The future of learning how to operate farm machinery may be already unfolding. Vermeer is putting instructions for how to do two of the most complicated operations right on one model of baler. Only they're not just showing a diagram. In addition, they're affixing a small QR code that could prove most helpful.
"Anyone with the QR reader app on their phone can shoot a picture of the QR code on the baler and then watch a video which shows how to do the task," says Bellana Putz, Project Lead for Lifestyle Solutions. Basically, she works with projects that are geared toward simplifying use of Vermeer's products for dealers and customers.
So far the QR code with embedded video has been used only on the Rebel baler. It's used for two operations – threading twine into the baler on the front side and installing net wrap on the back side of the baler. In each case, there is a diagram amidst appropriate safety stickers, and also a QR symbol. When activated, the baler operator can see a video which shows how to thread the twine through the system or install the net wrap.
The beauty of it is the farmer can replay the video as many times as necessary until he understands how it works, Putz relates. The color video contains no spoken words. That's because the baler may end up in various countries where different languages are spoken. It's strictly a "watch and understand' concept.
It's no accident that the Rebel round baler line was the first product chosen to be affixed with QR codes, Putz explains. This particular baler is designed for farmers with smaller operations. Some of them may be part-time operators. Since they don't bale as many bales or operate the baler as often, they may be more inclined to need a refresher course on how to install twine or net wrap than someone with a bigger baler who bales a lot of bales during the year, she explains.
If the system proves user friendly, expect to see it on more implements. However, don't expect the written manual to disappear anytime soon.