Topcon, Amazone form strategic partnership

Customers will realize benefits as the systems have been optimally matched and tested to ensure a maximum range of dependable applications while delivering outstanding accuracy and precision.

Topcon Precision Agriculture (TPA) and Amazone Ltd. announce a strategic partnership in which TPA will provide hardware components and expertise for automatic steering systems and section control for a complete range of professional farming solutions.

Customers will realize benefits as the systems have been optimally matched and tested to ensure a maximum range of dependable applications while delivering outstanding accuracy and precision.

The initial project of the partnership was the development of user-friendly content for an ISOBUS-operator terminal with a unique Amazone functionality. This console will be presented at Agritechnica 2011 in Hannover, Germany, as the new AMAPAD ISOBUS terminal.

At the heart of this new product and collaboration is the innovative AgApp (Agriculture Applications) concept developed by Amazone. This concept allows third-party software to be loaded onto an operator terminal, which means applications from independent developers can be fully integrated into the console interface. Now, the end user really only needs one control terminal — whether operating a machine or a sensor.

In most cases, operator terminals are closed systems with a defined range of functionality for a dedicated implement, i.e., sprayer, windrower, etc. Now the end user can select the application best suited to individual needs for any particular piece of farm machinery. Thus, an operator can quickly decide which sensor technology (e.g. nitrogen sensors) to use. 

Mike Gomes, TPA director of marketing, said, “Modern terminals, with more than one application, all have a common problem: the sensible division of the display area. While other manufacturers rely on cumbersome, static systems, Topcon and Amazone are offering a more elegant solution. The innovative ‘mini view concept’ displays applications which are actually not being actively operated but are being monitored, in a small size at the side of the large 12.1” multi-touch screen.

“If necessary,” Gomes said, “the operator is able to change applications very quickly. Easy-access keys and the possibility to cover the control panel with individual display windows complete the operator ergonomics.”

With its modern design and ultra-narrow border, the compact console can easily be integrated into any tractor.

The AMAPAD console provides the following as standard features:

• ISOBUS operator terminal — The console can control all ISOBUS implements via one universal terminal.

• Task Controller (pre-series 2012) — Allows the exchange of data with software from an office PC with the condition that the office PC software supports the ISOBUS data transfer (ISO-XML). Simply store the job on a USB stick and transfer to the AMAPAD operator terminal. When the job is complete, the data can then be reloaded onto the office PC. The “EasyFill” AgApp for calculating the tank mix ratios of the various crop protection agents belongs to the AcuraSpray programme group. “EasyFill” is integrated as standard into the agronomic AMAPAD terminal and uses the ISOBUS task controller as its data basis.

In addition, the console provides all the normal GPS applications as standard. Simply connect to a suitable GPS receiver and start to work:

• GPS-Track pro
— A professional, manual track control with graphic display on the screen and with light-emitting diodes integrated along the top.  Everything can be individually set with the usual guide modes being integrated as well as a display of the worked area. 

• GPS Switch pro
— The next-generation part-width section control forms the basis for many AgApps, such as AcuraSpray and AcuraSpread.

In future versions, the additional simple and flexible upgrading of useful functions will be possible via expansion packages:

• GPS Track auto — Simply connect the suitable AGI-3 receiver and carry out the individual installations required for the vehicle. It is the customer’s choice: if the vehicle is already equipped with all the necessary hydraulic functions, i.e. “SteerReady,” an operator only needs the necessary adapter cables from the options list. As an alternative, a costly and difficult conversion is not necessary, just use the AES-25 “electric steering wheel.” Simply exchange the existing steering wheel for the AES-25 kit suitable for the vehicle model and retrofit up to +/– 2 cm steering accuracy.

• FieldNav — FieldNav is an agricultural navigation solution. A special feature in comparison to the usual sat-nav systems is the integration of farm lanes and agricultural roads. So, the driver of a contractor can also be sure they are in the right field.

• Farmpilot — If AMAPAD is equipped with a GSM mobile phone solution to allow the wireless data transfer between the office PC and the terminal via a mobile phone.

 

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