SIMA 2017, the Paris International Agribusiness Show that will be held Feb. 26 – Mar. 2, has announced farm equipment manufacturers are being awarded silver medals in the group’s 2017 Innovation Awards for agricultural equipment program.
The award winners were selected by a panel of 25 experts from France, and headed up by Jean-Marc Bournigal, chairman of the French National Research Institute of Science and Technology for Environment and Agriculture.
Silver Medal: Case IH Agriculture’s Autonomous Cabless Tractor
At key moments in the year, such as during preparation and sowing, working constraints mean that extra workers are required for these peak periods, which must be successful for crops to be profitable.
The autonomous vehicle concept is a cabless wheeled tractor that can operate autonomously in the field, with a wide range of Isobus tools. It combines the latest breakthroughs in orientation, telemetry, data sharing and agronomic management to provide managers of agricultural enterprises with additional working capacity. In fact, the autonomy of the tractor and the associated Isobus toolkit makes it possible to work autonomously, day or night.
On this tractor, based on a Case IH Magnum model, removing the cab offsets the additional technology to make it work autonomously. With interactive interface for PC or tablet, the operator can remotely supervise pre-programmed operations. The on-vehicle system tracks the most efficient trajectories depending on the soil and the attachment, any obstacles, and any other machinery being used in the same field. Using radar, lidar and on-vehicle cameras, the vehicle can detect obstacles and stop by itself until the operator, alerted by the audio and visual signals, assigns it another path.
The vehicle will also stop immediately if the GPS signal or position data are lost or the manual stop button is pressed. Changes can be made to the machine’s tasks in real-time, with remote interface or automatic weather alerts.
Silver Medal: John Deere Smart AutoLube Intelligent Tractor and Tool Greasing System
John Deere’s Smart AutoLube system lubricates with a single station for (at least) four independent sections and greasing points of the tractor and its attachments. From the cab, you can select the operating mode (manual, automatic, custom), adjust the settings and monitor the work. In automatic or custom mode, the grease is distributed according to the equipment’s use. Instructions are sent to the system from pre-entered data and decision rules and variables that are continuously measured. This variable command control is the core of innovation.
The information, if any, coming from the BusCan on the tractor and/or “Isobus-ready” toolkit (automatically recognized) is inside information, otherwise it is collected with additional sensors (e.g. motion sensors on front loader).
In manual mode, the user can perform lubrication in special circumstances (e.g. after washing the equipment before storage). Technical features, user comfort and access to the different modes’ settings and configurations make for optimal use of the equipment (tractors and toolkit) with reduced maintenance costs and less risk of losing resale value on them.
For customers, there are many pluses: optimized lubrication, in-cabin control and reduced risk of accidents when accessing grease nipples, less downtime for lubrication and zero omission of grease nipples, more easily scheduled preventive maintenance, tracking and control of lubricant consumed, by section, with reduced excess, reduced frequency and costs of replacing pivot points due to a nearly 30% reduced risk of abrasion.
Silver Medal: New Holland’s NHDrive Highly Versatile Autonomous Tractor
The NHDrive autonomous tractor combines the technologies that it can use to work without a driver in the field, while offering the versatility of a traditional tractor during transport or activities requiring the driver’s undivided attention. There are autonomous tractors on the market, but only driving was integrated.
The NHDrive goes even further, allowing a degree of autonomy never before achieved in agriculture. It can both detect and analyze the direct environment in real-time, while taking into consideration the condition and performance level of the tractor’s essential components, as well as the toolkit’s to fully automate the tasks defined by the farmer.
It becomes possible for users to manage work remotely from the farm office or from another tractor working in the same parcel of land. The robust protocols and software solutions guarantee the user maximum availability of his production toolkit and and peace of mind.
The NHDrive concept is based on specific developments that involve the following innovative technologies: a planner to create the optimal trajectories within a parcel; sensors to analyze the environment (Lidar, radar and cameras); information coming from the equipment to adjust settings as needed; intensive integration of subsystems between tractor and attachment; multi-faceted communications technology guaranteeing ongoing exchange of critical data between the remote user and the machine, regardless of geographic diversity; one application, available on PC or tablet, that gives remote users total access to the machine to respond to alerts, monitor the work in progress and, if needed, make changes to the mission.