Revolutionary HMI-Design of Forage Harvester

Agricultural OEM Krone bets on Qt software library for development of their terminal / First prototype read in less than three months

Big X in maize harvest at day time

Big X 480 in maize harvest

585 horsepower, 15.6 litres engine displacement and an up to 9 metre wide cutterhead – forage harvesters are among the most powerful agricultural machines. It takes a lot more technology and know-how to drive such a vehicle than a car. The driver terminal of a forage harvester must process information from more than 30 components like motor, cutterhead, metal detector or grinder within tenths of a second. The terminal additionally provides a diagnosis system. The agricultural OEM Krone from Lower Saxony has built all these functions into the touch-screen terminal of its forage harvester Big X 480/580. The HMI software of the terminal was developed with the GUI and application library Qt.
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HMI Trends from Agritechnica 2013

At this year’s Agritechnica, I had a close look at the HMIs of the tractors and self-propelled harvesters of CLAAS, AGCO (Fendt and Massey Ferguson), John Deere, New Holland and some others. My focus was on the UI software running on driver and auxiliary terminals. I think that these HMIs have a lot of catching up to do with respect to in-vehicle-infotainment systems and even more with modern smartphones. Here is my detailed report. Continue reading