Combine harvest automation creates a network between a fleet of tractors and combines allowing automation between the combine and the tractor. This facilitates on-the-go unloading by synchronizing tractor speed and direction of travel with the combine and provides greater ease of operation with improved efficiency, resulting in higher productivity during harvest. Combine harvest automation requires each machine to be equipped with a John Deere Machine Communication Radio (MCR).
Productivity gains are credited to tractor/grain cart operator’s ability to be in the right place at the right time with in-field logistics information. The GreenStar 3 (GS3) 2630 Display shows in-field logistics including grain tank-fill status, direction of travel, and location for each combine and tractor in the networked fleet. Harvest logistics requires each machine to be equipped with a John Deere MCR.
Sharing coverage maps while seeding, spraying, or applying fertilizer allows any John Deere Section Control-enabled machine to trigger section control on/off based on another machine’s coverage. Coverage map sharing, combined with integrated section control, eliminates the opportunity for overlapping or leaving uncovered areas in the field, saving on input costs and increasing yield. When used in a harvest operation, sharing coverage maps allows a machine to better calculate harvested area by using another machine’s coverage to enable overlap control based on the shared coverage. Machines can share coverage using an MCR solution.
Sharing guidance lines allows an AutoTrac-enabled machine to share guidance lines with another vehicle. Guidance line sharing functionality is limited to straight tracks only. Machines can share guidance lines using an MCR solution.
Machine Sync coverage map sharing enables John Deere Section Control enabled machines to trigger section control on/off based upon another machines coverage. Sharing coverage maps while seeding, spraying, or applying nutrients allows multiple machines operating in the same field to more efficiently control inputs. Calculation of the harvested area also increases accuracy when utilizing coverage map sharing.
Machine Sync guidance line sharing enables machines with AutoTrac™ assisted steering system to share straight track guidance lines with another machine operating within the same client, farm, field, and task. Streamline the process of sharing guidance lines with Machine Sync; simply share the AB line to other GreenStar™ 3 (GS3) 2630 Displays in near real-time. Once a guidance line is received, the line can either be saved for later use, adding the line into the list of available straight track lines or set for use allowing guidance lines to automatically generate and immediately be used. Guidance line sharing is optimized between machines with the same track spacing; if machines have different track spacing, it is recommended to have those machines work different areas of the field. If machines must work in the same area of the field with different track spacing, operators need to use shift track to line up each pass.
Coverage map and guidance line sharing changes the way operators approach a planting, spraying, or harvesting a field. With near real-time coverage map sharing, machines can plant, spray or apply in whatever pattern makes the most sense within the operation and automatically command section control on/off based upon the other machines coverage. Coverage maps are shared between GS3 2630 Displays operating in the same client, farm, field, and task.
Guidance lines of any Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) accuracy level (SF1, SF2 and RTK) can be shared between machines, however, accuracy of shared guidance line and coverage maps is related to the StarFire™ receiver accuracy level. As the accuracy level increases, coverage map and guidance line sharing accuracy also increases.
Machine Communication Radio (MCR): When the Machine Sync application is paired with an MCR, coverage maps and guidance lines can be shared between two machines performing in the same client, farm, field, and task. Because this MCR solution creates its own wireless network, cellular coverage and a JDLink™ Connect subscription are not required. Data sharing is limited to vehicles within a 1.5-km (2-mile) radius, and line of sight is required between vehicles. MCR hardware is required for harvest automation and logistics functionality.
Modular Telematics Gateway (MTG): When the Machine Sync application is paired with MTG 3G or newer communication technology, coverage maps and guidance lines can be shared between two machines in a single Operations Center organization operating in the same client, farm, field, and task simultaneously or within the same crop season. Coverage maps for the 2016 crop year will remain visible throughout the season; starting in the 2017 crop season, coverage maps will be maintained to 60 days. Since the MTG 4G LTE or MTG 3G leverages cellular communication technology, it allows multiple machines to communicate regardless of the machine’s proximity to the other as long as both are in areas with cellular coverage. A JDLink Connect subscription is required in order for the MTG 4G LTE or MTG 3G option to be utilized.
|Machine Sync functionality||MTG 4G LTE / MTG 3G||MCR|
|Coverage map sharing||Yes||Yes|
|Guidance line sharing||Yes||Yes|
|Harvest automation||Not available||Yes|
|Harvest logistics||Not available||Yes|
John Deere Machine Sync coverage map and guidance line sharing enhances the efficiencies of any operating running multiple machines together.
John Deere Machine Sync provides valuable information that allows multiple tractor/grain cart operators to make decisions that save time, fuel, and reduce compaction.
Tractor/grain cart operators can view the following for each combine in the network on the GreenStar™ 3 2630 Display:
A complete logistics view is also available to combine operators showing every combine and grain cart in the network.
John Deere Machine Sync’s logistical information enables tractor/grain cart operators to best determine what combine will need to unload first. This reduces the amount of time a combine waits for a cart and reduces unnecessary idle time. This information can also be helpful in managing transportation requirements.
The combine operator also has the ability to send out a request to unload. This allows the combine operator to influence the tractor/grain cart operator through the display. It is no longer necessary to solely rely on hand gestures or mobile phones to communicate an unload request.
