Pottinger joins the QR code club

Just bought a piece of second-hand machinery of uncertain vintage? Working out what’s printed on those little metal data plates on old trailers and other pieces of farm machinery is always a bit of game. Usually, they’re so corroded that you’re not sure if the machine was made in 1991 or 1901 and whether it can hold 12t or 1,200t.

But the arrival of so-called QR codes, which use a pattern of black dots rather like a tiny crossword grid and are now plastered over all sorts of consumer items, could one day end the head-scratching.

Machinery firms are now increasingly putting them on machines to give existing and future owners loads more information than they currently get. All you do is download a free app on your smartphone and there it all is.

Austrian company Pottinger is the latest firm to go down this road and points out that all the information on the plate relating to a machine will be up to date and available for years to come, In fact, since May 2013, all its machines have a QR Code on the data plate.

In some cases, individual components (such as its Autocut knife sharpening system or the distributor head on its Aerosem seed drills) also have their own QR code plates, so current and future owners can know exactly what spec the machine has.

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