Solutions to Advance Agriculture Smart Farming and Equipment

The agriculture industry is no stranger to technology. In fact, it’s among the most advanced industries in the world. With advancements in IoT, e-agriculture and smart farming are now core operations for most large producers and crop managers, while equipment and components look for more data for work efficiencies and improving production quality.

The global agribusiness industry is estimated to be $5 trillion and growing rapidly. The Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) notes that agriculture innovators and product developers are contributing to improved quality of life, economic growth, employment, and environment in a big way.  In developing this technology, one of the most critical supporting tools is force measurement sensors.

From heavy machinery used in working the fields to industrial weighing applications for livestock, there is a massive market of manufacturers serving farmers and the supply chains that support agriculture. Interface sensor technologies continue to play an important role in these advancements and use cases in the agriculture industry.

Interface products are a top choice for agriculture technology manufacturers because they provide the accuracy and reliability necessary to enhancing performance and ensuring safety. We have a variety of force measurement sensors that are designed for modern agricultural testing projects and as components for OEMs. Our expert application engineers help customers with standard products as well as design customized solutions for all types of applications using our products that are used for extreme environments, UAV and drone inspections, material handling, complex agricultural machines, and extreme weather conditions, engine testing, all ensuring maximum safety and efficiency.

Interface’s wide range of load cells, torque transducers, and DAQ systems are ideal for all types of advanced and simple agricultural applications, like weigh checking, lifting equipment, electrical and motorized farm vehicles, even drones used during the production and inspection. We have outlined these examples in our case study, Interface Solutions Used in Growing Agriculture Innovation. In this profile, you can see how our sensor technologies are used to ensure efficiency, sustainability, and proper production.

Common Agriculture Use Cases for Interface Products

  • Tractor and equipment testing
  • Production lines
  • Greenhouse facility management
  • Robotics and automation tools for farming
  • Livestock weighing
  • Feed and water monitoring
  • Storage, silo dispensing and weighing
  • EV engine testing
  • Field inspection and drone sensor testing
  • Wireless equipment for field management and remote monitoring
  • Gate and fencing field security solutions

Two very popular product categories in the agriculture industry include torque sensors and wireless products. Torque sensors are used in heavy machinery like tractors, plows and other vehicles that require immense power to move equipment and crops. For torque applications in tractors and other vehicles, we have different USB options for torque transducers such as the T12, T15, and T25 Rotary Torque Transducers. These options allow for easy integration with our numerous instrumentation solutions, including both digital and analog.

Wireless solutions have increased in popularity across all industries, but especially in farming where engineers and manufacturers are running tests in the field and don’t want to run long wires that can get in the way. Interface provides a wide range of wireless solutions including our Wireless and Bluetooth® Telemetry Systems, which include sensor transmitters, receivers, and displays. These systems help our customers create a test network that is more convenient and just as accurate as its wired counterparts.  You can view multiple agriculture applications using Interface solutions online. Here are a few examples.

Interface Applications in Agriculture

Tractor PTO Torque Testing

A customer wanted to measure the torque and speed of their tractor’s PTO (power takeoff test) system, ensure the tractor’s PTO system was functioning properly, and measure the torque being delivered to an implement. Interface’s solution was to use its T27 Bearingless Hollow Flange Style Rotary Torque Transducer to measure the tractor’s torque and speed of their tractor’s PTO system. The T27 Bearingless Hollow Flange Style Rotary Torque Transducer is bolted to the tractors PTO shaft. A dynamometer is attached on the other end and the transducer can measures the tractor’s torque and speed with high accurate results. With the INF3-USB PC Interface Module the customer was able to display, graph, and log the recorded torque and speed of the tractor’s PTO system with the supplied INF3-USB software. Using this solution, the customer was able to successfully and accurately measured the torque and speed of the tractor’s PTO system. Read more about tractor PTO torque testing here.

Horse ReignsWTS Equine Bridle Tension System

The customer needed to quantify the so-called “poll pressure.” Bits designed to give strong poll pressure using simple pulley lever principles show a much-attenuated transfer of the rein tension through the bit to the poll. The attenuation is readily understood when the equine mouth is recognized as a “floating” fulcrum degrading the otherwise required fixed pivot point of an ideal lever. Interface provided a WTS Equine Bridle Tension System, with 2 SMA Miniature S-Type Load Cells in both the line of the reins and that of the cheekpiece on one side of the horse. This system was used to study the dynamic response of the cheekpiece tension to rein tension in the ridden horse. The WTS provided the valuable data can be displayed and/or recorded in real time using a PC and/or a handheld receiver depending on the requirements and preferences of the customer. The fundamental operation of the bits could in principle be discovered on the laboratory bench. But in practice of course, the equine mouth is expected to provide the fulcrum. Within the real experimental system comprising the rider’s hands, the horse’s mouth, and the bit, the elasticity of the equine mouth provides a “floating” fulcrum and a potential source of time-lag and decoherence between the dynamic rein and cheekpiece tensions. Read Testing the Reins for more information.

Interface is a valuable partner to the agriculture industry and has developed a wide range of standard and custom solutions to meet the varying needs of manufacturers. You can read more about our products used in the agriculture industry, as well as some application examples available in our industry Agriculture Solutions Brochure.

Additional Resources

Interface Supplies Agriculture Industry with Sensor Technologies

Interface Helps to Move Agriculture Innovation Forward

Interface Solutions Used in Growing Agriculture Innovation

Tractor Linkage Draft Control

Silo Monitoring and Weighing

Chicken Weighing