Fired Up About FireFly at NIWeek 2015

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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.

proslab 155 next to stage

The ProSlab 155 next to the keynote stage before the doors were opened

Jamie Smith and Andrew Limpert

Jamie Smith, National Instruments Director of Embedded Systems Product Management and Marketing, and Andrew Limpert, FireFly Equipment CEO

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.

Steve Aposhian FireFly Equipment CTO

Steve Aposhian, FireFly Equipment Chief Technology Officer and President

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.”

demo of ProSlab 155

Remote Connectivity of the ProSlab 155 is demonstrated by Dan Aposhian and Matt Aposhian

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.

trade show floor

The ProSlab 155 turf harvester generated interest of many NI Week participants

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On Stage at NIWeek

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FireFly TEAM members

FireFly TEAM members at NI Week in Austin, Texas

As the technology leaders of the turf production industry, the FireFly TEAM is proud to be presenting on the keynote of NIWeek, a global conference on graphical system design sponsored by National Instruments.

“The 21st annual NIWeek conference presented by NI begins August 3 in Austin, Texas, and once again brings together the brightest minds in engineering and science. More than 3,200 innovators representing a wide spectrum of industries, from automotive and telecommunications to robotics and energy, will discover the latest technology to accelerate productivity for software-defined systems in test, measurement, and control.” National Instruments

ProSlab 155 at NIWeek

Watch the live webcast

Wherever you are, you can join us via webcast. Tune in August 4th at about 9:30 am (CST) to see the experts at FireFly Equipment demonstrate the connectivity of the ProSlab 155 turf harvester to the world.

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TPI’s New Format: An Opportunity to Connect

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Our FireFly staff enjoyed the new format of the summer TPI show in Portland last week. It was an excellent opportunity to network and talk to people one-on-one about the FireFly harvester and our company in general. In this more relaxed setting, we were able to make new friends and get to know people on a more personal level, whether they are current customers or not.

It was fascinating to visit different seed-related companies and learn what they are doing to help the turf industry. We were impressed by the beautiful Portland area– wasn’t the view at Willamette Valley Vineyards spectacular?–and the quality of farming and seed production operations.



A highlight was being able to see two excellent sod operations: JB Instant Lawn and Oregon Turf & Tree. Although it wasn’t turf related, a part of the tour that seemed to be a favorite was learning more about the Northwestern Oregon hazelnut production at JB Instant Lawn. At all the farm visits, it was interesting to see the machinery they use in their normally wet climate (except in this year’s drought).


And we even got to watch a parade. Thank you, TPI, for an enjoyable and productive show!

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