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Automatic Hitching for theTotal Safety of the Farmers when Coupling machinery

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - SIWI (Automatic Hitching for theTotal Safety of the Farmers when Coupling machinery)

Reporting period: 2019-02-01 to 2020-01-31

The penetration of automation in the agricultural industry is forging ahead. Yet, the process of changing and hitching trailed implements, a key operation that every farmer performs many times per day, remains manually operated, as it was 50 years ago. Due to this, 40% of farmers deaths in farms are the result of being crushed by machinery such as tractors or implements, with fatal farms accidents costing to the EU society €923 million/year. The need for an automated, strong and reliable hitch system has never been greater.
Listening intently to the needs of our customers, we invested 3 years of R&D to develop industry’s first fully automated hitch system. Our game-changing technology is 10x times better than closest substitutes and allows farmers to hitch their heaviest implements from tractor’s cabin, in less than 10 seconds. This redefines farm operations, enabling farmers to use only 1 tractor instead of 4 which is the current way of working, and brings huge cost savings enabling farmers to recoup their investment in our product in less than 258 working hours.
Currently, our patent protected technology is at TRL6, with the system being optimised in our Danish facilities. With a feasibility plan developed under a Ph1 grant, we now seek a Ph2 grant to fine-tune our industrial-grade high pressure connection system and optimise our Machine Module to certify it for transport on public roads as per TÜV. Also, we will patent our new Machine Module and fully certify our systems for strength, reliability and safety. To speed-up market launch, we will showcase our products to key customers who have already expressed their interest.
This will allow us to launch our products in Europe, Japan, Australia, Canada and the US, growing our business by €24 million in cumulative net profits by 2025. This cash-flow is vital to build our new facilities to meet market demand and continue improving our products, ultimately generating 18 new jobs in SIWI production and sales activities.
The objective of the project is to launch in the market our breakthrough product that completely redefines the way farmers and contractors work in the farms.
The project period 1 is now completed and we have achieved all milestone and workpackages. The work performed during period 1 is a success. The technical part in period 1 has for now been a success, we have achieved more than expected in high pressure coupling, more than expected in lifting capacity and the live test was performed as expected, and consequently, the prototype of the machine module is performing technically as expected.
The commercial parts have been very good for SIWI, we have now distributors in Europe, Canada, Japan and working on Australia and New Zeeland. The biggest success story from first period was our participation in a large Innovation Contest in Alberta (Canada). We won the first price of CAD$ 20.000 for best innovation for the Canadian market and a lot of free publicity within radio, social media, and printed media. We are also very fortune to have signed up with the largest Machine dealer in Japan, covering all South and North Island. The Japanese adventure has just started.
The process of changing trailed implements, a key operation that every farmer performs numerous times per day, still remains manually operated. Manual change of implements does not only reduce farmers productivity, but also is a major contributor to fatal accidents in the farms.
Our customers (farmers and agricultural contractors) urgently need a fully-automated hitch system that will allow them to safely change and hitch their implements from their tractor’s cabin.
Our distributors (Ag-machine dealers) need hitch systems that can be easily integrated with the tractors and trailers, while being straight-forward to service and maintain.
SIWI solution: a breakthrough hitch system that will disrupt the Ag-machinery industry. SIWI allows farmers to safely connect and disconnect their trailed implements from their tractors’ cabin in a fully-automated way at the touch of a button.
SIWI Combi Hitch
Demonstration in Agribex show in Belgium
Demonstration in Hokkaido-Japan
Demonstration in Agribex show in Belgium
AG Innovation Price award 3