvester can be operational once again. From a health and safety point of view, the process of harvester sterilization between vineyards is paramount as it prevents the cross-contamination of diseases and insects. Back at TVS’ premises, the harvester must be heated to 46°C in a controlled temperature heat shed for at least 6 hours. The region is a cold grape-growing region, so temperatures dramatically increased throughout the night. A fluctuation in temperature could have compromised the sterilization, so the shelter created was perfect for this important job.
Transportation back to TVS’ premises and then further transportation to another vineyard can become quite costly. This causes downtimes for the harvester and unnecessary transportation expenses.TVS searched for an inflatable workshop and discovered 1300Inflate’s shelters. We received a brief for a temporary, portable “Heat Shelter” that would be able to sanitise the equipment. The sterilization shelter was required to be 5m W x 8m L x 5m H due to the harvester’s size.
1300Inflate’s Design & Engineering Team designed an inflatable industrial-grade and insulated Sterilization Shelter for TVS which was fully sealed. The shelter allowed for ease of set up and pack up. The shelter could also be heated to a set temperature that could be maintained for an extended amount of time. Insulated and heat-resistant ducts were expertly engineered to allow for jet heaters and extra heating systems to be installed at a later stage. The entire shelter was encapsulated to prevent heat and drafts from entering through any openings.
Optional extras were offered by our Design & Engineering team, such as aerogel insulating blankets and a double-walled Aircell insulating construction. These extras were unnecessary due to the efficacy of the original design.
Because the harvesters were quite large, we implemented a further design specification: maximum clearance was needed to access the harvesting machine, therefore a door had to be lifted. Due to the height of the sterilization shelter, a specific pulley system was required. This obstacle was easily quelled with a straightforward rope design.
With an investment of $17,000, which covered the design and procurement of the inflatable structure, TVS circumvented downtimes and continuous transportation costs. With constant temperature maintenance, 1300Inflate’s shelter design transcended the capabilities of the company’s existing heat sterilization system. The processes of setting up and packing down the portable shelter to store for future use saved time and hassle. All requirements were met for TVS, with the product outperforming its existing methodology in costs, time, and performance.
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