DENSO, the world’s second largest mobility supplier, announced today its partnership with WaterBit Inc., an agricultural company specializing in automated precision irrigation. DENSO Products and Services Americas, Inc., a DENSO affiliate will provide advanced sensor technology to enhance WaterBit’s smart irrigation system that improves crop yield, conserves water and increases the efficiency of farms.
WaterBit’s Automated Irrigation Solution (AIS), which blends data-driven technology with growers’ expertise, incorporates DENSO’s advanced sensors into the WaterBit Pressure Sensor™, a key component of the overall AIS solution. The Pressure Sensor validates irrigation systems’ set lengths and health to ensure they are working properly and that the correct amount of water is delivered to crops.
“Precision irrigation is an exciting application of DENSO technology beyond the automotive sector, especially since it advances our long-term goals around sustainability” said Manji Suzuki, vice president of innovation for DENSO International America, Inc. “Agriculture is one of the many industries in which our state-of-the-art solutions are increasing productivity and reducing costs for our customers and benefiting society.”
For decades, the auto industry has trusted DENSO’s high-quality sensors to track critical information such as temperature, airflow, pressure, moisture, light, motion and parking for the safety, reliability and efficiency of cars and trucks. Today, non-automotive industries are seeking the data DENSO sensors provide to improve operations, boost productivity and deliver the best goods and services to their customers. This technology can be readily applied to agriculture.
WaterBit’s precision irrigation solution allows growers to monitor soil conditions, plant stage and water usage with pinpoint accuracy in near real-time using IoT technology, including sensors from DENSO, and then control irrigation via the cloud, automating activities that had been done manually in the past. By tracking field variability, coordinating irrigation schedules and controlling water delivery at a microblock level, precision irrigation helps growers make fully informed and data-driven decisions to get the best yields, anticipate labor needs and streamline compliance with government regulations.
“We are thrilled to partner with WaterBit to advance vital irrigation solutions,” said Richard Shiozaki, senior vice president of DENSO Products and Services Americas. “The foundation of this relationship is our shared commitment to quality, innovation and sustainability.”
“WaterBit is dedicated to the best and highest use of our planet’s limited water resources by ensuring growers use the right amount of water at the right place at the right time,” said Andrew Wright, WaterBit CEO. “Applying DENSO technology to WaterBit’s precision irrigation solution enables us to leverage the success of their proven products to help growers better control, manage and optimize their operations.”
The WaterBit solution is developed and assembled in California, home to the largest economy, population, and agricultural production and exports of any U.S. state. In 2017, California farms and ranches grossed more than $50 billion, more than 13 percent of the nation’s total agricultural production*. Climate change and related events – droughts, fires and flooding – have made managing water resources crucial to California.
Yet, these issues are not isolated to California. The customer base for WaterBit’s smart irrigation technology and DENSO’s sensor technology spans across the United States and is deployed across a wide variety of crops including grapes, berries, tree nuts, wheat, corn, leafy greens and specialty organic.
*Current state and federal Department of Agriculture reports
DENSO is a $48.1 billion global mobility supplier that develops advanced technology and components for nearly every vehicle make and model on the road today, including Toyota, Honda, FCA, GM, Ford, Volvo, and Mercedes-Benz. With manufacturing at its core, DENSO invests in its 220 facilities in 35 countries to produce thermal, powertrain, mobility, electrification, & electronic systems, to create jobs that directly change how the world moves. The company’s 170,000+ employees are paving the way to a mobility future that improves lives, eliminates traffic accidents, and preserves the environment. Globally headquartered in Kariya, Japan, DENSO spent 8.8 percent of its global consolidated sales on research and development in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2018. For more information about global DENSO, visit https://www.denso.com/global.
In North America, DENSO employs 24,000+ engineers, researchers and skilled workers across 31 sites in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. In the United States alone, DENSO employs 17,000+ employees across 11 states and 25 sites. Headquartered in Southfield, Michigan, in fiscal year ending March 31, 2018, DENSO in North America generated $10.9 billion in consolidated sales.
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