The following information is a Web Extra from the pages of Farm Journal. It corresponds with the article "ISOBUS or ” by Margy Fischer. You can find the article in the Summer 2009 issue.
The ISOBUS implementation task force in North America is joining with groups in Europe and Brazil to form the Ag Industry Electronics Foundation (AEF) to achieve greater improvements in plug and play compatibility.
"The North American task force has helped us recognize that much of ag equipment must be regionally appropriate, but what is being engineered is globally relevant,” says Darrin Drollinger, vice president of technical services for the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM). AEM serves as the designated authority of the Organization of Economic Cooperation Development (OECD) U.S. tractor testing committee.
With a slight edge for ISOBUS compatibility in Europe, farmers in North America stand to gain with the newly formed international effort.
As the companies arrive at advancing levels of plug and play compatibility, there needs to be a way to verify what components really do work together. Due to software upgrades, components from year to year may vary in their compatibility with equipment from other manufacturers.
To set a precedent and conduct continuous testing, it has been proposed for Nebraska Tractor Test Lab in Lincoln. Neb., to provide ISOBUS certification testing.
"We can run through a standard test to ensure compatibility to the best of our knowledge as this becomes a value-added facility serving as the ISOBUS certification facility for North America,” says Nebraska Tractor Test Laboratory director Roger Hoy. "Compatibility and ensuring new products work well together is the key.”
The goal is for products to be certified at the levels they were tested, so at the time of sale, farmers can understand with what their components are compatible.
"This is more evolutionary than revolutionary. There is no simple turn-key step to compliance. We are working hard to do bigger and better things on the never ending road to compatibility,” Drollinger says.