Kyocera Wireless and Partners Win M2MJune 29, 2008 2:21 am News, Technology
Kyocera Wireless Corp., a leading global manufacturer of wireless handsets, devices and embedded machine-to-machine modules, has been honored with M2M Magazine’s prestigious gold Value Chain Award for its role in a first-of-its-kind agricultural application of wireless machine-to-machine (M2M) technology at Dritz Farms in Lincoln County, Minn. Working with a team of technology partners including Leica Geosystems, Aeris Communications, Resolute Information Technology, Digi International and NovAtel Inc., Kyocera Wireless was recognized for enabling an innovative M2M technology solution that improved agricultural processes and productivity. The gold honor marks the fourth consecutive year Kyocera has received a Value Chain Award.
The groundbreaking Dritz Farms application uses wireless communication and GPS technology to improve farming productivity and efficiency, ultimately improving precious crop yields. Using GPS location information powered by Digi International, the Leica mojoRTK auto-steer platform guides field cultivating equipment with accuracy inside of 2 inches. At the same time, Leica’s Virtual Wrench solution uses a Kyocera M2M module and the Aeris CDMA network for real-time communications. Via the Virtual Wrench Web-based portal, designed by Resolute IT, Leica-approved technicians perform remote diagnostics to help farmers fine-tune equipment and fix problems while field work is underway. An antenna from NovAtel Inc. boosts the CDMA signal so the system operates in even the most remote fields. According to Tim Dritz, owner of Dritz Farms, the entire implementation paid for itself in less than a year.
“Small equipment adjustments can have a large effect on crop yield and even a small deviation can have devastating effects,” said Dritz. “With mojoRTK and Virtual Wrench a tractor is able to steer itself, which allows the operator to closely watch and monitor equipment performance. Without the system in place, it is very easy to deviate and steer farming equipment slightly off planted rows.”
“The power of wireless communication extends far beyond the corporate enterprise, and agriculture is yet another example of an industry where this technology can enhance productivity and deliver bottom-line results,” said Dean Fledderjohn, general manager of the M2M product line at Kyocera Wireless Corp. “This Value Chain award highlights Kyocera’s leadership in the M2M marketplace and demonstrates a growing portfolio of innovative Kyocera-enabled solutions that are flexible and easy to integrate with other leading technology providers.”
Value Chain Awards honor the most successful adopters of M2M technology along with the team of solution suppliers and providers that made their success possible. The awards highlight the process of combining multiple technologies – including device-connectivity hardware, radio modules, network services and application software – and showcase how all elements of the M2M value chain work together to create winning solutions for customers.
“We chose Dritz Farms for a Value Chain Award because it implemented a sophisticated M2M solution that demonstrates how the cooperation of multiple technology providers enables creative solutions that increase performance and in this case, crop yield, while containing costs,” said Peggy Smedley, editorial director and publisher of M2M Magazine. “The M2M market is thriving because teams of technology providers are working collaboratively, for the good of all, to combine telemetry and next-generation wireless applications that increase business value as well as drive M2M adoption.”
The M2M solution implemented by Dritz Farms offers the agricultural industry a compelling new tool to stay profitable in today’s challenging economic environment. In an industry well known for tight margins, the costs of inputs such as seed, fertilizer and fuel have skyrocketed in the last several years while commodity sales have remained relatively flat until recently. Today’s farmers are hard pressed to find new ways to maximize crop yield while reducing production costs. The Leica mojoRTK and Virtual Wrench solution, connected to the Aeris CDMA network by Kyocera’s M2M module, gives farmers that competitive advantage.
“The new mojoRTK product platform is built around Leica’s new ‘MObile Job Console’ and Leica Geosystems’ proven dual-frequency RTK technology,” said Darren Herstedt, Virtual Wrench service and support manager for Leica Geosystems. “Combined with our Virtual Wrench remote service and diagnostics system, we can truly provide outstanding field application performance and unparalleled field support.”
For spec sheets and more information on Kyocera modules, developer kits and case studies, please visit www.kyocera-wireless.com/m2m-business. For more information on Leica Geosystems agricultural solutions, please visit www.leica-geosystems.com. For more information about Aeris, please visit www.aeris.net.