Another Step toward Electronic Compatibility

November 25, 2008 10:48 AM

A new international Agricultural industry Electronics Foundation (AEF) is the result of cooperation between the German Engineering Federation (VDMA) and the North American-based Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) in support of agricultural equipment manufacturers worldwide.

The foundation is a manufacturer-led effort to advance global adoption of ISOBUS and electronics standards, which provide a means for greater electronic compatibility between equipment from different manufacturers. The initial focus is data communications between tractors and implements.

VDMA and AEM have actively promoted standardized electronics systems for many years: VDMA has managed the IGI, Implementation Group ISOBUS for Europe, and AEM has managed NAIITF, the North American ISOBUS Implementation Task Force.

An industry wide, global approach for integration of complex electronic systems and software will improve machine functionality and efficiencies, for the benefit of agricultural equipment customers. Projects to achieve that integration can be accomplished faster and more efficiently because of AEM and VDMA funding and staffing of AEF.

AEF will not write standards but will serve as an independent organization to support and promote implementation of agricultural electronics standards that have been developed and adopted by the international community (ISO TC 23/SC19).

AEF will coordinate technical enhancements related to standards implementation, manage and improve certification tests, and organize and provide certification support such as workshops and training. As technology advances are incorporated into agricultural electronics, additional projects will be defined.

Founding members of the group, in addition to AEM and VDMA, are manufacturers AGCO, John Deere, CNH, Claas, Grimme, Kverneland Group and Pöttinger. The AEF Chairman is Rainer Hofmann, manager of electronic engineering for AGCO.

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