Dec 23, 2020
Dicam controls were designed to be future proof because farmers like equipment that lasts, is well supported and can be repaired and updated. We predicted that we would be updating, upgrading and innovating with dicam controls at the launch of the system in 1993 and this is exactly what has happened. Recent examples are the Modbus network control of air-conditioning units for new research facilities at Newcastle University and EC fan control – again using Modbus.
The interest in data from process control systems and perhaps more importantly, the demand for remote access to controller networks to allow setting changes to be done from a mobile device means that it is time for the next generation! The development programme is behind schedule but the new system has been customised for Galebreaker who specialise in natural ventilation systems for livestock buildings. Their version of the controls have been on trial in the field for over a year now and commercially available systems will be on the market early 2021. Farmex expects to have systems commercially available mid 2021.
Put simply, the new system will be even more flexible, even more powerful and be capable of doing more of what the current system does – even better!
The headline innovation will be the ability to communicate directly with the control network on farm from a mobile device using Bluetooth locally or the internet from further afield. Updating and upgrading the controls can be done remotely.
We will retain a somewhat retro look to the devices but behind the lid will be the most powerful chips with many connection options and virtually limitless switching capabilities in terms of types of load, size of load and complexity of load. Input/Output capacity will be dramatically increased and we will use everything we’ve learned over the last 25 years to future proof the new system for the next 25!
Crucially, the new system will be backwards compatible with the old. This means that all existing systems will be able to benefit from the new features by following a simple and cost effective upgrade path.