19 October 2022, Bologna: The 2022 edition of Plugfest will be held in Bologna from 17 to 21 October. This one-of-a-kind event is organised by AEF to promote the compatibility of electronic and electrical systems between agricultural machinery of different brands. In order to correctly apply the techniques and methods of Agriculture 4.0, it is essential that mechanical equipment can communicate with a common code.
The digitization of agricultural operations raises prominently the issue of data and information sharing between mechanical equipment produced by different manufacturers. Indeed, the application of Agriculture 4.0 techniques requires that tractors and operating machines are able to ‘talk’ to each other. Without a common platform, each manufacturer would develop a specific language, incomprehensible to the mechanical equipment made by its competitors, and this would end up penalising the entire sector, which would not be able to fully exploit the advantages of the latest generation technologies.
The event called Plugfest – organised annually by the Agricultural Industry Electronics Foundation (AEF), an independent association founded in 2008 that currently counts eight equipment manufacturers and three trade associations (including FederUnacoma) as core members and more than 280 member companies – was created precisely with the aim of improving the compatibility of the electronic and electrical components of agricultural machinery. The event was conceived to allow engineers from the manufacturers to test the ISOBUS systems of their machines with those of other manufacturers – AEF explains – solving possible problems in the application development phase. Plugfest is, in short, a one-of-a-kind event, as it brings together around the same table companies that are normally in competition and that are instead encouraged to work together to optimise the technological profile of their machines.
For 2022 the rendez-vous with Plugfest – a true ‘festival’ of technology – is set for 17-21 October at the Savoia Hotel Regency in Bologna, where more than 320 entrepreneurs are expected. The highlight of the event will be three days of testing, during which not only will 50 servers (Universal Terminal and Task Controller installed in the cab of ISOBUS tractors) be tested with 70 clients (electronic control systems for ISOBUS agricultural implements), but some of the most widely used digital systems on agricultural machinery (from the Universal Terminal to the Task Controller Basic and the File Server) will also be put to the test. Five test stations – AEF continues – are specifically dedicated to ISOBUS TIM (Tractor Implement Management) technology, which under certain conditions allows an implement to control tractor functions. The new HSI – High Speed ISOBUS system on the BroadR reach Ethernet network will also be presented at the AEF event.
The five-day Plugfest preview some of the themes that will be at the centre of the “Digital” exhibition at EIMA International 2022, the great agricultural machinery show held in Bologna from 9 to 13 November. The Agricultural Industry Electronics Foundation will be attending EIMA 2022 with the support of FederUnacoma and with the collaboration of the Italian certification centre AEF ISOBUS: REI Foundation. The undisputed protagonists of the AEF stand at EIMA 2022 will be the latest generation of digital technologies for Agriculture 4.0, from wireless communication in the field to interoperability between Cloud systems in Agriculture through to CyberSecurity issues. This too will be discussed on Friday 11 November at 16:00 at the conference promoted by the Agricultural Industry Electronics Foundation (AEF), which will take stock of its activities and objectives for 2023.
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