Measurement – how we’ve been doing it wrong and how we’re doing it now.

The cannabis industry has been evolving very, very rapidly. Looking back 10 years ago, or even 2 years ago, we see an entirely different landscape for commercial cultivators than what exists today.

Trimming technology has finally evolved as well, as you can see with the Mobius Trimmer M108, designed and built for the commercial cultivators of today. Now that trimming has “caught up” to the rest of the industry, it’s time to change how we measure trimming performance as well.

In the past, this measurement was focused on the finished product. Ten years ago, this made sense. Growers knew that X number of plants ended up producing about Y lbs of dried flower. Back then there were so few variables. Trim wasn’t part of the conversation, it was simply thrown away. Extracts were rare, and if somebody did make them, it was with trimmed flowers rather than leaves.

These days, there are so many more product categories and so many more processes that can happen between when you feed the trimming machine and when you end up with your finished product. Now that the trim has value and is no longer thrown away, that adds another dimension to the equation. There are too many variables for us to make any assumptions on what your final product looks like, and what it weighs. We hear questions like “what’s the volume? Is that wet weight, or dry weight? Trimmed wet and then dried? What about the trim, is that weight included? Is that weighed wet? Or dried?” It’s confusing, and apples-to-apples comparison of trimming KPIs is impossible. Any measurement that refers to “output” of any kind is no longer an accurate or useful gauge of performance. 

The only measurement of trimming performance that we feel is useful and accurate is the FEED RATE. We make no assumptions of what happens with your product after it’s been introduced to the machine. The FEED RATE simply measures the weight of the raw materials being put into the machine, in either a wet or dry workflow. Here is the FEED RATE of the Mobius Trimmer M108:

66 – 120 lbs/hr   22 – 44 lbs/hr
30 – 55 kg/hr   10 – 20 kg/hr

Why is there a range?

Even though we are focusing on measuring INPUT rather than OUTPUT, there are still many variables that will affect feed rate. Some of the most important include:

  • Trim level – How “tight” or “shaggy” you want the trim on your flowers. How much you want trimmed off, in other words. If you want a shaggier trim, the feed rate will be higher. A tighter trim will reduce the feed rate. 
  • QC – What is your tolerance for Quality Control at the output? If you have a single QC tech then you will lower your feed rate to reduce errors. If you have several layers (several techs) on your QC conveyors, then you can raise your feed rate. 
  • Moisture content – How wet is your wet, or how dry is your dry? 
  • Strain type – Due to resin amount and “stickiness” some strains will be trimmed to your specs faster. Certain strains have more or less shape variation than others.
  • Room temperature – Even environmental factors such as room temperature will have an impact on your feed rate. Even little tricks like watering the day before trimming will improve feed rate (generally) as the leaves will perk up, making the flowers faster to trim.
  • The time between bucking and trimming – As soon as the flowers are bucked they start to wilt. The feed rate will be faster if flowers are trimmed immediately after bucking.

Why are these different from the numbers you originally published?

Shifting our measurement tactic to reflect the feed rate rather than guessing at what happens on the output reflects a portion of the change in our performance numbers. But more importantly, we believe in providing accurate, real-world data on the performance of our products.  After initially testing the M108 prototype (where we collected much of our initial performance data) we were able to collect additional data  from our first production machines in the field, which allowed us to further refine our numbers to reflect real-use cases of the M108. It’s so common in this industry to see numbers thrown out there that are both theoretical and, in practice, unobtainable. We’re not playing that game. Our FEED RATES are based on actual use and performance in cultivation facilities. We stand by these numbers because we see them in action. We also stand by this statement: No other automated trimming machine on the market rivals the performance of the Mobius Trimmer M108.

Never Miss a Blog Post