#speeddating | Manufacturers Address Ag Electronics Challenges at Record-Setting AEF Plugfest

A record-setting 161 electronics developers took part in this month’s Ag Industry Electronics Foundation (AEF) Fall Plugfest event.

Held from Sept. 17-19 at the Juan-les-Pins Conference Center in Antibes France, the latest Plugfest saw attendees test products in the well-established format consisting of “speed dating” for ISOBUS ECUs. 

“As farming technology continues to evolve with time, Plugfest events serve to provide a forum for helping manufacturers ensure product compatibility,” said AEM Technical Director Mark Benishek. “In taking advantage of the unique opportunity to attend a Plugfest event, company representatives are able to leverage industry expertise to optimize product capabilities and positively impact customer satisfaction.”

In addition to the three-day Plugfest event, a two-day TIM Plugfest was held. Seven servers and nine clients tested TIM authentication procedures.

“The testing that took place at the TIM Plugfest sets the stage for the official launch of the new Tractor Implement Management (TIM) functionality, set for release during the Agritechnica show later this year,” explained Benishek. 

Also, various project teams scheduled face-to-face meetings during the week. The most notable was inaugural face-to-face meeting of the new PT12-Medium Voltage Team. The team will be led by Alex Schultz-Storz, along with deputy Tadeja Kajtazi.

The host for this event, AXEMA, also invited the Plugfest participants and visitors to a gala dinner held at Marineland. Mr. Philippe Girard, director general, of AXEMA gave a warm welcome to the AEF to start of the evening, followed by thanks from AEF Chairman Peter Van der Vlugt.

“The beautiful location and great facilities helped to make this record event very memorable,” added Benishek. 

AEF Conference

In addition to the Plugfest event, project team meetings and the AEF General Assembly, the AEF Conference event was held earlier this month in Antibes, France.

More than 50 attendees listened to four different presentations, followed by group panel discussion featuring the day’s guest speakers.

AgGateway CEO Jim Wilson provided an overview of his organization, along with some of its priorities and projects. In citing an interesting example of the same standard being used in the production of cheese and fighter aircraft, Wilson emphasized the importance of looking outside one’s own industry when developing a new standard.

Wilson was followed by Trialog CEO Antonio Kung, who spoke about Privacy Management in C -ITS Eco Systems. All smart cities have open data, and so they have an inherent need for standards to address privacy. This is especially the case as the landscape is moving towards more complex systems. 

Michelle Wetterwald, CEO of Netellany, spoke about the requirements on standards in relation to IoT communications to ensure safety, citing some interesting use cases regarding cooperation between oneM2M and ag equipment standards (ETSI technical reports 103 545 and 103 580). 

A presentation was also provided by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) from Claire d’Esclercs and Dr Michael Sharpe, who gave an overview of the ETSI organisation and then spoke about the importance of ICT standards in Agriculture, citing the activities of some of the ETSI working groups. 

For more information on AEF, contact Mark Benishek at mbenishek@aem.org. 

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