Software systems in precision agriculture equipment continue to evolve quickly as new value can be realized through increased automation and connectivity that allows for improved yields and operational efficiency. While these systems bring significant value to farming operations, they also require increasing levels of technical support and infrastructure. Technologies that consider not only the core features, but also build in consideration of technical support and deployment of software updates become critical in the successful deployment and sustainability of these systems.
Highly skilled and specialized workers are often required to support configuration and troubleshooting of complex software systems, as it is unreasonable to expect farm managers to be an expert with all the equipment and software required to run today’s modern farm. These skilled workers can be costly and in short supply, so successfully deployed software systems need to build in intuitive configuration and diagnostic tools that minimize the need for specially trained workers for common support functions, and also build in advanced diagnostic tools that can remotely access equipment from anywhere in the world, to be able to connect the system experts with the machine at the right times to minimize machine downtime and maximize production.
What began as our own need to configure systems and diagnose issues during the development of agricultural mobile machines, JCA created a range of tools and technologies to use and integrate with systems we work on. These tools and technologies with examples are described below.