The digital Data Interface of today

The term ISOBUS IV relates to the fourth version of a fieldbus system. This enables communication between machines and a further component, making it possible to achieve automation of the work process. ISOBUS IV has shown itself as an application representing a technological innovation especially in the field of agriculture and in theory and practice offering only advantages for humans. This system not only brings a direct advantage to agriculture, i.e. the farmers, but also the manufacturers of these types of machines. Contractors also receive advantages when using this data interface. After all, the ISOBUS IV is exactly that. Furthermore, this technology has now become a fixed standard. Namely, when the proliferation of such applications progressed in the 80s and 90s, the quantity of suppliers with individual versions increased, so that an international standard was required and as such, the brand name ISOBUS was founded.

Network Management within ISOBUS IV

Network management is the rule governing how to access a fieldbus. This specifies which data packet is transferred to which component and at what time. The special characteristic of ISOBUS IV is the ability to be able to couple further devices to the bus while such a data transfer is taking place. Reversely, the disconnecting of devices during the execution of a process also is allowed. This function is based on the possibility for dynamic address assignment. Network management can be basically divided into the following two parts:

  • ECU 1
  • ECU 2

The process, including these two components, can be visualized according to a specified scheme:

  1. ECU 1 sends an “address claimed: which contains the name. This then becomes a so-called broadcast message.
  2. All other ECUs that are online report back with the transmission of their address and name.
  3. Then ECU 1 knows whether it has a higher priority and can occupy address space by sending the corresponding number to ECU 2.
  4. ECU 2 then transmits a “cannot claim address” and as such, receives the address “null”.
  5. ECU 2 must search for a new address or have one assigned from another subscriber with “command address”.

This process within the network management of ISOBUS IV always takes place when a new participant is added. This can happen by connecting an implement. However, this does not include mechanisms which serve to prevent an overloading of the bus.

Where is the actual Benefit of ISOBUS IV

As a rule, in theory, use of this technological application will simplify the handling and operation of machines and attachments. In practice, this desired success can prove itself, so that ISOBUS IV makes sure that there are no unnecessary cables and that no additional operating elements are required. After all, the decisive criterion with this system is the use of a central terminal for all network-internal components that are coupled to each other simply via a plug. Even with very complex devices experience has shown that ISOBUS IV can reduce the quantity of the hydraulic hoses to be coupled to three hoses (max.). The aspect of functionality has most relevance. After all, as a result of the central control unit, it is possible that commands can be sent at the same time and from the seat of the tractor. The work process is shortened by the ability to run several work steps in parallel. Finally, the advantage of ISOBUS IV is the fact that set values can be displayed, so that they are not only stored and accessed again, but are also capable of being changed. This makes it possible to adjust a device optimally so that, for example, pesticide is only dispensed as a quantity that is actually required.

A summary: ISOBUS IV

The use of this type of fieldbus system “revolutionizes” agriculture and increases competitiveness. After all, the simplicity of handling increases the quality of work and as such, the output that is achieved. Work can be performed faster and more accurately. Wastage, caused by incorrect information concerning the quantity of pesticide, the soil conditions, and other external influences affecting the growth of plants is eliminated and through this, costs are reduced. This is especially evident from the example of a plough, as it has many functions. Some though are rarely used because of impractical switching. The fuel consumption also increases as a result of this impracticality. The fourth version of ISOBUS thus proves itself as an investment that seems inescapable if the farmer wants to remain competitive with other farmers. Furthermore, the aspect of environmental protection must also be considered. Lower fuel consumption as a result of simpler and faster operation and the exact specification of the dosage of agents (of any type) can influence the ecosystem positively.