Despite the current downturn in many segments of the agricultural equipment industry, the Agricultural Industry Electronics Foundation (AEF) Spring Plugfest event attracted a sizable audience this year, reinforcing that interest in finding solutions to ag electronics challenges remains strong.
The Spring Plugfest is hosted by the National Tractor Test Laboratory in Lincoln, Nebraska, and this year’s event attracted 83 participants and 48 visitors, about the same as the past two years. A total of 66 different products were tested at 33 stations over three full days.
AEF sponsors two Plugfest events annually, with one event held in North America and one held in Europe. The events provide companies with opportunities to test the electronic compatibility of agricultural equipment, implements and displays from different manufacturers.
“AEF and Plugfests are ideal examples of manufacturers and related industry stakeholders working cooperatively for the benefit of customers,” said Mark Benishek, technical director for the North American-based Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM). AEM provides the staff secretary for AEF.
This year AEF held its second-ever Conference Day in conjunction with the Plugfest events. Conference Day attendees were able to receive updates from each of AEF’s project team leaders on the status, direction and timing of their current projects.
One of the most popular new technologies discussed at this year’s Conference Day was Tractor Implement Management (TIM), which has the potential to increase machine productivity while reducing operator fatigue through the use of sensors that allow implements to control repetitive tasks like baling hay.