The process of consolidation among agricultural technology companies will take another step when Trimble completes its proposed acquisition of a key German manufacturer of specialist kit.
Subject to the usual statutory requirements, the Müller-Elektronik group will become part of US-based Trimble in the third quarter of this year.
The family run group specialises in implement control and precision farming solutions and the deal includes subsidiaries such as WTK Elektronik, a manufacturer of displays, controllers and components that Müller bought in 2010, and sales companies in Argentina, France and the US.
Müller-Elektronik Joskin ISOBUS terminal
Müller-Elektronik's precision farming hardware
Müller-Elektronik has 375 employees involved in the production and sale of electronic control units, embedded software and precision farming hardware – including controls and displays – to equipment manufacturers and end users.
"Our planned acquisition of Müller-Elektronik recognises the growing importance of the implement in variable rate application solutions, as well as the importance of an integrated platform that is agnostic to equipment brand," said Darryl Matthews, Trimble senior vice-president.
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“Müller's Isobus solutions are already compatible with a significant number of equipment manufacturers and this capability, together with existing Trimble competencies, will enable us to expand our role in the growing market for variable-rate applications."
New solutions for precision farmers
Matthews added combining the technology and competencies of the two businesses will enable development of new solutions for farmers, who often struggle to integrate and use disparate hardware and software products across various brands of agricultural equipment.
Müller-Elektronik was a key contributor in the development of the Isobus communication protocol, which allows one terminal to control implements and machines through a common interface style regardless of manufacturer.