AEF MeetingThe Agricultural Industry Electronics Foundation (AEF) recently held its North America Team leaders and Steering Committee meetings at the AEM offices in Washington DC, and discussion centered on the different types of communication systems under development.

Specifically, tractor/implement communication (TIM), but also machine-to-machine and machine-to-cloud (EFDI) were discussed. However, of particular interest was the activity of Project Team 5, ISOBUS Automation. The project team leader provided the current status of the Tractor Implement Management (TIM) project. This included the progress being made with the complex infrastructure being developed for this system.

In addition, the project activity around Farm Management Information Systems and their work with Extended FMIS Data Interface (EFDI) was discussed, and a Plugfest event is being planned for the fall.

Each year, the AEF plans three face-to-face meeting with the Project team leaders, Steering Committee and Chair Group. One of those meetings is always located in North America. This year, AEM hosted the meetings at their Washington DC offices with a welcome provided by Nick Yaksich, AEM’s senior vice president, government & industry relations, who briefed the committee on the support AEM is providing to the Ag industry at this location.

The meetings began with a joint session of the Team Leaders and Steering Committee, followed by a Steering Committee meeting the following day. These meetings provide an opportunity for each project team to provide an update on their activities and issues that may need action/direction from the Steering Committee. The meetings were well attended, with 24 attendees from 14 different companies present at the AEM DC offices.

The Steering Committee meeting was attended by the representatives from the eight founding companies and three associations: CNHi, John Deere, Claas, Poettinger, AGCO, Kverneland Group, Grimme Group, Same Deutz fahr, VDMA, FederUnacoma and AEM.

Charlie O’Brien, AEM’s senior vice president, Ag services, provided his thoughts on the support provided by AEM. He pointed out how the AEM Ag Services group has supported the industry, including providing staff for the Chair Group Secretariat position, promotions by the AEM communications group with articles and informational material, as well as providing a booth at two major Ag shows this spring.

Below is a brief note on some of the AEF project team activities:

Project Team 1: Conformance Testing

  • Providing and maintaining state-of-the-art testing and certification process

Project Team 2: Functional Safety of Electronic Controls

  • Developing application guidelines for implementation of safety related applications 

Project Team 3: Engineering and Implementation

  • Coordinating launch of new ISOBUS features
  • Monitoring the ISOBUS engineering and implementation processes

Project Team 4: Service and Diagnostics

  • Development of the AEF ISOBUS Database
  • Troubleshooting ISOBUS systems with components from different manufacturers
  • Technical documentation

Project Team 5: ISOBUS Automation  (NEW)

  • Defining safe and secure ISOBUS automation systems (tractor implement management systems)

Project Team 6: Communication and Marketing

  • Promoting ISOBUS and the AEF tools
  • Coordinating participation in exhibitions, conferences, etc.
  • Responsible for corporate design, PR, etc.

Project Team 7: High-voltage On-board Networks

  • Developing a standardized interface capable of providing enough power for large electric motors
  • Interface can deliver 700 V direct current, or three-phase 480 V alternating current with up to 150 kW power

Project Team 8: Camera Systems

  • Harmonizing connectivity between cameras on implement and tractor
  • Solutions for both analogue and digital image transmission are on the agenda

Project Team 9: Farm Management Information Systems

  • Growing importance of data handling
  • Standardization of interface between TC and FMIS              

Project Team 10: High-speed ISOBUS

  • Exploring concepts for increasing bandwidth on the Bus, to ease and speed up data exchange
  • This will also contribute to the expansion of diagnostics, the support of electric drives, M2M communication and connection of real-time video systems

Project Team 11: Wireless In-field Communication

  • Examining suitable radio standards for machine-to-machine (M2M) communications
  • Communications encryption and functional reliability

For more information, contact AEM Technical Director Mark Benishek (, tel: 414-298-4118).