At NI Week 2015, keynote presenters included Samsung, Jaguar, Texas Instruments, Nokia, Hyundai, IBM, GoPro, and…FireFly Equipment. Engineers were intrigued to see a turf harvester inside the Austin Convention Center, and in fact, next to the keynote stage. Their interest was further piqued as they learned about the sophisticated technologies controlling this “smart” machine, which allow FireFly to bring big improvements to their industry through increased productivity, fuel savings, and remote connectivity.
Andrew Limpert, FireFly Equipment CEO, pointed out the considerable impact of turfgrass on daily life. Turf is enjoyed in many activities, including golf, soccer, and football, and there are 50 million acres of managed turf in the United States alone. That turf comes from our customers—the turf farmers.
By combining the right technologies, FireFly’s ProSlab 155 harvester is twice as productive, 20 percent faster, and uses half the fuel as other automated slab machines. “These benefits translate into higher revenue and major cost savings for commercial farmers,” FireFly CTO and President Steve Aposhian told NI News. Through a secure FireFly data cloud connection, machines can also provide turf producers with capabilities like remote training and diagnostics, as well as the integration of logistics.
Design World contributing editor Steve Meyer said of the ProSlab 155, “It’s an amazing collection of technology that they were able to put together, not only to accomplish the primary task, but to have all these other benefits as a result.”
Aposhian told the NI Week audience, “This machine is basically a mobile factory on wheels.” Thousands of engineers and scientists in Austin, Texas appreciated the level of technological expertise exhibited by the FireFly team in their machine. What they didn’t get a chance to see is how simple the ProSlab 155 is to operate. “Our customers really don’t care so much about the technology; they just want to cut grass,” Aposhian said. And that’s exactly what operators of the ProSlab harvester can do, day in and day out. It’s automation made simple.
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