MultiCam delivers speed and precision, enabling scaled manufacturing


MultiCam Series 5000 has produced parts for hundreds of patented ‘growing walls’ since 2021


CNC machine enabled Harvest Today to address scalability


Now an integral part of production, ensuring consistency, quality, precision and speed

Scalability to help food securityHarvest Walls

“Food security is about a broken global food distribution network, and about the length of time it can take produce to get to the shelf for a consumer to make the purchasing decision,” said Rick Langille, founder of Harvest Today and the inventor of the Harvest Wall. “We know fresher is better, so we need hyper-local farms, but that’s just not possible in today’s world.

“It was this need for scalability that led to Harvest Walls. Previously, you could decide to grow at home, but the available solutions were either too small to have any impact, or too big to fit anywhere and manage. But now, you can have it designed specifically to fit your house!”

Harvest Walls range in size from just 1m2 up to 3m in width, with the average wall Harvest Today produces being 3m x 2m. “The base is a tank, which is filled with the nutrient solution,” explained Rick “This is then pumped up through the frame and flows to the distribution flood rail. The precision machined holes then irrigate this to the plants below.” 

Each wall has anywhere from 6 to around 30 parts that have to be specifically machined. We have parts that are significantly different in size, so we built our machine with a very tall gantry, and the Z axis moves high to accommodate the largest of our parts.

Harvest Walls

Big jig - Made in America

“Business is about people, and from my first meeting with Don Thomas at MultiCam, I felt we were in good hands,” said Rick. “It was important to our business ethos that each of our component parts is sourced in North America, and everything we manufacture is 100% American made.”

With its smaller working area with rapid traverse speeds and precise repeatability, the MultiCam 5000 Series is the perfect fit for smaller production facilities like Harvest Today’s Colorado workshop.

“Since the first install, we’ve made several hundred of our patented Harvest Walls,” added Rick. “I learned how to run the machine myself, and it means that either I or another operator can scale up manufacturing. We made a big jig (a template that sits on the bed of the table) and that meant that we could scale production with our inventions.

“We have a 5ft x 10ft platform, and we don’t use a vacuum bed, we use T-slots across the whole jig area, “ said Rick. “This means we can easily program the CNC for precision machining of parts of any size.”

We service customers all over the world,” he said. “We have provided walls to indigenous communities in Canada, to Portland prison in the UK, and we have worked with a distributor in Dubai to supply to the Middle East.
Business growth - at scale

Explaining the origins of Harvest Today, Rick said that having grown up on a farm in Western Canada, he had always been aware of the issue of food security. “People aren’t willing to invest in their diet,” he said. “In the eternal three-way battle between food being cheap, available fast, or of good quality, quality is always trumped by speed and price. When I retired, I began researching the feasibility of scalable hydroponics.

Rick had long held the idea of the growing walls in his head, and after retiring from the electronics business he established 25 years earlier, decided the time had come to bring his design to life. With his prototype built, Rick set up the company proper and looked to solve the problem of scalability.

“We have just one machine, the 5000, which has been with us since day one. We met with several suppliers but through meeting Don and seeing the MultiCam machine in action we were able to make our decision.”

“This CNC machine addresses the scalability of our manufacturing needs, rather than us having to make multiple jigs,” said Rick. “We could have done it that way, but that would have meant we compromise on accuracy by constantly swapping and re-laying jigs.

With the CNC automation, it makes this an integral part of production and maximizes consistency and quality – all while delivering the precision and speed we need.

With a global client base and Harvest Wall costs ranging from $1,500 to $12,000 depending on the size and layout of the installation, Rick’s company is looking forward to a successful future. “Our production pipeline is secure at about 80% capacity and we have orders in the books for around $9m in sales over the coming year,” said Rick. “So it looks like we’ll be keeping the MultiCam busy!”

About the customer

Harvest Today is an agri-tech company that designs innovative, efficient technology to make sustainable, locally grown food a reality from the arctic to the equator. Since 2021, the company has worked to empower global and local communities to be able to grow fresh produce closer to home and promote the harvest revolution. Its goal is to enable its customers to harvest and produce all-year-round crops and vegetables through a scalable indoor growing system solution – the Harvest Wall.

With each wall having anywhere from 6 to around 30 specifically machined parts, founder Rick Langille was looking for a machine that would be able to deliver the precision required for every component while addressing scalability to ensure the business could meet the demands of its global customer base. The durable MultiCam 5000 Series CNC router is made of solid steel and boasts a 1,800 IPM cut speed for a fast and efficient cut. A 3,000 IPM rapid traverse means the router moves quickly enough to keep productivity high, and with a consistency repeatability of just 1/1000th of an inch, it delivers the cutting accuracy Rick and Harvest Today need.

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