VALLEY IRRIGATION MONITORING AND CONTROL
Valmont Irrigation is the global leader in mechanized irrigation technology and the world's leading manufacturer of mechanized irrigation equipment. Since founding the industry in 1954, Valley products have been enhancing food production while conserving and protecting natural resources. Valmont has sold over 145,000 Valley center pivots, linear and corner machines worldwide, irrigating roughly 14 million acres in more than 100 countries.
Growers have another option for monitoring pivots, since Valmont Irrigation, the manufacturer of Valley Irrigation products, introduced the Tracker family of remote monitoring and control equipment. "This product allows growers with any brand of pivot or type of pivot panel to be able to monitor what's happening in multiple fields," according to Valmont Product Manager Jake LaRue.
The Tracker is designed to save time and money that is currently spent driving to verify or change pivot status. "The Tracker alerts the grower of pivot shutdowns with an alarm message via phone or Internet," according to LaRue. "This saves lots of time driving to the fields to check pivots. It might be a way to get another year out of that older pivot, with a little insurance that the grower will know, very quickly, if there's a problem."
The Valley Tracker family of products is the result of an ongoing development and manufacturing project between Valmont Irrigation and M2M Communications.
Since 2004, M2M Communications has designed and manufactured a complete series of web-to-wireless remote monitoring and control products that are compatible with Valmont pivot products as well as with competitive pivots.
The classic Tracker products are designed to physically measure various voltages and sensors in the system, and to directly control the operation of the system. The Tracker SP series use a proprietary protocol to poll the intelligent Valley control panels for status information and to pass control information to the panel.
M2M also designs and manages the Valley Tracker NOC and website including all customized data processing and graphical interfaces. M2M also provides all cellular and satellite airtime directly to the Valley customer base.
The Valley site also provides voice based access to the Tracker NOC. Automatic notifications of change events can be sent to any list of phones via text-to-speech voice or text messages. In addition, the growers can access spoken Tracker status information by dialing the NOC’s toll free number.
A fully automated on-line billing system is used to provision all new field units, track call traffic, and charge the customer’s credit card on a monthly basis. The system is designed for OEM use and can be applied to any other customer application.
The Trackers are available with a variety of wireless communication options to support worldwide deployments, including CDMA or GSM cellular, and Iridium satellite.