Pair coverage map sharing with harvest automation and logistics to gain additional efficiencies. Enabling the grain cart with coverage map sharing allows the operator to see headlands and areas of the field that have been harvested allowing them to plan the most efficient way to access combines operating in the field.
Machine Sync automation makes on-the-go unloading more efficient. Combine productivity relies on keeping the machine running and never stopping to unload.
For example, an S-Series Combine operating in high-volume crops, such as corn 6-10 ton (180-220 bu), can expect to be unloading 40 to 50 percent of the time. A producer could spend more than half of a harvesting day with the unloading auger on.
Until now, successfully unloading grain into a grain cart while continuing to harvest crop introduces additional tasks on which operators must focus:
John Deere Machine Sync enhances the harvesting experience for even the most experienced operators. It allows both operators to focus on the key tasks of harvesting and unloading while minimizing the additional tasks created by on-the-go unloading. This results in operators who are more relaxed, productive, and alert while farming.
First introduced with the StarFire™ 3000 Receiver, the StarFire 6000 continues to provide shared signal functionality when pairing two receivers with Active Implement Guidance (AIG) or Machine Sync combine harvest automation via the GreenStar™ 3 2630 Display or Generation 4 CommandCenter™ display. Shared signal allows correction signals to be communicated between a pair of receivers, which can improve relative system accuracy and reduce the initial investment required to use AIG or Machine Sync combine harvest automation.
Leader definition - tractor receiver for AIG, combine receiver for Machine Sync combine harvest automation
Follower definition - implement receiver for AIG, grain cart tractor receiver for Machine Sync combine harvest automation
NOTE: StarFire 6000 leader to StarFire 3000 follower is not a supported configuration.
Shared signal enables StarFire receivers to share information when paired using AIG. This allows a StarFire receiver using a lower accuracy to be used on the implement for an AIG system and take advantage of the higher accuracy used by the machine receiver. The following table describes the accuracy that can be expected from this system:
Shared signal enables StarFire receivers to share information when paired using Machine Sync combine harvest automation. This allows the two vehicle receivers to maximize system performance during harvest operations. The following table describes the accuracy that can be expected from this system:
|Grain cart tractor
receiver activation level
The John Deere Machine Communication Radio paired with the Machine Sync activation for the GreenStar™ 3 2630 Display synchronizes the movement between the combine and tractor/grain cart providing automated on-the-go unloading during harvest. A network consists of up to ten machines, with any combination of tractor/grain carts to combines.
This automation allows for:
John Deere Machine Sync is designed to be easily set up in six steps:
|Step 1:||Install Machine Communication Radio and antenna|
|Step 2:||Install Machine Sync activation in GreenStar™ 3 2630 Display|
|Step 3:||Install tractor automation activation and any steering system unit (SSU) updates|
|Step 4:||Set up or join desired field network|
|Step 5:||Set home points between combines and tractor/grain tanks|
|Step 6:||Begin experiencing Machine Sync logistics and automation|
The automation and logistic information provided by Machine Sync is made possible with the John Deere
Machine Communication Radio. The network can include a total of ten machines, with any combination of tractors and combines.
The Machine Communication Radio creates a network between the fleet of tractors and combines allowing the display to show logistics information and allows for the automation between the combine and tractor.
Operators will see the following information for each combine in a network:
Combine operators, once paired with a tractor/grain cart, can also control the tractor's speed and nudge the tractor forward, backward, or laterally to maximize the filling of the grain cart. This control offers a significant reduction in stress to the combine operator.
John Deere Machine Sync guides an approaching grain cart tractor to a predetermined position for unloading relative to a specific combine. This synchronization occurs once the tractor and grain tank enter an area to the left of the combine. This area is known as the operational zone, which is the orange box in the display image pictured above.
Once in the operational zone, digital radio communication commences between the two machines. At this point, the tractor operator can engage Machine Sync by pressing the AutoTrac™ resume switch. This gives control of the tractor, including speed and direction of travel to the combine operator. Once the tractor reaches the predetermined unloading point or home point, synchronization occurs between the two machines.
As the combine continues to harvest, the combine operator can engage the unloading auger, offloading grain into the grain cart. While synchronized, the tractor and grain cart are mimicking the movements of the combine. The combine and tractor with the grain cart continue to travel in synchronized fashion until the combine or tractor operator disengages Machine Sync. The tractor operator can do this by simply taking control of the steering wheel. The combine operator can disengage through a button on the GreenStar™ 3 2630 Display. Machine Sync will automatically disengage at speeds below 0.5 km/h (0.31 mph) or above 16 km/h (9.94 mph).
While the combine and tractor/grain cart are tracking and unloading, the combine operator has the ability to make incremental speed and direction changes to the tractor to evenly fill the cart. Nudge buttons on the GreenStar 3 2630 Display allow the tractor/grain tank to be nudged forward, backward, or side to side. These changes in relative positioning help ensure the full capacity of the grain tank is being utilized. Final topping off of the grain cart may require the combine operator to swing the unloading auger for final filling.
With W-, S-, and T-Series Combines model year 2012 and newer, an optional field-installed hydro handle with an integrated nudge button is available.