Posted 8/5/2017 07:41 (#6168474) Subject: Ag Leader 25 years event
Southern Minnesota Between Freeborn & Wells
Yesterday I attended Ag Leader's celebration of 25 years. A fairly small group of us were invited by our dealers to a session on Friday morning at Ames. We heard presentations from various Ag Leader personnel.
Several participants described their experiences with Display Cast. Although I have InCommands, my situation is such that I have not explored Display Cast. For those unfamiliar with the concept, the idea is that an operator can see the location and information from another member of the same operation on their own display.
There are many cases where this could be useful. Some I had not thought of. The more common uses would be with multiple rigs in the same field. As an example, two planters in the same field has been a problem for auto swath since each planter "knows" where its been but doesn't know where the other planter has planted. Display Cast allows a display to show its location and information with other displays. The information is constantly uploaded to the Cloud and downloaded constantly to the other displays.
Several parties in attendance have been using Display Cast. I got the feeling that in general it has been working and very helpful although there are some areas where improvements were suggested.
The Ag Leader personnel had an interesting demonstration setup with InCommands working together in a simulated field. Since the InCommands have an HDMI port, they can be connected to video projectors. They had each InCommand connected to a projector so we could see what each operator would be seeing. The unit of the left was in a simulated combine and the unit of the right was in a simulated grain cart. They then proceeded to "harvest". We could see what the combine operator would be seeing. He would see his usual display and mapping information but also the location of the grain cart. On the other screen, we could see that the cart operator could see the location and various pieces of information from the combine.
We were also able to observe some changes that will be appearing in the Fall display updates. This will be version 2.5 for the InCommands. One addition that may be handy is that the slide out tabs on the left on the screen will now have another tab. This tab contains two separate counters for harvest situations. These can be individually reset to zero as desired. This information was and still is available through other menus and summaries but it is now readily available on the main operating screen. I'm thinking I may use this when we want to go and harvest a certain amount and then quit to allow the dryer to catch up. Some other changes will be present. Some of these are cosmetic such as text size and location.
Later we were treated to a plant tour. I was very impressed with the tour. Ag Leader utilizes many quality control checks and methods to insure the quality of their products. Some of these were surprisingly low tech but very useful. Maybe this is common practice but I thought it very clever as to a system they use. One of these was in the area of "Kitting". This is where various parts are pulled from bins to make a kit.
Many kits use some of the same parts but in different quantities. The system they use consists of some templates that are placed in front of the various part bins. There is a set of templates for each type of kit. If a picker needs to make up a certain kit, they grab the templates and place them in front of the parts bins. These templates will block the entrance to the bins that are not needed. There is a cutout for the bins from which parts are needed for that kit. The number of that item is indicated on the template. The picker grabs the correct number of pieces from the open bins and puts them in a container and dumps them in a sack. Each sack is then weighed to further verify that the correct number of pieces have been picked.
We were then treated to a nice meal, followed by some remarks by Ag Leader's founder Al Meyers. Al announced the winner of their recent promotion rewarding a family $25,000 of equipment to help their farming operation. Each contestant submitted a video showing how precision equipment could help their operation.
All in all, an interesting day. I got to reconnect with some Ag Leader folks that I've met in the past and a chance to meet some fellow NATers.