Sime Darby Plantation Berhad (SDP) is the largest listed Palm Oil plantation company with a global operation across 16 countries and the world’s largest producer of Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO).
SDP is involved in the full spectrum of the palm oil value chain including 780,000 hectares (ha) of landbank across Malaysia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea (PNG) and the Solomon Islands (SI). In the Downstream sector, Sime Darby Oils’ business philosophy in the manufacturing of a comprehensive range of sustainable palm oil based products is to maintain the highest quality at all times.
Committed to operational excellence, innovation and sustainability, SDP is focusing on initiatives to improve every aspect of our value chain; from developing quality planting materials and environmental-friendly fertilisers to enhancing the systems and processes in cultivating, harvesting and milling, to manufacturing not only high quality but also traceable refined palm oil and palm kernel products.
Oil palm estate operation has always depended on manual labour in many aspects of its operations. SDP is currently strengthening its operational excellence with strategies such as automation, mechanisation and digitalisation. SDP have also invested in digital innovations mainly to automate various processes, mechanisation and data analytics. The objective is to further improve efficiencies, productivity and cost saving while enhancing output for better value and to be able to increase production without further deforestation.
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Our client, Sime Darby Plantation Berhad are looking for innovations/experts who can help them mechanise and automate fertiliser application for palm oil. Fertiliser is applied manually either on the fronds stacked in between palms or circling around the palm trees. The current process involves a worker pushing the wheelbarrow containing fertiliser and using a customised scoop to apply the fertiliser. Different types of fertiliser eg. straight or compound fertiliser are applied based on the schedule as advised by the agronomist. This manual process requires high physical strength to carry heavy fertiliser loads around the field and is also time consuming which may result in miss-application of fertiliser on palms as well as potential injuries.
We are also seeking for technologies related to Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) or similar connectivity to equip UAV or UGV and allow the vehicle to function autonomously under the oil palm canopy or in more GPS challenging environments.
Covid-19 had a huge impact in the palm oil industry especially on the shortage of foreign labour supply due to border closures. SDP is looking for a mechanised and automated solution to fertiliser application.
We are interested in the solutions related to the key areas of:
- Drone or Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) technology with heavy payload capacity (up to 100kg)
- Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV) technology with heavy payload capacity (up to 300kg)
- LiDAR or other similar technology
The solution must aim to satisfy the criteria below:
- Reduce labour dependency
- Improve fertiliser application productivity
- Adhere to safety guidelines
SDP will share more information to the interested organizations and companies.
What's in it for you?
Sime Darby Plantation welcomes innovative minds from all over the world as we continuously search for new and better ways to address the complex business challenges. SDP is open to collaborate with organisations and companies to co-develop the idea and its path to implementing solutions that encourages efficient production of sustainable palm oil.
The outcome of this innovation challenge could potentially revolutionise the industry as innovative solutions to the problem would lead to higher productivity and allow the industry to grow without having to create further deforestation due to landbank expansion.
If you are up for the challenge, please click “Apply” to submit your ideas/expertise to the Network.