US-based Vertex Software won a deal to deliver a 3D virtualisation system to John Deere, a move it claimed advanced the agricultural and heavy equipment manufacturer’s Industry 4.0 initiatives.

Vertex stated its software will contribute to John Deere’s smart connected factory plans by delivering real-time data to its manufacturing and broader operations.

John Deere staff will be able to use smartphones, tablets and laptops to access information on “the state of the factory, service needs for equipment, forecast planning” and the real-time functioning of manufacturing equipment, the company stated.

Vertex Software cited reductions in the time and cost of providing decision-making systems imbued with “rich, interactive 3D content”, arguing this offered a range of benefits compared with existing CAD systems, which it stated are stymied by the nature of the data involved and hardware costs.

The move is the latest by John Deere to tap the developments in software and other technology: in January it demonstrated a self-driving tractor which offered access to key functions through a mobile app tapping into on-board cameras and sensors.