Case IH has significantly expanded its AFS product line, introducing its first telematics offering and new office management software
Back in August of 2011, Case IH announced it was forming a new division within the organization that would focus solely on creating new precision farming technology. Case IH said having a dedicated division would allow the company to step up the pace of its AFS (Advanced Farming Systems) technology development.
To create new products, the company is still going to work with Trimble, its technology provider; but official comments from management last August revealed they intend to introduce new offerings that will be exclusive to Case IH, along with some that will also be available as Trimble-branded products. The introduction of new Case IH AFS products over the past couple of months suggest management is following through on its intention to put more focus on offering precision farming tools.
At Agritechnica in Hannover Germany last November, Case IH had a lot to talk about with its new telematics and AFS software products. At the National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville, Kentucky, in February, the company announced that as of March 1, 2012, its dealers could begin retrofitting existing fleets with the first telematics system the company has ever offered.
The new AFS Connect telematics packages use a combination of GPS and cellular technology to wirelessly link machines equipped with a Pro 600 or Pro 700 display to a farm office, transferring information in real time. Case IH is offering the system in two different packages: the basic AFS Connect Manager and the higher-end AFS Connect Executive, which offers additional functions.
“AFS Connect provides immediate information to aid in fleet management, performance analysis, remote file management and even support two-way messaging among other key features,” says Trevor Mecham, AFS marketing manager.
Farm managers can use AFS Connect to track the location of machines and get work status overviews. The telematics packages can also alert farmers when established security features such as geo-fencing and curfew hours of use have been violated, to guard against equipment thefts.
If producers upgrade to the AFS Connect Executive version, they’ll get the ability to transfer yield data from machine to farm office in real time as it is collected. That could help managers make decisions more quickly.
They’ll also get two-way messaging capability between a farm office and machines in the field. Messages can appear on any machine’s display and machine operators can respond. Farm managers also get to see a virtual display of each working machine’s monitor on the computer in the farm office, which gets updated every 15 minutes.
Back in the office, all-new AFS software expands the capabilities of the desktop computer with five new packages. Managers can track farm data with customized lists of fields, accumulate yield, moisture and application data, integrate farm financial accounts, identify optimum placement of field drainage and bundle all that data together into a portable file that can be accessed anywhere at any time. †