Heavy equipment manufacturer Deere & Co. has announced a new operating model to help it to integrate tech-driven features into its construction offerings.
The innovations are focused on enabling equipment with onboard computers, sensors, enabled software, computer vision and connectivity to help the machines be faster and more productive and precise, said Jason Daly, global director of marketing and support for the company's Construction & Forestry division. He added that the equipment and solutions will help customers "perform jobs better and faster, make more informed decisions, maximize uptime and create a complete cycle where each step informs the next."
Daly said that the impetus behind the initiative was a recognition that Deere's customers are becoming more dynamic and competitive.
"We know that the construction industry is rapidly changing, and technology is a key driver in this evolution," he said. "Technology can play a role in all aspects of a construction business, from the bidding process and fleet management to operator recruitment and retention."
The company foresees technology as a solution to many of construction's biggest challenges, Daly said, including the skilled labor shortage, safety issues and the need for greater productivity.
"The firm's WorkSight technology — such as grade control, payload weighing and autonomous systems — are a few examples of how we’re helping customers meet those challenges," he said. "By intensifying our investment in precision technologies, we will make more productive products and thus have more profitable customers."
The Deere Smart Industrial strategy is focused on new technologies in three focus areas:
Production Systems: A strategic alignment of products and solutions will enable the company to drive an integrated product roadmap and related investments that span all aspects of a customer's jobs and to more fully meet customer needs.
Technology Stack: Investments in technology as well as research and development will deliver intelligent solutions through an intuitive technology stack made up of hardware, embedded software, connectivity, data platforms and applications.
Lifecycle Solutions: Deere's aftermarket and support capabilities will be integrated to more effectively manage customer equipment, service and technology needs across the full lifetime of a John Deere product.
The company also announced that senior vice president Jahmy Hindman was named to a new position as the chief technology officer, reporting to the CEO. Hindman will oversee the Intelligent Solutions Group, responsible for Deere's end-to-end technology stack, shared enterprise engineering and John Deere Electronic Solutions product delivery.
Deere & Co. has been on a tech-driven course for many years now, according to Diesel Progress magazine. It recently opened an Intelligent Solutions Group facility near Des Moines, Iowa, and last August the board of directors appointed John May as chairman and CEO. May is a former chief information officer and former director of the Intelligent Solutions Group.