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Modern and Robust Terminal for Operating Agricultural Machinery

New generation of CEBIS Touch for CLAAS agricultural machinery – production to start in October 2017

New generation of a success story: for CLAAS, IAV has taken CEBIS (CLAAS Centralized Electronic on-Board Information System) yet a step further. The new generation comes with much more computing capacity and a larger display. Machine drivers can also look forward to a revamped user interface geared towards modern CE devices. Benefiting from high-performance hardware, the new CEBIS Touch is also ready for taking on future upgrades.

“The existing CEBIS model was no longer up to date”, reports Holger Kaiser, head of the Equipment Development department at IAV. “That not only goes for the CPU but also for the display.” The new version provides plenty of computing power with a free-scale microcontroller of type i.MX 6 and clock frequency of 800 megahertz – currently in a dual- core configuration that can be replaced later on with a quad-core version. A further highlight is the new multi-touch display: instead of 8.4, it now has a screen size of 12.1 inches with a resolution of 1,280 x 800 pixels. The touch screen works on a capacitive basis and, thanks to its hardened glass interface, is resistant to all chemicals used in agriculture. The operating system used in the new CEBIS unit is Windows Embedded Compact 2013, extended and adapted by IAV.

User interface with aesthetic appeal

The user interface has also undergone all manner of change: “CLAAS has developed a new design that is as sophisticated as it is aesthetically pleasing”, Kaiser says. “It features elements the user is familiar with from CE devices, like smartphones or tablet PCs.” This is the basis on which IAV has developed the new software for the graphic display and also ported, brought together and implemented existing applications on the new platform for four CLAAS machines (two tractors, combine and forage harvester). Besides developing the software, the technical challenges also included integrating the new touch screen. “We had to make it immune to electromagnetic radiation“, reports project manager Uwe Möller. “Otherwise, operating errors may occur under high-voltage power lines or near airports – socalled ghost touches.” IAV’s experts have also invested a lot of time in designing the compact on-board computer. It is inspired by the familiar tablet PCs and, in a thickness of only 46 millimeters, has turned out to be relatively slim. The enclosure was designed with assistance from the IAV passenger car interior team. The developers produced the prototype in collaboration with their colleagues from IAV Production Control.

The project started at the beginning of 2014 and will be concluded mid-2018 – apart from ongoing model improvement which will then begin. The hardware was released at the end of 2016 and, in the meantime, IAV is already supplying CLAAS with small batches. Changeover to the new generation will take place in stages. As soon as this process has been completed, production figures will be similar to those of the preceding model.

Reserve capacity for new assistance systems

Thanks to its high-performance hardware, the new CEBIS generation is ideally prepared to meet future demands. “Over the next few years, agriculture will be using more and more assistance systems, such as for partly autonomous driving”, Kaiser explains. “When reaping, for instance, the overlap between adjacent swathes is to be reduced to just a few centimeters.” The performance of the CEBIS on-board computer would be sufficient for this application. The future integration of other applications from third-party suppliers, e.g. for attachments, on the ISO bus will also be possible.

Even today, Kaiser’s team is thinking of ways to further optimize the hardware. Among items on the agenda is a bigger flash memory as well as the integration of a high-speed interface. “In future, interfaces of this type will be making their way into agricultural machinery for dataintensive applications, such as firmware updates or camera-based assistance systems”, Möller says. But with the “classic” interfaces, like CAN and RS232, still in demand too, additional CAN and serial interfaces are also planned.

CEBIS Touch

CPU: Freescale i.MX 6 Dual Core (800 MHz)
OS: Windows Embedded Compact 2013
RAM: 1 GB DDR3 SDRAM
Flash: 1 GB NAND-Flash
Display: 12,1-inch, 1.280 x 800, capacitive multi-touch (4 fingers max.)
Enclosure: 216 x 306 x 46 mm (H x W x D)
IP rating: IP6K4 (front), IP5K2 (rear)
Weight: 1,800 grams
Interfaces: CAN (2 x), RS232, USB (2 x), Ethernet 100 BASE-TX, Video in (2 x Fakra), SD-Karte