John Deere recently opened its new Intelligent Solutions Group (ISG) facility in central Iowa. The 134,000 square-foot facility in Urbandale is devoted to problem solving with technology, collaboration, testing and development for John Deere precision products and services.
Though the ISG building is new, John Deere ISG employees have been creating advanced technology, incorporating machine learning, connectivity, computer vision, robotics and sensors for use in its farm equipment for more than 25 years.
"By locating our development teams in the heartland, we are ideally positioned to be close to the farming challenges John Deere is actively working to solve on behalf of our customers," said John Stone, senior vice president, for John Deere Intelligent Solutions Group. "Our new ISG facility in Urbandale further emphasizes the role John Deere has as a technology leader with an equal commitment to agriculture and technology, supported by our tech-first presence in the Midwest."
Inside the building, Stone said John Deere worked hard to create a collaborative, inclusive workspace for employees with open workspaces. "This was an efficient and cost-effective design," Stone explained. Conference room walls are made from recycled denim to reduce waste going into landfills, and from sustainably forested woods. Should space requirements change in the future, the walls can be easily reconfigured to create a new workspace.
Just outside, soybeans, corn, cotton, oats and sunflowers that were planted earlier in the year can be found on what ISG calls the Front 40 Farm. "The Front 40 Farm gives employees who may not have grown up on a farm, a glimpse into the lifecycle of crops and the ability to see the finished product of what our customers produce. It's an everyday reminder of why their work matters and the customers it impacts," Stone said.
"John Deere has a legacy of bringing meaningful innovation to the market and our latest expansion reflects our continued commitment. Being easily connected to our customers allows us to have a deep understanding of what is really needed to make the difficult job of farming easier and more precise. That knowledge is directly incorporated into every product we create," said Stone.
Significant ISG Milestones and Innovations
• First John Deere Maps Yield mapping - 1994
• First John Deere StarFire receiver - 1999
• ISG moved from Moline, Illinois, to Urbandale, Iowa.
• First GreenStar Display 2600 - 2002
• 25th Anniversary of ISG - 2018
By opening the ISG facility, Stone explained that John Deere expects to generate interest among potential employees in the Midwest and the Silicon Prairie. "John Deere employees who are working in technology are making a real difference, especially when it comes to helping feed a growing global population," Stone said.