Responses from Luke Zerby, PLM Marketing Manager, New Holland Agriculture
The Industrial Revolution 4.0 (IR4.0): Data, Connectivity and Automation
What does “Industrial Revolution 4.0” mean to New Holland?
New Holland has always strived to be a leader in the Ag equipment Industry and as such, we focus on the evolution of Ag equipment and on increasing in capabilities that we offer to customers. The “Industrial Revolution 4.0” is part of the overall evolution in manufacturing and equipment. We are very excited about the capability that we now have to offer our customers.
What role do any of the following branches within the IR4.0 play within the company and/or its product designs?
Big Data (Smart Data) – acquisition, management, extrapolation and presentation
From the product design standpoint, we are focusing on how we can help our customers take advantage of the large volumes of data collected in the field. Our producers now have more data to help guide them in making management decisions then they have ever had in the past, but, there is also the possibility of too much data. What New Holland is focusing on is how we can help our customers manage and extrapolate that data. This can happen through the precision farming system, in the equipment locally, or the data can be shared with the customer’s desktop computer or sent through our PLM Connect Telematics to be shared with a third party that the customer is working with. All data transfer happens over secure systems. New Holland is very clear that while we want to help our customer better manage and use their data, they retain complete ownership of the data.
GPS, Telematics and Connectivity
GPS, and telematics, have become a deciding factor in a large portion of our product offering. In many products, Integrated Guidance that uses GPS, is a standard feature. We are also now offering telematics as a factory fit option in several product lines. The customers need to be connected and all of the benefits that they can achieve because of this, is why we are focusing on continuing to improve our connectivity capability to ensure we are providing our customers with the best tools to help them achieve success.
Automated Systems and Vehicles
New Holland unveiled the NHDRIVE Concept Autonomous Tractor at the Farm Progress Show in Boone, IA, this year. This was a very exciting event for New Holland. The NHDRIVE highlights not only what can be done in the future with a fully autonomous vehicle, but illustrates many features we have today in our equipment. IntelliSteer, Headland Management, ISOBUS implements with prescription and variable rate application. The step from our current vehicle to a fully autonomous vehicle is not such a large step.
We have also focused on increasing the automation in many other pieces of equipment to help remove human error while improving efficiencies. These automatic features, like section control on planter, can pay for themselves in one or two seasons, and continue to be a savings to improve the customer’s bottom line.
Are there other branches or areas of focus?
Many of the features that we are looking in being able to deliver to our customers in the future are based on these that we have talked about. The thing to remember is that it is a continual evolution so new areas will grow out of our current features.
Is there a particular route or focus your company is taking amidst the IR4.0 set of opportunities?
Efficient Data management for our customers is an area that we are focusing on, giving our customers the best tools for collection, management, and implementation in their operations.
What is the opportunity potential, and what benefits are you already seeing?
We understand the margins that the Farm and AG Producers work with continue to get tighter as seed, oil, fertilizer and land cost continue to increase while the prices that they receive for their crops have not kept pace. By using increased technology and minimizing their inputs while trying to maximize their outputs, many producers have been able to survive in market conditions that would have forced them out of business. New technology will allow us to keep up with the demands of the growing population.
How do you foresee the IR4.0 affecting the industry as a whole? Are there any new or improved opportunities it will enable?
IR4.0 as a whole has allowed us to learn more about the work we are doing on a micro level. It allows us to take knowledge and wisdom gathered over centuries of agricultural development, combine it with state of the art equipment resulting in an Ag industry that is able to work more in unison with nature and be able to produce the quantities needed to feed the population.