Mechanization Haarlemmermeer sells, repairs and maintains agricultural machinery of renowned brands and also develops and builds machines specifically for flower bulb cultivation. This innovative partner for the agricultural sector, in the field of agricultural mechanization, machine construction and internal transport, builds several agricultural machines for its customers every year. One problem they encountered, however, was the breakdowns and travel time of the mechanics involved. In order to monitor the machines remotely, it was desirable to build a mobile Internet solution into the machine and connect it to the Programmable Logic Controller (PLC). A PLC is an electronic device in the form of a digital computer, which controls the operation of a machine. In collaboration with Capestone, the total solution was found in the combination of a 4G router, 4G MIMO puck antenna and connectivity.
”A solution to remotely manage and analyze the machines was desirable. We started looking for a party that could advise us on a 4G total solution at an affordable price without unnecessary extras. Important requirements in choosing the right hardware included: compactness and resistance to vibrations.”
In their search for a mobile internet solution, Mechanization Haarlemmermeer came to Capestone. Partner Manager Remy Heiligers advised them to use the Cradlepoint IBR200 4G router, 4G MIMO puck antenna and connectivity from KPN. The 4G router fully met all the requirements. Remote management of the routers and being able to guarantee a secure mobile internet connection is guaranteed by the management and application platform: NetCloud. Settings and firmware updates for a router from a particular series of machines can be performed at once. Since the router is incorporated into a metal cabinet, an external antenna was necessary to pick up the signal properly. For connectivity, a data bundle of KPN with 250MB was chosen. Because the SIM cards are pooled and the agricultural machines are often used in different periods, this data bundle is sufficient for the whole year.
“This 4G total solution allows us to watch live inside the machine. A thorough problem definition can be formed remotely. We can then instruct the customer to solve the problem himself or we can solve minor malfunctions remotely. If both cases are unsuccessful, a diagnosis has often already been made in the meantime and a service engineer can set to work in a focused way without first having to start an analytical investigation on location, which is often more time-consuming. Customer-specific requirements can also be realized remotely. Also, the use of a router offers many opportunities to expand future machine options,” said Alexander.
By adding a mobile Internet solution to an agricultural machine, the customer is helped faster. After all, the customer does not have to wait until a service technician is available and/or on site. From a distance, the technician can look directly at the situation and downtime of the customer’s business is reduced to a minimum. In this way, Mechanisatie Haarlemmermeer can offer a total solution that completely unburdens its customers.
Alexander Sweers is very satisfied with the cooperation with Capestone. “We are very satisfied with the entire process. The sales staff understands hardware and connectivity. They think along proactively about the various possibilities. In addition, the technical engineers are knowledgeable and quick to reach, which was very pleasant when we needed some help with the assembly and adjustment of the hardware.
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