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Growing number of brands get AEF TIM certification

A growing number of manufacturers have completed the certification process assuring end users that the tractor-operating functions on their implement job computers are proven to function effectively and securely.

SDF Group obtained the first tractor certification through the Agricultural Industry Electronics Foundation (AEF) test procedure and Krone secured the first implement certification.

More recently, Kubota achieved the first ‘double’, gaining AEF conformance certificates for one of its tractor series and variable chamber size round balers.

New Tractor Implement Management (TIM) function of ISOBUS

The agricultural engineering industry’s AEF organisation completed development of protocols and test procedures for the new Tractor Implement Management (TIM) function of ISOBUS last year.

Class 3 level ISOBUS

It requires so-called Class 3 level ISOBUS, which can manage more sophisticated two-way data communication between an implement and a tractor, and enables certain functions on the tractor to be operated by commands from the implement.

These include hydraulic valves, the pto clutch, rear three-point linkage motion and position, and the tractor’s transmission forward/reverse selection, start and stop, and ground speed.

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Kubota’s 130-175hp M7003 tractors with stepless drive have gained AEF conformance certification for Tractor Implement Management. - Photo: Kubota
Kubota’s 130-175hp M7003 tractors with stepless drive have gained AEF conformance certification for Tractor Implement Management. - Photo: Kubota

AEF ‘digital certificate’ embedded in the software

The AEF protocols therefore had to include significant safety considerations in addition to functional compatibility; so for TIM, an AEF ‘digital certificate’ is embedded in the software and this is checked when the first connection is made between conforming devices.

An electronic ‘key’ shared at that point is then checked every time a tractor and implement pairing is connected as a failsafe and indicates to the operator with TIM functionality is available.

TIM to automate certain aspects of tractor operation

Manufacturers say TIM offers an opportunity to automate certain aspects of tractor operation, particularly repetitive controls, to ease the driver’s workload.

First applications for TIM are apparent on round balers, the operation of which involves a repeated sequence of control actions; some automation features are already available from several manufacturers but only a successful AEF conformance test guarantees compatibility across a number of functions.

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The TIM functionality logo is now ‘live’ on the Deutz-Fahr 6 Series TTV and Krone Comprima Combi entries in the AEF ISOBUS database used to cross check compatibility. - Photo: Screenshot
The TIM functionality logo is now ‘live’ on the Deutz-Fahr 6 Series TTV and Krone Comprima Combi entries in the AEF ISOBUS database used to cross check compatibility. - Photo: Screenshot

Krone balers

So far, Krone has received conformance certification for the latest Comprima variable and fixed chamber balers, the Fortima fixed chamber chain and slat machines, including baling/wrapping Combi versions, and the new VariPack high output variable bale size belt machines.

Kubota balers and tractors

Kubota’s variable size BV5 series round balers now have TIM certification, along with the Japanese manufacturer’s 130-175hp M7003 series tractors when equipped to Premium specification and the KVT stepless transmission, which uses ZF hardware but Kubota-developed control software.

Deutz-Fahr 6 Series TTV tractors

SDF Group has certification for 164-226hp Deutz-Fahr 6 Series TTV tractors (four- and six-cylinders from Tier 4 Final onwards), which have the same transmission hardware.

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The new ISOBUS function Tractor Implement Management (TIM) enables certain tractors controls to be activated by instructions from equipment such as round balers. - Photo: SDF Group
The new ISOBUS function Tractor Implement Management (TIM) enables certain tractors controls to be activated by instructions from equipment such as round balers. - Photo: SDF Group

When TIM-capable balers are operated by these tractors, the system can automatically bring the tractor to a halt for netting when the full bale size has been reached, operate hydraulic valves to open and close the tailgate section, and vary the tractor’s working speed along an uneven swath.

Other capabilities, such as setting the tractor in motion again, are currently restricted by legislation.

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