Electronics and software for mobile equipment have evolved steadily over the past number of decades. A market that was once defined by customized hardware designed for specific functions and applications, is now saturated with “off the shelf” systems that can be configured. Ruggedized hardware is readily available with a variety of inputs, outputs, and various forms of communication.
These products have evolved to the point where the market views them as commodity products selected by price. Tools for the development of application software have emerged allowing the non-programmer the ability to develop readily.
Walking an industry trade show, be it agriculture, construction, forestry, mining or other, the casual observer would think it easy to install and commission the electronic sub-system. But is the need for custom electronic development truly a thing of the past? Would OEMs agree that the off-the-shelf control systems do all that they need and at a competitive price? Do these systems provide flexibility and configurability to allow market differentiation?
This market insight explores these questions and suggests that while there is a place for standard products and systems to handle well established functions, innovation requires developers to break away from this mold and embrace custom electronic development. How this is executed is the key to its success.