Attendance at the Spring Plugfest event produced by the Agricultural Industry Electronics Foundation (AEF) reinforces that interest in finding solutions to ag electronics challenges remains strong.
Despite the current downturn in many segments of the agricultural equipment industry, the Spring Plugfest hosted by the National Tractor Test Laboratory in Lincoln, NE, attracted 83 participants and 48 visitors, about the same as the past two years. A total of 66 different products were tested at 33 stations over three full days.
Every year, AEF sponsors two Plugfest events, one in North America and one in Europe. AEF Plugfests provide companies the opportunity to test electronic compatibility of agricultural equipment, implements and displays from different manufacturers.
“AEF and Plugfests are ideal examples of manufacturers and related industry stakeholders working cooperatively for the benefit of customers,” says Mark Benishek, Technical Director for the North American-based Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM). AEM provides the staff secretary for AEF.
Tractor Implement Management (TIM) Among Conference Day Updates
In conjunction with the Plugfest, AEF held its second-ever Conference Day. During Conference Day, attendees receive updates from each of AEF’s project team leaders on the status, direction and timing of their current projects.
Among the new technologies discussed at the Conference Day was Tractor Implement Management (TIM). TIM has the potential to increase machine productivity while reducing operator fatigue through the use of sensors that allow implements to control repetitive tasks like baling hay.
AEF’s Project Team 5 – one of 11 different project teams made up of industry volunteers – is focused on defining a common interface that will make multi-brand TIM systems work. The team includes more than 30 members from 21 different companies.
AEF is the global standardization initiative formed in 2008 by agricultural technology companies AGCO, CLAAS, CNH, Grimme, John Deere, Kverneland Group and Pottinger, as well as AEM and the German machinery association, VDMA. SAME DEUTZ-FAHR joined AEF as its eighth core member in 2013. Over 190 companies are now AEF members.