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Trimble and Spraying Systems Take Agricultural Automation to the Next Level
Companies Form Alliance to Integrate GPS-Assisted Steering and Application Control
SUNNYVALE, Calif. and WHEATON, Ill., Nov. 5, 2002 -Trimble (NASDAQ:TRMB) and Spraying Systems Co. announced today that they have formed a strategic alliance to develop and market Global Positioning System (GPS) based assisted steering for agriculture application control systems. The integrated solution will be used to automatically guide sprayers, spreaders and combines while self-regulating the application of fertilizers, crop protection products or harvesting crops to increase efficiency. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"Technology integration is bringing key advantages to the agriculture market. The strategic alliance represents the next step towards advancing productivity and efficiency for growers and custom applicators," said Alan Townsend, vice president and general manager of Trimble's Field Solutions Division. "By automating many processes that have been executed manually, agri-businesses can gain an edge in today's competitive market place."
"By combining the strengths of two leading companies, we mark the beginning of a new era of automated guidance and product application," said Dave Smith, chief operating officer of Spraying Systems Co. "We will tie the advancements made in Trimble's Autopilot system with the leading-edge CAN bus technology of our new Mid-Tech Legacy 6000 to automatically control all aspects of mobile operations in a single system. Having an automatically steered and self-regulating application system automates product application increases operator safety, environmental stewardship and supports instant reporting and documentation."
Spraying Systems produces and distributes products to manage precise application of fertilizer and crop protection products in agriculture internationally. The company is a world leader in providing complete application solutions from in-cab electronic consoles to smart spray nozzle tips. Adding Trimble's AgGPS® Autopilot system to its array of technologies furthers Spraying Systems goal of developing and marketing solutions that automate many of the processes executed manually today on applicators and combines, and other related equipment.
Trimble is a world leader in producing rugged and reliable GPS positioning, guidance and machine control for agriculture, construction and mining. In agriculture, automated steering is based on Trimble's proven AgGPS Autopilot system. The guidance system connects to a vehicle's steering system to automatically steer it in consistently straight rows for tilling, planting, spraying, cultivating and applying fertilizers. Automated steering saves time and money. It reduces driver fatigue, application skips and overlaps, minimizes soil compaction, and increases capital equipment utilization allowing around-the-clock operations. Most importantly, the system increases efficiency to lower the cost per acre.
The customer further benefits from the integration of automated steering technologies into electronic display consoles in the cab, such as the Mid-Tech® Legacy 6000TM. The solution will streamline sophisticated product applications by eliminating unnecessary electronic equipment in the vehicle cab and simplifying the overall system operation. In a typical variable rate fertilizer application, the Legacy 6000 console removes the need for multiple displays, such as a dedicated computer and one or more rate controllers. Automated steering will also be integral to the same in-cab displays. All automatic metering processes of liquid and dry materials are accessible through the Legacy 6000 console, and maps are generated and displayed in real time to validate successful operation.
About Spraying Systems Co
Spraying Systems Co., a privately held company founded in 1937, is the international leader in spray technology, research and development. Headquarters are located in Wheaton, Illinois with manufacturing facilities in eight nations and distribution worldwide. The Company manufactures and distributes TeeJet, LH-Agro and Mid-Tech products consisting of spray nozzles and other sprayer components, electronic control systems, and GPS-driven hardware and software products. These brands are an enduring part of spray technology with their products used for generations in agriculture, horticulture, turf and right of way industries worldwide.
For more information visit: www.teejet.com or www.mid-tech.com.
Trimble is a leading innovator of Global Positioning System (GPS) technology. In addition to providing advanced GPS components, Trimble augments GPS with other positioning technologies as well as wireless communications and software to create complete customer solutions. Trimble's worldwide presence and unique capabilities position the Company for growth in emerging applications including surveying, automobile navigation, machine guidance, asset tracking, wireless platforms, and telecommunications infrastructure. Founded in 1978 and headquartered in Sunnyvale, Calif., Trimble has more than 2,000 employees in more than 20 countries worldwide.
TeeJet and Spraying Systems are registered trademarks of Spraying Systems Co., USA. Mid-Tech is a registered trademark of Midwest Technologies Illinois LLC, USA. AgGPS and Trimble are registered trademarks of Trimble Navigation Ltd., USA
Investor Relations Investor Relations of Trimble: 408-481-6914
Media Contact: LeaAnn McNabb of Trimble: 408-481-7808
Media Contact: Rich Gould of Spraying Systems: 630-665-5201 ext. 1308