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29.10.20

TRACTORS "DIALOGUE" IN THE CLOUD FOR AGRICULTURE 4.0

SDF, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of tractors, harvesting machines and diesel engines, today announced the introduction of SDF Data Platform, an innovative platform developed by Cefriel, partner of digital innovation with Internet of Things know-how, and leverages IBM Watson IOT Platform capabilities. The new data platform supports SDF’s mission to improve the efficiency and the predictive maintenance of tractors, and the results of the entire production cycle of agricultural activities.

In everyday personal and working life we are now used to being surrounded by connected objects and to exchange data and information through various mobile devices. Even a "traditional" area such as agriculture can benefit from the new potential offered by digital technology.

For this reason, SDF has started a project to transform the product vision. Tractors and harvesting machines, in addition to providing mechanical, hydraulic and electrical power, will also provide the digital connection to the SDF Data Platform, becoming a hub for data collection. These data, suitably processed, aggregated and stored on SDF Data Platform, allows to provide new services / products to the end customer. The key point in defining the platform was to create an open ecosystem, to connect different data sources in order to create an interoperable system that can be easily used by the end customer.

In this scenario of pervasiveness of the IoT, SDF has developed in collaboration with Cefriel a digital cloud infrastructure, based on the advanced artificial intelligence capabilities of the Watson IoT Platform and the flexibility of IBM Cloud, capable of collecting, storing, processing and sharing data from connected vehicles.

The data collected will improve operational efficiency and agricultural crop planning. And it will provide farmers with timely visibility into vehicle usage and operating status to anticipate failures or malfunctions that could result in reduced productivity.

The initiative concerns both new production vehicles, natively equipped with a control unit with connectivity, and the existing fleet, through available aftermarket solutions.

In addition, by leveraging data collected from connected vehicles, SDF will be able to offer new value-added services such as predictive maintenance, fleet management and precision farming. This will, for example, allow a constant monitoring of vehicle performance and the ability to make changes or adaptations in a timely manner.

Being able to collect data not only from tractors, but also from connected implements and sensors in the field, further enriches the opportunity for SDF to offer additional services for the end customer, for example, with respect to the type of work in progress and the conditions under which it is carried out.

Finally, the possibility to share the data collected with digital farming applications developed by third parties allows SDF vehicles to be integrated in a multi-vendor scenario: a further added value for the end customer, considering the presence in many farms of machines of different manufacturers not yet enabled to "dialogue" among them.

"Thanks to the support of Cefriel and IBM Cloud  - underlines Massimo Ribaldone, SDF R&D Executive Director - we are working to create new digital services dedicated to the end customer, with a view to Smart Farming, Agriculture 4.0, Fleet Management and Predictive Maintenance. The goal is to add to our ‘core’ products, tractors and harvesting machines, a set of integrated services and functionalities to improve the management and performance of our customers' businesses".

"The digital solution developed for SDF - comments Alfonso Fuggetta, CEO of Cefriel, who recently obtained from MISE the certification as Technology Transfer Center 4.0 (CTT 4.0) - represents an important step to introduce, in a traditional sector such as agriculture, a path of innovation along the value chain of data by introducing the necessary innovations both to offer new business services and to promote an increasingly sustainable development of crops with less waste and inefficiency".

"The main challenge on which to concentrate a large part of our resources, the pandemic has taught us, is that of sustainable innovation, be it economic, social, health or environmental. The levers with which to face and overcome this challenge are undoubtedly those offered by technology and adequately trained human capital. Even a sector with a millenary tradition such as agriculture can today be improved and made more efficient thanks to these two levers. SDF has been able to grasp the need for innovation required by the market, promoting a transformation path to Data Driven Company that has involved the whole company". - said Stefano Rebattoni, Vice President Enterprise Sector IBM Italy - "IBM continues, also with this project, to accompany Italian companies in their path of digital reinvention, allowing greater efficiency in processes and a better quality of their customer experience".