AEF introducing ISOBUS certification labeling system and database

AEF introduces its AEF Certified Label and ISOBUS database, designed to specify which pieces of agricultural equipment are certified ISOBUS products.

AEF Certified Label
AEF Certified Label

During its Fall Plugfest in Osnabrück, Germany, the Agricultural Industry Electronics Foundation (AEF) will release the new AEF Certified Label for publication. From then on it will mark certified ISOBUS products. It is expected that at Agritechnica in Hannover, Germany, many ISOBUS components will feature the AEF Certified Label. Implements, machines and other ISOBUS products from different manufacturers bearing this label will work together.

The new AEF Certified Label states that the respective ISOBUS components are in compliance with the ISO standard 11783 and moreover, with the additional AEF guidelines. The product has successfully passed the newly developed AEF certification process. Six abbreviations within small squares symbolize functionalities, three squares containing three dots indicate that the system is open and extendable. Detailed information about the certified product is stored in the AEF database.

AEF Conformance Test offers more certainty

Along with the further development of the ISO 11783 standard and the AEF guidelines new functionalities i.e. Auxilaries (AUX) and Section Control (TC-SC) were defined in addition to the well known Universal Terminal (UT). Therefore the AEF has developed a new conformance test, which can check these new functionalities. To also create more transparency for users, the AEF ISOBUS Functionalities have been defined. They are now also the basis for the certification of ISOBUS products. An ISOBUS functionality can be described as an independent ISOBUS product and the concept is extendable for later additions of functionalities.

While the conformance test that was used until the end of 2012 only gave limited information regarding the operational capability of a system, e.g. tractor, terminal and implement, the new one is now more explicit. The AEF ISOBUS Conformance Test provides precise information about which functionalities are supported by an ISOBUS product or a combination. The results can be found in the AEF ISOBUS Database where the data of all AEF certified ISOBUS products will be accessible for the farming community in future. The new AEF ISOBUS Conformance Test based on functionalities, together with the independent certification, provides precise information about what functions with what and how.

Furthermore the new test speeds up product development within the agriculture industry because it can be used for internal tests during the development phase.

Independent certification

The certification is executed by three independent test laboratories accredited by the AEF: Test Center Isobus (TCI) in Germany, Reggio Emilia Innovazione (REI) in Italy and Nebraska Tractor Test Laboratory (NTTL) in the USA. Further accreditations are planned. For testing they are using the AEF ISOBUS Conformance Test. If the test is positive, the results will be available in the database for registered users as from a manufacturer-scheduled date. Besides the fact that a product complies with the standard ISO 11783 the user can now also see which functionalities it supports.

Everything about compatibility: The AEF ISOBUS Database

“Which functionalities can I use with my combination of ISOBUS tractor and implement? Can I operate the sprayer with the new tractor terminal? Is the tractor or implement manufacturer responsible, if something is not working?” These and many other questions will be answered by the database, which has been developed by the AEF. The database will thus become indispensable to the agriculture community.

As a result the new AEF ISOBUS Database helps farmers and contractors with decision-making and ensures security of investment. The fact that (proprietary) isolated solutions will not be integrated in the database encourages companies to attach more importance to cross-manufacturer compatibility. The choice for agriculture become greater.  

Benefits for farmers and contractors

The database contains all relevant information about all machines and devices that have been ISOBUS-certified to date. With a few mouse-clicks the user selects their combination and sees immediately, if the chosen combination is compatible and which functionalities it supports. Alternatives can also be compared. If a device can not be found in the database, it is not certified.          

Benefits for ag machinery dealers

On the one hand the database helps dealers advising their customers, and on the other hand it speeds up dealers service’s trouble-shooting. In difficult cases they can even get in touch directly, through a special system, with one or more manufacturers. This can shorten downtimes significantly, which in turn improves the dealer’s image.

Benefits for ag machinery manufacturers

Reports about solved problems will remain available in the database as ISOBUS knowledge objects. They can be used by dealer technicians for quicker diagnosis and problem solving on-site. The database is constantly being updated, since it is also used for checking conformance of machines and devices with the ISOBUS standard as well as for their certification by independent regional test laboratories.

The AEF ISOBUS Database thus supports the agricultural public as a whole (users, dealers and manufacturers) in using the new worldwide ISOBUS standard. Manufacturers are working intensively on having their products tested an uploaded to the database as AEF-certified. By Agritechnica a limited number of dealers will be given access. After another test phase it will be accessible to the public from 2014.