Telematics goes OEM-agnostic

By using a third-party vendor, the precision agriculture technology provider is able to integrate its telematics system into any brand of vehicle.

The ISOLynx controller is designed specifically for use with the best products available in GPS/RTK steering, CAN-based control systems, variable-rate section control, fleet management, remote monitoring, and data transfer. API's Precision Ag suite is dynamic; users have the flexibility to choose the receiver and steering controls they want to use with the ISOLynx. The ISOLynx controller also features FieldLynx telematics remote monitoring, diagnostics, and fleet management, including turn-by-turn directions and wireless data transfer in real time. The operator can track utilization and machine settings remotely, knowing in real time where the machine is, how far along the job is, and if the prescription plan is being followed. The ISOLynx is ISO certified, and the controller can be used as a VT.
The ISOLynx controller is designed specifically for use with the best products available in GPS/RTK steering, CAN-based control systems, variable-rate section control, fleet management, remote monitoring, and data transfer. API's Precision Ag suite is dynamic; users have the flexibility to choose the receiver and steering controls they want to use with the ISOLynx. The ISOLynx controller also features FieldLynx telematics remote monitoring, diagnostics, and fleet management, including turn-by-turn directions and wireless data transfer in real time. The operator can track utilization and machine settings remotely, knowing in real time where the machine is, how far along the job is, and if the prescription plan is being followed. The ISOLynx is ISO certified, and the controller can be used as a VT.

The development of new telematics systems has slowed as adoption and comfort continues to progress in the consumer and off-road equipment operator markets. Many OEMs have proprietary software to differentiate their systems from competitive brands, yet this often causes headaches for equipment owners of mixed fleets as their operators transition from one machine's system to another. 

There is a great value to have a telematics system designer be a third party provider to be adaptable to any equipment model or brand, while still allowing the customer to customize the final product to their specific requirements. Ally Precision Industries (Ally) is one such provider, a composite of three companies—two technology providers and one OEM—just recently forming earlier in 2012, based out of Sioux Falls, SD. 

"The company was started to fill a need for both OEM and commercial customers primarily in the agricultural industry," says Djamel Khali, VP of Operations, Ally Precision Industries. "We're making our system OEM-agnostic."

Many OEMs use telematics technology to keep their dealers and large customers in touch with the performance of their equipment, but with advancing systems OEMs can also easily keep tabs on their smaller customers and be notified when there is a maintenance issue or other problem to see how the equipment performs in all of the various applications. "An OEM will do its best to test everything on that machine before releasing it to the public, but inevitably there are things that cannot be tested for when the machine operates in the field," Khali says. "With telematics, that data is readily accessible to use by the engineering team, technical support, to validate warranty claims and reduce maintenance downtime by checking a machine's systems in real-time."

With Tier 4 engine systems especially, OEMs have much higher standards for fuel cleanliness and filtration. Telematics can serve as a gauge for how an owner is following the proper maintenance guidelines for the engine system's warranty.

Ally's ISOLynx telematics system is made for all OEMs and commercial applications specifically. The technology's user interface is easily customized to the OEM's specifications, but is built upon a platform to allow for standardization across mixed equipment fleets. In the agricultural industry, it is not atypical to see brand dedication, however if a specific piece of equipment is unavailable, the platform telematics system design allows a user familiar with one interface to easily transition to a different brand without a learning curve.

"There is a strong movement to standardize precision ag suites across all makes of equipment," Khali said in a November press release upon receiving an AE50 award from the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineer's (ASABE) Resource magazine. "Customers are educated now and know what they want and will not put up with yesterday's answers.

"The way our system works is not hardware based. The software that we make at Ally Precision is what enables us to enhance a customer's telematics systems by providing the 'white box' that ties into the system," clarifies Khali, though Ally does have manufacturing capabilities for hydraulic and electrical components to offer a completely optimized electrohydraulic system for the OEM customer.

Ally can aid an OEM to eliminate the need to develop its own interface. The technology is ready to be fully integrated into an OEM's existing system, taking its chassis control system for steering, engine and transmission systems and integrating it into one unified interface for the customer. A system could simply report system feedback, but there is also the ability to program in automation control of systems for functions such as steering assistance. "For an OEM, we’ll meet with them and identify their wants and needs, and create a chassis control system that is specific to them," confirms Khali.

While other systems take a snapshot of data around every seven seconds, which is what you find to be the typical data transmission speed, FieldLynx is taking data twice per second and sometimes up to five times per second for data transmission. This allows a user to see and capture data in real-time for everything from pressure spikes to rapid functionality occurrences that may otherwise be missed during a standard seven second data acquisition interval. Ally's systems also offer playback. With all of the data gathered, occurrences that are missed can be investigated and simulated in real-time to find our potential diagnostic information.

MobileStar is part of Ally Precision and is one of the company's engines for powering its rapid telematics data collection and presentation. 

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