Between company shutdowns and working from home over the last few weeks, some organizations are slowing production and running into various struggles to keep moving forward. For DISTek’s VT Anywhere team, we have been getting even more done now than ever before. While Slack calls and meetings have completely replaced in person interactions, the team has remained focused and very productive.
In mid-September, the Agricultural Electronics Foundation (AEF) once again hosted a fall ISOBUS Plugfest in Europe, this time in Antibes, France. Antibes is in the French Riviera along the Mediterranean coast – the views were spectacular, the food was great, and the hospitality was fantastic. The conference center facility was well-suited to host the Plugfest and even though it did not have an attached hotel, there was ample lodging within walking distance to meet the needs of the Plugfest attendees.
The next ISOBUS Plugfest is just around the corner from May 07-09 in Lincoln, NE. If my quick mental count is correct, this Plugfest is lucky number 13 for me. I first attended in Austria in September 2012 and have been at each Plugfest since … except in 2016 when I had to miss the spring event due to a freak medical issue. In the seven years I have been attending, AEF has almost doubled in membership, hundreds of products have been AEF certified, and Plugfests have lengthened from two to three days each.
DISTek is excited to announce the newest member of our ISOBUS product portfolio: VT Anywhere. We are by no means product-naming experts around here, and this one seems aggressive. Perhaps it is a bit presumptuous to say “VT Anywhere,” yet we did anyway.
Another ISOBUS Plugfest week is almost here. From May 14-18, the AEF will once again host engineers from around the world for ISOBUS testing and some related events in Lincoln, NE. I have previously explained the mechanics of a Plugfest, so go take a look at some of my old blog posts if you want more info on that. The initial schedule I saw for this year showed 66 different pieces of equipment that will be tested during the three days of the Plugfest. DISTek will be participating with our VIRTEC stack and with our VT Server application. In total, DISTek expects to have 5-7 people attending Plugfest.
The Present – Part 2
In the last phase of DISTek’s 25 years, we expanded our engineering services again. The concept of model-based software development (MBSD) had been in use for a few years at several of our off-highway customers and we had gained experience with it. But as we surveyed the market landscape……..
As I write this, we are less than two weeks removed from the most recent ISOBUS Plugfest, held at the Maritim Hotel in Stuttgart the week of 16 October 2017. As in past years, the Plugfest itself was held Tuesday-Thursday while several other AEF meetings were scheduled Monday-Friday. The Plugfest this year was either the biggest ever, or at least quite close……
Once again, the AEF put on another successful ISOBUS Plugfest last month. Approximately 130 individuals associated with electronics for Ag equipment spent the week of May 8th at the Embassy Suites in Lincoln, NE. The key attraction is the Plugfest itself, during which nearly 1000 combinations of implement ECUs and displays were tested.
Once again, another ISOBUS Plugfest is upon us. On May 9th, dozens of Ag electronics engineers from around the globe will descend upon the Embassy Suites in Lincoln, NE, for three days of testing. ISOBUS exists to provide a standardized method of communicating between Ag vehicles and Ag implements, and Plugfest exists to do a quick spot-check on different types of equipment in one location. I strongly recommend attending a Plugfest for anyone involved in engineering networked electronics for heavy equipment, especially if that equipment supports third-party additions.
Here at DISTek we just competed our 24th full calendar year as a company, which means our 25th anniversary happens in 2017. We are excited to think about our future as we pass this milestone, but it is also healthy to step back and review what we did in 2016. We took some bumps and bruises along the way – as did many in the industries we serve – but we also had some exciting successes.
Another successful AEF ISOBUS Plugfest is in the bag. You can check out some of my prior blog posts if you want more detail on what a Plugfest entails, but in short, it is a meetup of Ag electronics manufacturers to test their own equipment with other manufacturers’ equipment. This was a record-breaking Plugfest in terms of participation and it made for some challenges in getting enough time for all participants to test with other manufacturer’s products.
As usual, the Spring ISOBUS PlugFest was held this past May 10-12 in sunny Lincoln, Nebraska. Sadly, Benjamin Jefferson had to miss this time at the last minute, but his bad luck turned out in your humble author’s favor, as I (a newer member of the VIRTEC team) got to experience PlugFest first-hand!