Case IH launches two major advancements of its AFS™ Advanced Farming Systems at this year’s SIMA in Paris: The next generation RTK+ correction service and the new File Transfer function of AFS Connect telematics.
“Case IH Advanced Farming Systems offer all-in-one solutions for productive, efficient and sustainable farming operations, an extensive range of practice-oriented technologies that help farmers to manage their farms, fields and machines more efficiently than ever before. At the same time, using our tools and technologies becomes even more user-friendly and comfortable,” says Ulrich Sommer, Product Marketing Manager AFS EMEA region. “These two innovations will clearly improve precision, reliability and ease of use for farmers in Europe, the Middle East and Africa,” he points out.
RTK+ correction service ready to spread from pilot areas to all over Europe
RTK is the baseline for ultimate precision in all types of farming, and Case IH currently operates a growing network of more than 500 base stations throughout the region alone.
“Whether used in high value crops such as vegetables, for Controlled Traffic Farming (CTF), or simply for pass-to-pass accuracy for increased efficiency of field operations – RTK has set standards in the industry,” explains Mr Sommer. “That is why we are introducing our next generation of RTK signal, called RTK+, where the “plus” represents the added benefits to the current RTK signal.”
RTK+ is compatible with a majority of guidance equipment on the market today, opening this RTK signal solution up to a large group of non-Case IH customers. RTK+ is always on and instantaneously available to customers. Just as in mobile communication, customers can now move from one base station area to another with automatic switching and seamless coverage. No change of settings in the display by the operator is needed when moving from one base station territory into another, as Case IH RTK+ provides a seamless network for comfortable, precise and reliable RTK signals.
All base station within a local RTK network are connected to a Case IH proprietary central server. The server calculates a specific set of correction data for the actual working location of a tractor or combine using a number of methods like CORS, SSR and more. The correction is then delivered via GSM through multiple possible formats to ensure the best compatibility with any equipment. This guarantees full RTK accuracy independently of the distance to the next base station. That brings clear advantages for contractors, machinery syndicates and large, growth-oriented enterprises in particular with regard to logistics concepts and harvesting operations.
Engineers at Case IH have devised the RTK+ as a remote network. “If one of the base stations goes down, the closest base will automatically take over without compromising accuracy. This ensures that arable farmers, producers of vegetables and special crops, livestock and grassland farmers as well as contractors and machine cooperatives who use RTK+ will benefit from 100% signal uptime,” says Mr Sommer.
The new Case IH RTK+ technology was thoroughly tested in key markets during 2014: 200 customers and a total of 95 base stations in UK,Spain, Benelux, Austria, Germany, Denmark and Bulgaria were part of the successful pilot test. RTK+ will be available to customers in these markets during 2015.
AFS Connect Telematics – USB drive not needed any more
The new Case IH AFS Connect™ telematics system, which was successfully launched in Q2 2014, uses global positioning systems and mobile communication technology to receive machine location and instant performance information. With the AFS Connect advanced service level, between 40 and 80 machine parameters (depending on the tractor or combine model) can be monitored. This data strictly resides inside the AFS Connect web portal, is updated every minute and can be flexibly accessed via PC or mobile devices. Inside the AFS 700 displays much more data is available, like field boundaries, guidance lines or task data to name a few of them. To update the farm management software with this information, it was necessary to import the data via a USB drive from the display. With multiple machines on the farm or in the fleet this can be a time consuming process and this is where the new file transfer feature comes in: The actual content of the USB drive can be downloaded from the machines via the AFS Connect Portal and then directly imported into a farm management program. The File Transfer feature eliminates the need to first collect USB drives from the machines and put them back into the display after importing the data. AFS Connect File Transfer provides a clear overview on precision farming data sets coming from a fleet of machines.
The new File Transfer feature of Case IH AFS Connect™ telematics ensures that farm managers are aware of all key data at any given time. The new File Transfer function will be available as an optional service package for the advanced level of AFS Connect in Q2 2015.
New key features:
# RTK+” correction service
# Compatible with a majority of guidance equipment on the market today
# Seamless systems, no need for repeated login when moving between base station locations
# Continuous coverage as potential signal loss is compensated for by closest base station
# Full RTK accuracy throughout an RTK+ network, independently of distance to base station
AFS Connect Telematics with File Sync
# New wireless File Transfer Function saves time and removes the need for USB data transfer
# Immediate data exchange between farm office and machines “on the go”