Heinrich Wieker is founder and CEO of H8-Automation since 2016. He is electrical engineer and quit his job as a programmer of PLC and DCS in 2015 to turn to the planning and construction of sustainable smart-home projects with hempcrete and high-tech. In 2016 he founded also the company ‘Henry’s Hempharvester’, which develops machinery for the hemp harvest in small to medium scales. It is obvious that there is a huge gap in the development of hemp harvesting-technology, which lied idle for decades. Target is to supply organic hemp farms with an effective, affordable, easy to understand and maintain, and transportable machinery which shall develop our businesses and accelerate a grass root revolution in hemp usage instead of supporting large fields, big machines and huge companies.
Heinrich is holding the patent for a stripping technology that works with a pair of rollers to pull the hemp-stems and a pair of chains, that hold back the buds while the stalks are pulled through the chains.
Todays process of stripping is done mostly manually with index-finger and thumbnail. It’s an exhausting and ineffective method, but the result is high quality. One good worker can strip round 100 kg of buds in a day. So it takes about 10 workers and up to 10 days to harvest 1 ha of hemp, while You depend on good weather conditions and while the buds still grow and change their cannabinoid composition constantly.
The Bud Stripper can strip the flowers of one ha easily in a day with three workers. You can bring in the hemp in a short weather window and strip it green, half dried or fully dried. You cut all the field in only a day and get a completely homogenous composition of cannabinoids for all the yield. If you have distributed spots to harvest, You can move the machine on a pick-up truck or a delivery van some hundreds of kilometers in a night. You keep the stems in full length for better fibre quality, the quality of the stripped buds is totally competing with the hand stripped result.
The hemp stripper opens the door for smaller farms to higher efficiency, increase of cropland and farmable acreage, increase of competitiveness, higher independence on weather conditions during the harvest, decrease of labor costs and independence from a swarm of helpers, facilitates bud production in countries with high labor costs (e.g. Germany).
When I went to Mexico 2015 for the job I also had some holidays which I spent in Tulum. Just entering the road from village to beach; I picked up Hana, with two friends. She told me about her business and really, I was infected. We kept contact and I visited her hemp harvest in 2015. All the rest came like an avalanche: I saw the need for machinery, I wanted to quit my job in pharma-chemicals and I wanted to get into the hemp.
It was a cool trip on a hot day, from Berlin to Vienna, get a car, buy a tractor in Graz, sightseeing, back to Vienna, back to Berlin, back to Burgdorf
Then we built a new machine, pushed by a tractor and hydraulically supplied from aggregates, it should cut, grab and intake the hemp to the stripping-gap.
We did a lot and it not funny all the time. Mostly hydraulic challenged me! All different sizes of tubes, flanges, possible combinations... and You have a oily box with all sorts of them, or You go 200km by car to get a part worth 20ct but without it doesn't work!