Should companies buy telematic systems or develop them themselves? The world market leader for sugar beet harvesters HOLMER has made a firm decision here. Product Manager Sebastian Schleicher talks about key considerations and the results of the discussions.
Make or buy? HOLMER was faced with this question when it started looking at telematics. On the one hand, we wanted to be a leader in this area too. On the other hand, we quickly realized that we would be unable to cope with such a technologically complex task without neglecting other important development activities. So what should we do? After careful consideration, we decided to be on the safe side from an economic and functional point of view while giving ourselves as much room for maneuver as possible.
BODAS Connect All-in-one-Connectivity, a pre-configured, modular end-to-end solution from Bosch Rexroth, offered the perfect mix of a ready-made solution and design freedom. With little effort, we can now cater for all processes along the information chain – from reliable data collection and transmission or secure remote management of the telematics hardware in the vehicle (the so-called Telematic Control Units (TCU)) to data management. The parts which run unbeknown to customers “under the hood”, i.e. the Device Connectivity and Device Management modules, were particularly important to us. After all, these decide how efficient and future-proof the overall solution will be. And telematics is not an end in itself – it is a clear market requirement. During the short harvesting period from September to November, the carefully planned shipments must arrive at the sugar mill on time. At the same time, our customers need to organize ever bigger fleets in a highly efficient manner and each individual machine must be available 24x7. As a result, telematics systems must perform two tasks in the agricultural sector: They must relieve the burden on managers and allow the manufacturer to provide effective remote support.
To summarize, I can say that the BODAS Connect All-in-One-Connectivity end-to-end solution was the right choice for HOLMER. It has enabled us to concentrate on our core area of expertise, namely optimizing the harvesting process, while the tailored range of telematics solutions allowed a quick market launch. At the same time, we have the flexibility we need to make our agricultural machines even smarter and to increase the benefits for customers with their own apps.
For two years, all sugar beet harvesters in the Terra Dos range have been fitted as standard with the RCU from Bosch Rexroth. The system can be retrofitted to previous models on request. By the end of 2022, we hope to connect all vehicle types to the Internet of Things. Our aim of being a technological leader therefore applies in the area of telematics and the IoT too.
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