Facilitate the digitization of farms with a solution that simplifies the daily life of farmers

 

Famoco listened to our specific problems and was able to integrate features in the latest generation of its product that are not found in more mainstream products. The sales team trusted us by providing us with equipment that allowed us to test our tracking software on their newest models before they were even released.

Famoco is a precious partner in the success of our adventure.

– Olivier Ruchot, founder of Ortix

 

 

Towards the digitization of the agricultural sector

Traditional work methods that are time-consuming for farmers

Founded in 2019 in France, Ortix is a technology and agriculture company focused on supporting farmers with digital solutions with software and connected products. Ortix has developed Scopix, a solution to help farmers automate the recording of agricultural activity data, necessary for their monitoring and traceability.

During a working day, a farmer has to record his activities on the agricultural plots. These activities are varied (harvesting, weeding, spreading fertilizers, etc.) and must be systematically tracked and controlled due to regulations, such as those on organic labels for example.

Traditionally, this activity data was recorded during the day in notebooks and then transcribed into a register or plot management software, but this method caused some issues on a daily basis:

  • Data entry could be time-consuming for farmers in the field 
  • The farmer could forget to write some information or even falsify it
  • The data recording is also done manually at the end of the day

 

Machine agricole équipée de la solution agrinity

 

Scopix: a solution to simplify farmers’ work

Scopix is a traceability solution that effortlessly records farmers’ agricultural activities and monitors inputs directly from the cabs of vehicles (tractors, combine harvesters, etc.). 

The solution includes a mobile device that is installed in the vehicle, which collects information from the beacons attached to the various farm implements. This mobile device automatically detects the location of the plot of land where the farmer enters and the type of activity carried out. It then asks the farmer to provide information on the inputs he will use during his activity. The device is connected to a database that suggests a list of inputs according to the activity. If the farmer exceeds the regulatory limit of inputs, he will immediately be alerted by the software to avoid non-compliance with the rules of use.

The aim of crossing the different data is to help farmers optimize their production costs by evaluating the working time, the agricultural surfaces covered, or the fuel consumption. Thanks to the simplified follow-up of operations, the control of inputs, and the efficient management of the equipment fleet, farmers can optimize:

  • The organization of technical means
  • The use of inputs
  • Material investments
  • The choice of crops

Before being able to deploy this complete solution for farmers, Ortix had several requirements regarding the choice of the tracking device to use.

 

 

A terminal that must meet several requirements

Ortix had several technical restrictions to make the Scopix solution work. This solution needs to be launched from a mobile device with:

  • Good connectivity to send data to the servers
  • Bluetooth to automatically connect to smart beacon to collect field data
  • GPS to follow the path of the machines on the agricultural plots
  • An accelerometer to measure the vibration level
  • A touch screen so that the farmer can enter information directly on the terminal

 

📶  Take advantage of good network coverage in agricultural areas

Before any deployment, Ortix encountered a major obstacle to the success of Scopix: network coverage in the agricultural fields. Since data must be regularly exchanged between the devices and the Ortix servers, it is imperative to have full network coverage. Unfortunately, agricultural areas do not make this easy.

The company must be able to install a multi-operator SIM card on its devices to take advantage of the coverage of all four French phone operators at the same time. Moreover, these terminals should be embedded with a GPS to be able to remotely follow the activities and the movements of the machines.

 

🔃  Connecting the tracking devices to the beacons

Ortix also needs Bluetooth Low Energy enabled mobile devices to pair with the beacons installed on the tools. This way, the two devices could connect automatically when they are in range.

 

📳  Identify activities with an accelerometer

For Ortix, it is also interesting to measure the vibration level of a vehicle, thanks to an accelerometer module, to determine its status when moving or not (combined with the GPS). Besides, during an activity, the accelerometer data could be used to monitor work situations or simple movements. For example, a combined harvester will have an intense vibration during an activity, compared to moving from a warehouse to a field.

 

 

Towards 5000 Famoco terminals deployed in 2022

Ortix chose to deploy its Scopix solution on Famoco FX105 mobile devices. “I didn’t want a device that will cost me 300€”, said Olivier Ruchot. Indeed, the functionalities requested by the company are all available on a mainstream smartphone but their prices are high and they are not adapted to professional use. The FX105, therefore, meets the same needs at a lower cost and is designed for workers.

  • It can be equipped with a multi-operator SIM card
  • It is compatible with Bluetooth Low Energy
  • It has a built-in accelerometer and GPS
  • It can be easily installed in the cabs of tractors and other machines
  • It has a camera to take pictures of a situation
  • It turns on as soon as it is powered, which allows it to be turned on automatically when a tractor is started

“I equipped many of my machines with trackers and beacons, and installed beacons. It’s a real comfort because I don’t have to worry about this management anymore. As soon as I make an intervention, it tells me to register it. And two weeks later, I can access all the history on the software”

– C. Van Landeghem, who has been using the tool for a year

 

These devices are also powered by the Famoco OS, an Android OS dedicated to professionals. In addition, their link to the Famoco MDM allows Ortix to manage and install software updates remotely in less than 5 minutes. Read this article to learn more about the features of Mobile Device Management (MDM).

As a result, Ortix was able to deploy 60 FX100 and FX105 for the first deployment in 2020 and is aiming for 1,500 terminals in 2021 and 5,000 in 2022.

 

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