A family-owned business founded more than 100 years ago in Germany, CLAAS is a world-renowned manufacturer of agricultural engineering equipment – from combine harvesters to tractors to green harvesting machinery. For decades, CLAAS has partnered with Dassault Systèmes to improve solutions for the agricultural industry, driving digital transformation and achieving breakthroughs in sustainable innovation.
In the opening episode of our new Executive Insights series, CLAAS CEO Thomas Böck spoke with Dassault Systèmes VP of Industrial Equipment Philippe Bartissol about three key challenges in the agriculture industry: food security, sustainability and tech innovation.
Watch the video for their full conversation and check out some excerpts below.
Philppe Bartissol (PB): Already more than 100 years. Wow! What a success story. The challenges in the agricultural sector must have evolved. What are they today?
Thomas Böck (T): Yes, of course. … Scarcity of food supply all over the world is one of the challenges we are facing. So we are helping our customers grow their food and to distribute it.
PB: Indeed, how to feed the ever-growing population is a challenge, particularly with regard to an increased demand to have environmentally friendly farming, right?
TB: Of course, we have sustainability as an issue in the view of climate change, but also in regards of the special conditions in Europe. So we have the Green Deal and that also affects what we are doing. But most of all we want to deliver products for the end customers using them. We’re looking at all aspects, like R&D production, after-sales services and everything around our products to support the customer.
PB: How do you see the future of the agriculture industry and the shift toward software-driven equipment?
TB: So looking into what we have to do with the sustainability topics precision farming, as we call it, becomes more and more important. That means we do site-specific farming using GPS technology, autoseeing, even autonomous assistant systems in our products and our machinery. We do, for example, the application of fertilizer or chemicals on the square centimeter. Having this high occurancy, while driving in machines that are almost 4 meters high and 3.5 meters wide and more than 10 meters long is quite challenging. What you have to bring together is all the departments around the product development process. … Really integrating all the dimensions of the product is I think the biggest challenge – and to do it almost real-time at the same time when you have the phases of product development.