Growth in agricultural machine sales drives equipment innovation

More and more tractors and harvesters are already leaving the factory with technologies that improve their efficiency in the field

25 August 2021

Sales of agricultural machinery and implements are expected to grow 30% in 2021, according to the Brazilian Association of the Machinery and Equipment Industry (Abimaq). Last year, when the sector reached BRL 42 billion in revenue, this growth was 17%. Faced with the prospect of good performance, manufacturers must expand their production and launch innovative versions of tractors and harvesters.

"Despite the crisis, the agribusiness sector only grows in Brazil, and the agricultural machinery sector is following the same path. The manufacturers' bet in this scenario is to invest in more sophisticated products, which already leave the factory with technologies for precision agriculture and connectivity options for constant monitoring," points out Bernardo de Castro, president of Hexagon's Agriculture division — a company that develops technological solutions for the field.

Technology suppliers take the opportunity to improve the features offered. Within the monitoring option, for example, there are already solutions that provide real-time production site data, allowing for the centralised management of all agricultural operations. Through detailed reports, graphs and dashboards, managers can make agile decisions and direct control processes to machine operators remotely.

Similarly, it is also possible to make remote interventions to solve problems quickly and economically. "This is a great advantage for machine manufacturers, as it allows them to have a more direct relationship with their customers and ensure efficient support and technical assistance", reinforces Bernardo. From the internet connection, the manufacturer's technical team can view the display screen and make a remote control of the machinery. In fact, displays — or onboard computers — enable agricultural equipment to leave the factory ready to operate with precision agriculture, that is, with software, sensors and actuators to monitor and automate operations in the field.

Machine Control

To bring more efficiency to agriculture, technologies guarantee the combination of electronics, measurement, positioning and automation for machines. There are several resource options available, which can be adapted to the needs of manufacturers and their customers, managers and rural producers.

"Two common examples are sprayer control and fertilisation, which intelligently regulate and automate the application of pesticides and fertilisers, respectively. The idea is to avoid excessive failures and the waste of these inputs, generating more productivity and profit in production," explains the president of Hexagon's Agriculture division.

Auto steering is another technology increasingly present in agricultural machines that leave the factories, considering that it allows an automated and precise navigation. “This tool is one of the first steps towards the arrival of autonomous vehicles, which should be part of the field in the near future. At Hexagon, we also already provide manufacturers with custom solutions that integrate equipment into unique interfaces, with the implementation of their own APIs and complex algorithms that help in this automation," says Bernardo.

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